From Helsinki to Hoboken,
Vision Zero Is Saving Lives.
WHAT IS VISION ZERO?
Vision Zero is a global phenomenon that, since it started in 1997, has spread across the world and to more than 40 communities across the United States, including Hoboken.
Vision Zero is based on five key principles:
Traffic deaths and severe injuries are preventable.
Human life and health are prioritized within all aspects of transportation systems.
Human error is inevitable, and transportation systems should be forgiving.
Safety work should focus on systems-level change above influencing individual behavior.
Speed is recognized as the fundamental factor in crash severity.
Vision Zero encourages cities to adopt achievable goals to prevent traffic-related severe injuries and fatalities. Hoboken’s goal is to eliminate all traffic-related injuries and fatalities by 2030.
Traditionally, traffic safety campaigns have focused on the efforts of individual stakeholders.
For example, a police department will conduct speed enforcement in a corridor with a known high rate of speeding violations or a street project will add bicycle lanes to a redesigned street. While these efforts do improve safety for roadway users, they are typically done independently from each other. Adherents to Vision Zero, on the other hand, will use a data-driven approach that attempts to redesign a street to prevent speeding and accommodate bicyclists or other micromobility users.
Another example of how Vision Zero encourages this paradigm shift relates to community outreach. Traditionally, vulnerable community groups identify with a community organization for support, but those groups aren’t consulted when important transportation safety decisions are made, despite the fact that historically, they are the most negatively affected by traffic-related injuries or deaths. A Vision Zero initiative identifies these vulnerable communities up front and engages with them from the beginning to ensure that they are an important part of the decision-making process at the most impactful stages.
A final example that helps explain Vision Zero’s unorthodox approach focuses on vehicle sizes. Typically, City departments, such as the Environmental Services and Fire Departments will purchase large vehicles based solely on utilitarian need. Under the principles of Vision Zero, department directors are challenged to think about how these vehicles impact cities’ abilities to make street safety improvements, such as narrowing a travel lane to discourage speeding or install a bicycle lane. As a result of this shift in thinking, these departments find ways to incorporate smaller vehicles that help achieve their same utilitarian goals while also achieving the larger Vision Zero goal.
VISION ZERO IS UNORTHODOX, AND THAT'S GOOD
Successful implementation of a Vision Zero campaign requires coordinated cooperation between various City departments and community organizations.
To facilitate this coordination, Hoboken has assembled a Vision Zero Task Force representing stakeholder groups across City departments and community groups. The Task Force will unify the relevant operations of all City departments and bring to the table members of community groups that engage with Hoboken’s most vulnerable roadway users and residents interested in safe streets.
The Vision Zero Task Force will:
Spearhead the development of the Vision Zero Action Plan
Ensure transparency by maintaining this website
Develop mechanisms for coordinating City operations and leveraging the outreach strengths of community groups to address the contributing factors of crashes and address the safety concerns of everyone who uses the City’s transportation network
Produce annual progress reports that will be shared with the public
Who is serving on the Vision Zero Task Force?
While Hoboken is consistently rated as one of the nation’s most walkable and bicycle friendly cities in the United States, preventable injuries and deaths from crashes still happen in our community.
During the five-year period from 2014-2018, there were 376 traffic-related injuries and 3 fatalities suffered on Hoboken’s streets. The impacts of these crashes weren’t felt evenly across all modes, however:
of all crashes resulted in an injury
of all bicycle-involved crashes resulted in an injury
of all pedestrian-involved crashes resulted in an injury
All three deaths were pedestrians
Click here for a summary report of the 2014-2018 crash analysis.
VISION ZERO ACTION PLAN
The Action Plan is currently under development.
The public will have their first opportunity to provide feedback and guidance on the creation of the action items and strategies in May 2020.
Hoboken’s Vision Zero Action Plan will serve as a roadmap to achieving the goal of zero traffic-related injuries and deaths in Hoboken by 2030. It will layout action items and strategies for each department to operationalize the five principles of Vision Zero. The Department of Transportation and Parking will lead the creation of the Action Plan, but the community’s input will factor heavily into the creation of the action items and strategies.
HOBOKEN'S HIGH INJURY NETWORK
The High Injury Network map is currently under development.
Using crash data from 2014-2018, the City has identified the corridors where the largest share of traffic-related injuries and deaths occurred. Future infrastructure improvements and traffic safety countermeasures will prioritize these areas.
Bike Hoboken is thrilled at the formal adoption of Vision Zero by the City of 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.
Chris Adair, President, Bike Hoboken
Crash Fact Sheet Available
The 2014-2018 crash analysis is the City of Hoboken's baseline crash data. The strategies and action items included in the Action Plan will address common contributing factors for crashes that occurred during this 5-year period. Moving forward, the City will perform an annual review of available crash data to measure progress towards achieving the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic-related injuries and fatalities by 2030. Click here to view a summary of the findings from the 2014-2018 crash analysis.