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Re: Put brakes on rushed calls for speed cameras in Jersey City | Opinion
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Jersey City officials discuss potentially utilizing speed cameras to help reduce hit-and-runs

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

“We’re calling on you to develop a speed camera pilot program in Jersey City. We want to ensure it is fully government-controlled. No private contractors,” Colin DeVries, a board member of Safe Streets Jersey City, said at the City Council Caucus Chambers yesterday.

He cited a study done in Montgomery County, Maryland that saw speeding drop 19 percent when a camera was installed, also noting that the New York City Department of Transportation controls their own speed cameras.

https://hudsoncountyview.com/jersey-ci ... help-reduce-hit-and-runs/


Posted on: 4/9 1:55
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Put brakes on rushed calls for speed cameras in Jersey City | Opinion
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Put brakes on rushed calls for speed cameras in Jersey City | OpinionBy Kendall MartinThe year 2021 was a bad year for pedestrian casualties in the state of New Jersey, and Jersey City in particular. Statewide, there were over 200 pedestrians killed, 14 of them in Jersey City. This issue cuts very close to home for me since some of those fatalities occurred on Kennedy Boulevard very near where I live. With that in mind, I was very motivated to attend the Dec. 16 meeting on this topic at the Gallo Center, which was set up by county Commissioner Bill O’Dea, city Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, state Sen. Sandra Cunningham, and Colin DeVries.There was a lot of emotional testimony from the audience, which demonstrated the passion this problem engenders in the community. However, what was missing was any hard data or analysis to prove that speed cameras are the only solution and that this is something the majority of the residents of Jersey City want. As a result, there was a lot of pressure directed at our state senator to craft legislation to allow speed cameras in Jersey City.Although the meeting was open to the general public, most of the participants were from neighborhoods bordering Lincoln Park. The composition of the audience wasn’t diverse enough. We need input from all over the City. There is a lot of lobbying being done in favor of this plan, but this is something that should be decided in as wide and open a forum as possible. A follow-up meeting scheduled for Feb. 17 was subsequently postponed, and is now scheduled for next Thursday, April 7, at City Hall.I learned a lot at the December meeting, but I was also left with a lot of questions about the process going forward, in terms of implementing speed cameras in Jersey City. So, I did a little research to better understand what was, and more importantly, was not being proposed or mentioned at the time.First, the installation of these cameras in Jersey City, which is currently illegal, is an ad hoc solution that bypasses the Vision Zero Task Force and Plan. The immediate questions that come to mind are, “Why should we do that?” Second, “Is the Vision Zero Plan a failure?”On Feb. 9, 2018, Mayor Fulop issued an Executive Order implementing the Vision Zero Initiative as part of a plan to eliminate traffic-related deaths by the year 2026. This resulted in the formation of the Vision Zero Task Force, which consists of representatives from 10 city departments, Bike Jersey City, and Safe Streets Jersey City. Their mandate was to meet quarterly, develop the Vision Zero Plan, coordinate with law enforcement on its implementation. In addition, they are supposed to regularly provide crash data and statistics to the public and produce an annual report of what was done along with the progress being made. The 2020 annual report was released last year in April, so we should anticipate the release of a new one next month.A specific part of the Vision Zero mandate from the mayor was for the task force to focus on the issue of equity so that none of the solutions incorporated into the Vision Zero Plan have a greater negative effect on one community in our city than another. Speed cameras would implement a regressive form of taxation that clearly would not be focused on “equity.” The Vision Zero Task Force didn’t include them or even a proposal to change the laws regarding cameras in the Vision Zero Plan when they had the opportunity.There are 70 specific things in the Vision Zero Plan and many have already been implemented. Do we know what impact they’re having? One very important part of the plan is the development of two High Injury Network (HIN) maps, one for the county roads and one for roads maintained exclusively by Jersey City. Everyone was supposed to focus on these areas to dramatically improve safety for pedestrians in them. I have not found any references to a police task force being dedicated to the enforcement of the plan. Does one exist? How many of the fatalities that occurred last year were in the HIN areas? Did speed play a significant factor, or were other factors the real causes? Did the police and county sheriff step up enforcement of speeding and other traffic laws in HIN areas? Was there a significant increase in the number of summonses issued in them? Based on data gathered through the Vision Zero Plan, should the HIN maps be expanded?At the Dec. 16 meeting, the police stated an effort has been made to maintain traffic patrols on parts of Kennedy Boulevard from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. unless higher priority calls pull those resources away. What police action is taking place in the rest of the HIN areas?Is the Vision Zero Initiative, with a target date for its success of 2026, already failing? Should more money and dedicated police resources be budgeted and allocated to ensure its success? Are speed cameras the only solution to keep it from imploding?The next meeting has been set for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at City Hall, 280 Grove St.Given the impact that such a law would have on all Jersey City drivers, what is being done to reach out and notify not just the affluent citizens, but also lower-income and communities of color to solicit their input and opinions?Kendall Martin is a resident of Jersey City.https://www.nj.com/opinion/2022/03/put ... -jersey-city-opinion.html


Posted on: 3/31 1:03
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