As pedestrian deaths spike in N.J., safety experts urge Murphy to try NYC program
NYC has adopted Vision Zero, started in Sweden, and now a global tool kit. NJ’s program “Toward Zero Deaths” has not been effective, although it implements some of the strategies of VZ.
NJBWC executive director, Cyndi Steiner: “Shooting for just a reduction in traffic deaths continues the current thinking that there is a certain number of traffic deaths that is an acceptable number,” she said. “To us, the only acceptable number is zero.”“
“Some pedestrian advocates said Vision Zero is a better alternative. Toward Zero Deaths has a goal to reduce deaths by 2.5 percent, which by 2030, is only a 30 percent drop in traffic fatalities, said Cyndi Steiner, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition executive director.
“That is a far cry from NYC’s goal of zero deaths by 2024 and Philadelphia’s goal of zero deaths by 2030,” she said. “New Jersey needs a Vision Zero policy because the state continues to rank at the top or near the top in the nation in the percentage of road deaths that occur to pedestrians and bike riders.”
In 2016, New Jersey had the 15th highest pedestrian fatality rate in the nation, according to Governor’s Highway Safety Association analysis.
Increasing traffic deaths over the past three years indicate existing state programs haven’t been effective, Steiner said.”