Fulop signs executive order implementing ‘Vision Zero’ to improve traffic safety

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop signed an executive order implementing the “Vision Zero” initiative as part of a plan to eliminate traffic related fatalities. 

Steven Fulop

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“During the past few months, Jersey City has been the scene of a number of tragic traffic fatalities that have each shaken our community and created a desperate need for a solution,” Fulop said in a statement.

“Signing on to ‘Vision Zero’ is our latest, and hopefully our final, initiative to eliminate
traffic fatalities on our city’s roadways. Each and every life that has been lost as a result of a traffic accident is avoidable, and today, we are taking an important step towards building a powerful, data-driven Action Plan to make sure that no more lives will be senselessly lost on our roads.”

During a traffic safety-themed debate in October, Fulop committed to adopting Vision Zero, mentioning the possibility of creating a department of division of transportation in Jersey City.

The guiding principle behind “Vision Zero” maintains that deaths and injuries caused by traffic crashes should be treated as a public health problem which can be eliminated through better planning.

The Vision Zero Task Force will have thirteen members, including representatives from the Division of Engineering, the Division of Planning, the Law Department, the Jersey City Police Department, the Division of Fire, the Department of Public Work, the Department of Health & Human Services, the Division of Parking Enforcement, the Mayor’s Office, Jersey City schools, and local community groups Bike JC and Safe Streets JC.

Additionally, the task force will be responsible for publishing a Vision Zero Action Plan, soliciting information and input from the public, reporting annually on findings, and creating a public website which shall include crash data and provide a feature to solicit feedback from the public on safety concerns.

During the creation of this plan, community outreach and engagement will play a major role, and public input will work to inform the plan’s creation.

Jersey City joins a growing number of cities, both national and international, that have
adopted their own versions of the “Vision Zero” initiative.

Central to these various local implementations are five fundamental principles shared by the Vision Zero Network, which include:

1. deaths and severe injuries caused by traffic crashes are preventable

2. human life and health should be prioritized in all transportation systems and in all aspects of transportation planning

3. human error is inevitable and transportation systems should be forgiving

4. transportation planning should focus on systems-level changes above influencing individual behavior

5. speed is the single most important factor in crash severity. These crucially important principles will serve as a guide to Jersey City’s “Vision Zero” Task Force as they work to propose both short-term and long-term data-driven strategies complete with measurable goals.

“We applaud the Mayor for making a strong commitment to a comprehensive Vision Zero Plan for Jersey City, putting the life and health of all residents as our utmost priority,” said Safe Streets JC President Kara Hrabosky.

“Fatalities and serious injuries are not a tolerable byproduct of transportation and increased density, and safe mobility for everyone is critical in all parts of our city to keep us healthy and prosperous. We look forward to working with the Vision Zero Task Force to make lasting safety and access improvements citywide. Every crash prevented is a huge win for Jersey City residents.”

Earlier this month, the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority approved funding for several safety improvement projects in Hudson County, including a $3.5 million grant to improve John F. Kennedy Boulevard, as well as safety improvements in Guttenberg, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Weehawken, and West New York.

Furthermore, Jersey City received $3.8 million for a West Side Avenue Pedestrian Safety Improvement project.