Mayor Steven M. Fulop Signs Executive Order Adopting the “Vision Zero” Initiative

Mayor Steven M. Fulop Signs Executive Order Adopting the “Vision Zero” Initiative

The “Vision Zero” Initiative Aims to Eliminate Traffic Fatalities and Severe Injuries on Jersey City Roadways by the Year 2026

JERSEY CITY – Today, Mayor Steven M. Fulop signed an executive order adopting the “Vision Zero” initiative in Jersey City and creating a multi-disciplinary “Vision Zero” Task Force to lead the planning effort in eliminating traffic fatalities. The guiding principle behind “Vision Zero” maintains that deaths and injuries caused by traffic crashes should be treated as a public health problem which can be eliminated through better planning. The Task Force that will be established by this Executive Order will bring together representatives from various city departments and agencies with the sole focus of identifying strategies to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries in order to create an Action Plan.

“During the past few months, Jersey City has been the scene of a number of tragic traffic fatalities that have each shaken our community and created a desperate need for a solution,” said Mayor Fulop. “Signing on to ‘Vision Zero’ is our latest, and hopefully our final, initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities on our city’s roadways. Each and every life that has been lost as a result of a traffic accident is avoidable, and today, we are taking an important step towards building a powerful, data-driven Action Plan to make sure that no more lives will be senselessly lost on our roads.”

Jersey City joins a growing number of cities, both national and international, that have adopted their own versions of the “Vision Zero” initiative. Central to these various local implementations are five fundamental principles shared by the Vision Zero Network, which includes 1.) deaths and severe injuries caused by traffic crashes are preventable; 2.) human life and health should be prioritized in all transportation systems and in all aspects of transportation planning; 3.) human error is inevitable and transportation systems should be forgiving; 4.) transportation planning should focus on
systems-level changes above influencing individual behavior; and 5.) speed is the single most important factor in crash severity. These crucially important principles will serve as a guide to Jersey City’s “Vision Zero” Task Force as they work to propose both short-term and long-term data-driven strategies complete with measurable goals.

The Vision Zero Task Force shall consist of thirteen members, including representatives from the Division of Engineering, the Division of Planning, the Law Department, the Jersey City Police Department, the Division of Fire, the Department of Public Work, the Department of Health & Human Services, the Division of Parking Enforcement, the Mayor’s Office, Jersey City schools, and local community groups Bike JC and Safe Streets JC.

"We applaud the Mayor for making a strong commitment to a comprehensive Vision Zero Plan for Jersey City, putting the life and health of all residents as our utmost priority,” said Kara Hrabosky, President of Safe Streets JC. “Fatalities and serious injuries are not a tolerable byproduct of transportation and increased density, and safe mobility for everyone is critical in all parts of our city to keep us healthy and prosperous. We look forward to working with the Vision Zero Task Force to make lasting safety and access improvements citywide. Every crash prevented is a huge win for Jersey City residents."

The Task Force will be responsible for publishing a Vision Zero Action Plan, soliciting information and input from the public, reporting annually on findings, and creating a public website which shall include crash data and provide a feature to solicit feedback from the public on safety concerns. During the creation of this plan, community outreach and engagement will play a major role, and public input will work to inform the plan’s creation.

“We applaud this vital step in making Jersey City a safer place to travel,” said Tony Borelli, vice president of Bike JC. “While tangible changes on our streets are ultimately the only measure of success, the international Vision Zero system provides both a powerful statement of goals and a practical framework for reaching them. We look forward to working closely with city professionals and our fellow advocates to make this a reality.”

The Fulop Administration has implemented several initiatives, projects and plans during the past four years in order to develop a holistic solution to enhancing roadway safety throughout the city, including the creating a citywide Bicycle Master Plan and a Pedestrian Enhancement Plan, advancing the city’s “Complete Streets” policy, evaluating safety opportunities along major corridors such as Bergen Avenue, and redesigning Montgomery Street and Christopher Columbus Drive to more efficiently accommodate all road users.

Earlier this month, the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority approved funding for several safety improvement projects that the Fulop Administration has been strongly advocating for, including a $3.5 million grant to improve John F. Kennedy Blvd., and safety improvements in Guttenberg, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Weehawken, and West New York. Jersey City received $3.8 million for a West Side Avenue Pedestrian Safety Improvement project.

About Vision Zero
Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. In the 1990s, officials in Sweden adopted a set of traffic management policies which fundamentally differed from traditional traffic safety policies and set the goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths and severe injuries. This set of policies became known collectively as “Vision Zero” and its guiding principle is that deaths and injuries caused by traffic crashes should be treated as a public health problem which can be eliminated through better planning, not as an inevitable by-product of the vehicle-based transportation system. Since officials in Sweden began Vision Zero,
officials in cities all over the world, including 32 cities in the United States, have adopted their own versions of the Vision Zero initiative.