‘Speeding kills:’ Jersey City residents plead for traffic safety on JFK Boulevard

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The Duncan Avenue Neighborhood Association (DANA), along with other concerned Jersey City residents, pleaded with law enforcement to aid with pedestrian safety and chronic speeding on John F. Kennedy Boulevard at a public meeting last night.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ1pd9FZKeA[/fve]

“Speeding kills all over. It’s not just on the boulevard, up and down the blocks. I work for the school system. I sit in front of the school every day. There is a police officer that sits by Danforth Avenue,” stated Jermaine Woodward, a Jersey City resident who lost his 8-year-old son to a speeding car.

“Everyday up and down Ocean [Avenue], there’s guys speeding up and down the block. I don’t see them pull them over once. Give them tickets or anything but I don’t understand why?”

Kara Hrabosky, the DANA President, also reminded everyone of Stephen Clifford: who was killed on JFK Boulevard by a vehicle speeding over 60mph.

Additionally, DANA Founder Paul Bellan-Boyer asked both Hudson County Undersheriff Andrew Conti and JCPD Deputy Chief Mark Hussey to publicly commit to dedicating more hours to help with traffic safety.

“We have a whole county to do, just like Jersey City has an issue with man power, our patrol division is down 30 [officers] man power wise in the last four years,” explained Conti.

He continued that despite the low man power, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office has issued 298 motor vehicle summons, 91 of which have been from speeding.

This data comes from the stretch of Sip Avenue to Communipaw Avenue from January 1, 2016 to June 20, 2016.

Conti stated that the average speed from the study is 42.3 miles per hour, but the range goes from 34 miles per hour to 72 miles per hour.

There was a total of 25 impounded vehicles, 12 of which were unregistered, and also summonsed 37 suspended drivers who were speeding on the Boulevard.

Hussey also publicly committed to dedicating more man power.

Jersey City Police Lt. Ilias Voutsas explained that there is also a shortage of officers, but they do their best to dedicate man power to this issue.

“I try at the very least during the day core, one officer for approximately 2 hours. This occurs two to three times a week, as we can spare.”

“During the evening core hours, later in the day, we commit two officers for approximately two hours a piece over a period of two to three days a week.”

Jersey City resident Asheenia Johnson also asked if that the JCPD and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office could work with Bayonne police, because she feels they are known to have a zero tolerance for speeding.

Hussey explained that until motorcycles are back on the streets policing, he will work closely with the district captains to get more man power dedicated to traffic safety.

Also during the meeting, the Hudson County JFK Boulevard (CR -501) Intersection Safety Improvement Project revealed its proposed improvements.

This included pedestrian curb bump outs, ADA compliant curb ramps, upgrading two traffic signals and the installation or replacements of regulatory, warning and pedestrian signs.

Hudson County is receiving a Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program Funds from the Federal Highway Administration through the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) for the design, construction and inspection of services along the 17 intersections along JFK Boulevard.

The design cost of the project is $490,000 and the construction cost is estimated at $3 million.

Updates on the project, as well as progress reports from the JCPD and Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, will be provided in the September meeting.

Also in attendance were Jersey City Ward B Councilman John Hallanan, Jose Sierra from the Hudson County Division of Engineering, Nancy Warlikowski from Mayor Steven Fulop’s office, Jersey City Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman and Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2).