Before he was Hoboken, New Jersey’s mayor, Ravi Bhalla was a resident trying to cross the city’s main corridor safely with two young kids. It was harder than it had to be. The stakes rose in 2015, when Bhalla – then a city council member – attended the funeral of an 89-year-old woman who was killed crossing the same street. Bhalla was elected mayor in 2017 and when he took office, making Hoboken roads safer was an early priority. In 2019 he signed onto Vision Zero, a campaign to end traffic deaths entirely; Hoboken took the vision even further, with goals to eliminate fatalities and injuries, all by 2030. In 2021, the city welcomed City Bike, which as of this summer recorded more than 850,000 trips. In 2022, he lowered the citywide speed limit to 20 miles per hour (32 km/hour). Crosswalks have been painted and repaved to increase their visibility, and more than 40 curb extensions have been installed to nudge cars farther from intersections. Today, nearly half of the city’s roads have bike lanes. While pedestrian deaths in the US reached 40-year highs. Hoboken hasn’t reported a single traffic death since January 2017.

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