AUSTIN (KXAN) – After safety improvements were made at some of Austin’s major intersections, the city noted a 31% decrease in serious and fatal crashes.

The City of Austin’s Transportation Department began improving safety at dozens of high-crash intersections. The improvements are a part of its Vision Zero goal aimed to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities on Austin’s roadways, according to a release.

Early data from 13 of the completed intersection showed a combined 30% reduction in total crashes and a 31% reduction in series or fatal crashes.

“The injury reductions come at a time when traffic fatalities are rapidly rising across the country,” the release said. “The reductions at these locations, however, provide evidence to support an idea at the heart of Austin’s Vision Zero strategy: that changing the design of our streets is the most effective strategy to reduce severe crashes over time.”

The improvements are also said to reduce traffic congestion caused by these crashes and fewer public safety resources are needed to respond to crashes, according to the city.

“Undoing more than 80 years of vehicle-centric street design in a city of approximately 300 square miles will take time,” the city said, “but the work continues as every avoided traffic fatality or serious injury is worth the effort.”

According to the release, four additional projects are scheduled to start construction before the end of 2022.