HOBOKEN — Sammy Hagar could do a remake of his 80s hit "I Can't Drive 55" as Hoboken transitions into a new citywide speed limit.

Even 55 will be too fast with the installation began Wednesday of new signage and pavement markings for the new 20 mph limit.

The new speed limit is part of the city's Vision Zero Action Plan with a goal to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and injuries by 2030.

Signs with radar to flash a driver's speed will be installed at the eight streets that carry traffic into the small Mile Square City. Hudson County will restripe sections of Willow Avenue.

The speed limit will not officially take effect until the installation is complete on both city and county streets. And once complete, enforcement will be educational-only at first, according to Public Safety Director Kenneth Ferrante, the former police chief.

"An enforcement campaign will then be introduced on the north and south ends of our city, where the Hoboken Police Department and Hudson County Sheriff’s Depart will collaborate to ensure that drivers are operating at safe speeds," Ferrante said.

20 mph pavement markings in Hoboken
20 mph pavement markings in Hoboken (City of Hoboken

Educational enforcement

The ordinance adopted unanimously by the City Council in July does not include specific fines for violations of the speed limit once the educational period is over. Violators could get two points for violations of up to 14 mph over the speed limit and 4 points up to 29 mph.

Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla pushed for the new speed limit and started the initiative by creating the Vision Zero Task Force with an executive order in 2019, which the mayor said makes pedestrians, drivers and cyclists safer.

“Even though it might take an extra minute or two to travel across Hoboken in a vehicle, that extra time could very well end up saving the life of a child or senior citizen," Bhalla said. "As a father of two children who walk our streets every day, the tradeoff is certainly worth it and is the latest effort we’re making to eliminate all traffic-related injuries by 2030. Thank you to the County for partnering with us on this life-saving initiative."

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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