Jersey City activists, officials and residents gather to discuss traffic safety

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Safe Streets Jersey City hosted a traffic safety meeting in Lincoln Park where Mayor Steven Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea presented a report detailing the city’s efforts to improve traffic safety since the last hearing in December.

Speeding continues to be a major problem, especially along thoroughfares such as John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Nevertheless, Shea noted that the Jersey City Police Department, in conjunction with the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, are working hard to enforce speed limits, with some drivers receiving speeding tickets for driving as fast as 80 miles per hour on the aforementioned roadway.

“The top speeds in the evening are recorded at about 70 miles per hour. In the daytime, our top speed was recorded at 80 miles per hour. But the average vehicle speeds, which is more important, there’s actually an improving trend,” said Shea.

During the hearing, Kara Hrabosky and Paul Bellan-Boyer, the co-founders of Safe Streets JC, referred to a Power Point presentation of a survey the organization created to elicit responses from residents to gauge what is the most important traffic safety concern.

Out of 400 respondents, 71 percent said they believe pedestrian safety is most important category.

While they praised the city’s efforts to date to improve traffic safety by issuing more summonses for speeding and illegal parking, Hrabosky said that more improvements could be made faster if the city’s agencies worked together more holistically with the sole aim of creating safer streets for pedestrians, bikers and drivers.

Near the end of the meeting, she directly questioned the mayor.

“We would like to ask you, mayor, within the next month, will you establish that kind of team who will partner with Safe Streets Jersey City to focus the city’s attention on traffic safety and make recommendations to the mayor, council and public for improvements?”

The Mayor replied “Yes, sure.”

She followed up by asking for a follow-up meeting in the fall to discuss the data collected by the new team.

“Will you please commit to another follow-up meeting with us in September or October to report back on the progress of that team and our continued efforts in partnership with the city to continue to make traffic safety a priority?”

This time the Mayor answered “Of course.”

Safe Streets JC formed back in October, shortly after 11-year-old George Gonzalez was killed by a jitney bus traveling near the intersection of Neptune Avenue and JFK Boulevard.

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