August 28, 2019

Mayor Bhalla signs executive order launching Vision Zero safety campaign

Today, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla signed an executive order officially launching Hoboken’s “Vision Zero” safety campaign aiming to eliminate all traffic-related injuries and fatalities by 2030. The executive order established a Vision Zero Task Force, consisting of community advocates and City personnel to develop action items and strategies to achieve safer streets in Hoboken. The recommendations to achieve zero traffic-related injuries and fatalities will be formalized through a Vision Zero Action Plan, which will be adopted by Hoboken’s Department of Transportation.  

“Hoboken is proud to launch the most ambitious Vision Zero campaign in the tristate region,” said Mayor Bhalla. “As one of the most walkable cities in the entire country, we can, and we must do more to make our streets safer for our residents and children. Eliminating traffic-related injuries and deaths will involve a collaborative approach with all of our residents and stakeholders, and I look forward to working with our community as we create a stronger and safer Hoboken for everyone.”

Cities across the United States, including New York and Jersey City, have adopted Vision Zero initiatives in an effort to eliminate traffic-related serious injuries and fatalities. Through the adoption of Vision Zero, Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken believe traffic-related injuries and deaths are preventable, and better planning, engineering, enforcement and education can result in a reduction and eventually an elimination of deaths and injuries. The core principals of Vision Zero also conclude that human error is inevitable, the entire system is responsible for safety, and a price tag cannot be placed on saving lives.

“Bike Hoboken is thrilled at the formal adoption of Vision Zero by the City of Hoboken,” said Chris Adair, President of Bike Hoboken. “We are grateful for Mayor Bhalla’s determination to make streets safer and improve mobility for everyone in our mile square. The philosophy of Vision Zero is fundamentally a declaration that mistakes should not be fatal, that nobody deserves to die because of their abilities or choice in transportation. We are excited to join our neighbors in Jersey City and New York with this vision and look forward to the specific policies and street designs that will embody it.”

The task force established by the executive order consists of City staff from relevant departments, such as Transportation and Planning, Community Development, Environmental Services, the Police Department and Fire Department, community groups including Bike Hoboken, and members of the Hoboken City Council. The task force is chaired by Director of Transportation and Parking, Ryan Sharp, as well as Lt. John Petrosino from the Hoboken Police Department.

In addition to creating a Vision Zero Action Plan, the Task Force will be responsible for establishing a website to provide updates on Vision Zero, leading community outreach and producing annual progress reports for the public. Additionally, the Task Force will help launch the Vision Zero Ambassador program which will consist of residents interested in hosting public events to provide feedback for the Vision Zero program. Residents interested in the Vision Zero Ambassador program can apply for the program through an application process that will be available in the coming weeks.

"We are excited to see Hoboken, one of NACTO's earliest members, set a far-reaching goal for the only acceptable number of deaths on city streets: zero," said Corinne Kisner, Executive Director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials. "We look forward to continuing to partner with Hoboken, and our 80 other member cities and transit agencies to design streets and cities that are safe, sustainable, and equitable."  

At the executive order signing, Mayor Bhalla recognized the efforts of Jersey City and thanked Mayor Steve Fulop for designating a representative from Jersey City’s Vision Zero Task Force to participate in Hoboken’s Vision Zero Task Force. Hoboken and Jersey City will be collaborating to connect the region’s overall transportation network and providing safer streets between the two cities.

Mayor Bhalla also announced Hoboken will be moving forward with planning for two protected bike lanes on Clinton Street and Grand Street, to be completed by the spring of 2020. Protected bike lanes are a part of the City’s strategy to engineer safer streets for all users and modes of transportation. The City, in partnership with Hudson County, are also installing two traffic signals and pedestrian countdown timers at Hudson Street and Hudson Place, as well as at 14th and Garden Street, and moving forward with complete streets improvements on Newark Street between Willow Avenue and Jefferson Street this fall.

As outlined by the Executive Order, all Hoboken City Department Task Force members signed the Vision Zero pledge: I pledge to coordinate the efforts of my department as reflected in the Hoboken Vision Zero Action Plan to ensure that I am an integral part of achieving the goal of zero traffic-related injuries or fatalities in Hoboken by 2030.

Community members can follow Vision Zero updates on Twitter (@VZHoboken), Facebook (@VZHoboken), and Instagram (@VZHoboken), and a website for the City’s Vision Zero program will be developed in the coming weeks.