The City of Hoboken and the Hoboken Public Safety Department today announced the expansion of city school zones to incorporate all K-12 schools in Hoboken, and the establishment of a lower school zone speed limit of 15 miles per hour (mph). The expanded school zones and speed reduction ordinance, adopted unanimously by the Hoboken City Council last night, has been a priority of Hoboken’s Vision Zero Action plan and aims to create safer streets near schools, which have a higher percentage of vulnerable road users, in particular, children.
The 15-mph speed limit will be in effect on streets surrounding schools during school arrival and dismissal times, and during recess when the presence of children is clearly visible from the roadway. Signage will be installed before the ordinance takes effect on Sept. 12. Locations considered school zones were vetted by leaders from the Hoboken Public School District and the Hoboken Public Safety Department. To find a map of those locations click here: https://arcg.is/TDHuL1.
“Lowering the speed limit around schools to better protect our most vulnerable and precious pedestrians, our children, has been a priority under the Vision Zero initiative,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “We remain committed to providing safe routes for students to walk and bike to and from school and hope the slower speeds in school zones will encourage even more people to do both.”
“Vehicle speed is a major factor in the frequency and severity of crashes,” said Public Safety Director Ken Ferrante. “Even a 5-mph difference, will make it easier for drivers to be aware of their surroundings, and react and stop when necessary. I thank the City Council for approving this potentially lifesaving change.”
“The safety of our children, their parents and caregivers, and staff coming to and from school is paramount,” said Hoboken Public School District Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson. “Taking measures to reduce speed within expanded school zones minimizes the potential for injury and potentially catastrophic consequences. The Hoboken Public School District praises the Mayor and Council for taking action.”
Under New Jersey law, those who are found guilty of violating speed limits face possible fines and points on their license. Hoboken Police Officers will continue to enforce all traffic laws. As a reminder, the city-wide speed limit, outside of school zones, is 20 mph.
Creating and implementing a school zone speed limit in Hoboken is a key action item in the City’s Vision Zero Action Plan. The initiative, adopted by the Hoboken City Council in 2021, has a goal to eliminate all traffic deaths and injuries in Hoboken by 2030. Traffic calming is a key component of that goal, with studies showing that lower speed limits lead to less severe injuries and death in the event of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle.
Hoboken has also prioritized the installation of Vision Zero infrastructure upgrades, many of which focus on intersections and areas around parks, schools, senior buildings, and public housing, which attract high pedestrian volumes. Some of those recent investments include concrete curb extensions near Hoboken High School, Columbus Park, and Wallace Elementary School and adding high visibility crosswalks and all-way stops at intersections near Hoboken High School, Tessa International School, and Hoboken Catholic Academy.
Since the implementation of Vision Zero, Hoboken has not had a traffic-related death despite regional and national trends toward significant increases in severe traffic injuries and deaths. To learn more about Hoboken’s Vision Zero initiative, visit www.vzhoboken.com.