Hudson County Seeks Grant to Improve Road Safety

Photo Credit:                                                                                                                                                                                                              HUDSON COUNTY SEEKS GRANT TO DEVELOP “VISION ZERO-STYLE” IMPROVEMENTS ON COUNTY THOROUGHFARES 

A UDOT’s “Safe Streets and Roads for All” Discretionary Grant could provide significant dollars (up to $1 million) for the planning and development of new traffic calming and road sharing initiatives throughout Hudson County

Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise cheered the approval of a Board of Commissioners resolution on Thursday authorizing the county to seek and employ a planning grant under the United States Department of Transportation’s “Safe Streets and Roads for All” program to increase road safety throughout the nation. The “Safe Streets and Roads for All” program is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that provides up to $5 billion over the next five years to fund the planning and implementation to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries nationwide.

Local government units will be awarded grants between $200,000 and $1 million to plan, develop and implement strategies to meet the program goals. First among them? Local government units are charged with developing a “Comprehensive Safety Action Plan” under the grant rules.

“I am pleased the Board of Commissioners green-lighted this effort to help us fund a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan and all the positive changes that we can put into place from it,” said County Executive DeGise. “I want to thank Tom Malavasi and his staff in the Division of Engineering, for getting the ball rolling on this important initiative.”

“This will only enhance the safety of all individuals whether they walk, bike or drive here in Hudson County, said Commissioner Bill O’Dea (District 2). “Win or lose (the grants are competitive) we are better off. Just developing a grant proposal moves us toward a Comprehensive Safety Action Plan acceptable to all stakeholders in a process sure to be supported by regional partners like the NJTPA. (North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority)”

“It’s another step for all us, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to interact more safely on our county roads, said Board Vice Chair Anthony L. Romano Jr., (District 5). “I’m very hopeful we can win this grant and move forward on this—my constituents in both Hoboken and Jersey City have expressed strong support for greater traffic calming measures that this grant will help us create.”

“Developing this proposal—and ensuring that it would receive full Board support required leadership,” said the County Executive’s Chief of Staff, Craig Guy, who worked with Board members and administration staff to move the process forward. “I’m thankful for Chairman (Anthony) Vainieri’s leadership on this and for the support of the Board of Commissioners, who urged us to take this opportunity to move Hudson County forward significantly when it comes to road safety.”

The resolution was approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Commissioners Thursday evening. If Hudson wins a grant, funding for the federal government’s FY2022 cycle will commence in two years, but localities can move ahead knowing they have the grant approval in hand to pay for costs associated with their winning proposal.