Reduce speed limit to 20? It’s being studied in Hoboken

Hoboken is recognized nationwide as one of the most walkable cities in the country — somewhere where people can walk, bike and drive safely. It is one of the only cities nationwide to achieve zero deaths for the past three consecutive years.

The city council, however, wants more safety.

On Wednesday night, the council adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan, an important benchmark in Hoboken’s effort to eliminate traffic-related deaths and injuries by 2030.

“While we’ve made major progress in the past three years having no pedestrian fatalities and a reduction in pedestrian injuries, we are striving to create even safer streets in the years ahead,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said. “With the adoption of the Vision Zero Action Plan, we’ll be able to take even more actionable steps to reach our goal of (ending) all traffic-related deaths and injuries by 2030, one of the most ambitious Vision Zero goals in the entire country.”

As a part of the plan’s recommendations, the Bhalla administration is conducting a study on reducing the citywide speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph to reduce traffic-related crashes.

The Vision Zero Action Plan was the result of more than a year of collecting public feedback from more than 2,200 people and the 18-member Vision Zero Task Force that includes community members, city department directors, city council members and a representative from Jersey City and Hudson County.

The plan also includes the city’s first-ever comprehensive five-year crash analysis to determine what contributing factors most commonly cause crashes where people are injured or killed.

The crash analysis demonstrated the following:

  • While pedestrian-involved car crashes only made up 5% of total crashes, they comprised 27% of car crashes where someone ended up seriously injured and 100% of car crashes where someone was killed;
  • Bicycle-involved car crashes were only 3% of total car crashes in Hoboken, but made up 13% of crashes where someone was seriously injured.

With the adoption of the Vision Zero Action Plan by the city council, Bhalla will sign another executive order extending the task force for two more years.