February 8, 2024

City of Hoboken honored for Vision Zero speed limit reduction initiative

The City of Hoboken was awarded Project of the Year by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) for the City’s initiative to reduce the citywide speed limit to 20 miles per hour to mitigate serious injuries and deaths caused by traffic collisions. This honor serves as another form of recognition for Hoboken's Vision Zero program which aims to eliminate all traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.  

The project is being recognized for its approach in setting speed limits that make streets safer, particularly for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, children, and individuals with mobility restrictions. Hoboken’s density encourages walkability, but it can also increase the potential for pedestrian-involved crashes that lead to injury or death. Studies show that a pedestrian's chances of suffering a severe injury or death increases from approximately 25 percent when struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 MPH, to over 50 percent when struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 MPH.    

The award was announced during a ceremony at the ITE Met Section Past Presidents Night in New York City on February 7, 2024. The ceremony was attended, and the award accepted by City Engineer Olga Garcia, Director of Transportation and Parking Ryan Sharp, and Transportation Planner Greg Francese; all of whom played a role in implementing this initiative.

Upon completion of a citywide speed limit study prepared by Michael Baker International, the City of Hoboken reduced the citywide speed limit from 25 MPH to 20 MPH in July of 2022 as an action item set forth by the Vision Zero Action Plan, and further reduced speed limits in school zones to 15 MPH in 2023. Last month, Hoboken’s Vision Zero initiative celebrated a milestone of seven years without a traffic death.

“I would like to thank the ITE and its members for recognizing Hoboken’s efforts to improve road safety for all,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “I extend my gratitude to our Vision Zero team members for their dedication on a daily basis, to creating and implementing programs, like our speed limit reduction initiative, which have already proven to save lives.”

"Hoboken's unwavering commitment to Vision Zero is commendable, and we applaud their efforts in improving road safety, said Faruk Ijaz, P.E., ITE Met Section Past President. "This prestigious award celebrates projects that have made significant strides towards the goal of Vision Zero, recognizing outstanding initiatives dedicated to enhancing public roadway safety.“

The ITE is an international association of transportation professionals who work to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and help build smart and livable communities. Founded in 1930, ITE has a network of more than 17,000 members, working in more than 78 countries, including transportation engineers, transportation planners, consultants, educators, technologists, and researchers.

For more information about Hoboken’s citywide speed limit reduction, go to https://www.hobokennj.gov/news/hoboken-to-reduce-speed-limit-to-20-mph-citywide.

For more information about the City's Vision Zero initiative, go to www.vzhoboken.com.  

Hoboken City Engineer Olga Garcia, Transportation Planner Greg Francese, and Director of Transportation and Parking Ryan Sharp and accept the ITE Project of the Year award