The Hudson County government was awarded $480,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin implementing “Vision Zero” initiatives for safer streets.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Hudson was one of six local governments in New Jersey to receive funding from the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program, created by the US DOT to improve roads and address traffic fatalities.
All applicants must provide a 20 percent in-kind match of in-house county staff time, which w will amount to $120,000.
“We are thankful to President Biden and our outstanding federal legislative team including Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, former U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, and U.S. Rep. Rob Menendez, for this vital grant funding, the largest of its kind among applicants from our state,” Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise said in a statement.
“Our professional staff labored tirelessly to produce a plan worthy of this award, supported by our Board of Commissioners and community leaders.”
The Comprehensive Safety Action Plan being funded will concentrate on the County road network, in order to complement other, municipal Vision Zero efforts, including the existing Action Plans of Jersey City, Hoboken, and the NJ Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) in which the county is a partner.
After a comprehensive data analysis, the county plan will utilize outline the Safe Systems Approach methodology to develop recommendations on physical and policy-based implementation strategies.
This will allow them to explore and prioritize evidence-based and low-cost and high impact strategies, and innovative technologies to promote safety and invest in equitable transportation solutions for their “complete streets” policy.
“This investment in street and roadway improvements will mean enhanced safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists across our state,” added Senator Menendez.
“It is one of the reasons I was proud to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which has already brought millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to New Jersey to improve ferry operations, expand airport facilities and technologies, and repair and replace some of the region’s most critical, but aging, infrastructure.”
The Action Plan requires the creation of a “Vision Zero Task Force” comprised of Hudson County stakeholders such as public health, law enforcement and other professionals, municipal and regional partners, and local advocacy groups.
The Vision Task Force will inform a public engagement process that seeks to encourage inclusive collaboration by including diverse stakeholders throughout the county, with an emphasis on representation of underserved communities.
“We must make our streets safer for all who use them. Federal investments in upgrading our roads and sidewalks will reduce accidents and deaths for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists,” noted Booker.
“This Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant – a product of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – will facilitate important traffic safety improvements in Hudson County for the benefit of all of our residents,” added Congressman Menendez.
Once the Action Plan is adopted, the county will be eligible to apply for capital funding from the USDOT to implement some of the plan’s recommendations during later funding rounds of the five-year SS4A Program which is funded by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.