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Designing streets for Vision Zero in Jersey City

Jersey City is remaking its streets to reduce speeds and create more space for walkers and bikers so even if crashes due to human error occur, they are less likely to result in injuries or fatalities.  It’s part of the “safe systems approach” at the heart of the City’s Vision Zero Initiative.
Elias Guseman, senior transportation planner for Jersey City, presented an overview of Jersey City’s Vision Zero Initiative at the most recent meeting of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority’s (NJTPA) Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) on April 10.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop in 2018 signed a Vision Zero pledge to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2026. That goal led to an action plan that identified 77 action items led by multiple departments, agencies and stakeholders.
Since 2019, 50 of the 77 action items have been completed or are in progress, including:
  • 679 speed bumps
  • 183 No Turn on Red restrictions
  • 30+ active parklets
  • 19 miles of protected bicycle lanes plus another 5 miles planned this year
  • 124 curb extensions installed and 44 more planned
The Vision Zero action plan serves as a guiding document for all of the city's transportation work. “We try to pair this with the routine maintenance program and repaving for utility work,” Guseman said.
Engineering, planning and infrastructure action items often start out as demonstration projects using low-cost, quick build materials that allow for testing. That might include bike lanes, plazas, parklets, and traffic calming elements, like mini-roundabouts and curb extensions created with paint, bollards and planters.
The Newark Avenue pedestrian plaza started as a temporary quick-build project. Fairmount Triangle Park previously was a dangerous cut-through and a series of traffic islands.
A new protected bike lane on Marin Boulevard connects the bike lane networks of Jersey City and Hoboken.
Protected bike lanes and a reconfigured “floating” bus stop were added as part of a “road diet” for Columbus Drive.

 IMG_4907.JPG“We have seen correlation between adding this infrastructure and then more bicyclists have been using it," Guseman said. CitiBike ridership across Jersey City was up 22 percent between 2021 and 2022.

Like most of the country, Jersey City saw an increase in traffic fatalities in 2021, but no fatalities in 2022 -- the first time since 2016. Guseman called that a validation of the city’s efforts. “These interventions are working and we’re able to help reduce traffic fatalities on city roads we control and continue to work with state and county partners to improve roads throughout the city that we do not control."
Posted: 4/18/2023 12:36:35 PM by kortiz | with 0 comments