This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Covid has been particularly hard on cities: downtown business districts are still struggling due to the shift to remote work; some cities have seen population declines; and crime has spiked virtually everywhere. In addition, the pandemic pushed more people into cars, setting back the safe streets movement. After years of progress, cities like New York City saw big increases in pedestrian deaths. This is a nationwide problem—with one notable exception: Jersey City recently announced that no one died on its city streets in 2022, meeting its Vision Zero plan for the city. The milestone was the result of years of work by the city and its collaborator, Street Plans, a planning firm founded by Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia. Lydon, a DPZ alum and co-author of the 2015 book Tactical Urbanism (currently being updated), began working with Jersey City on a whole raft of initiatives six years ago. I spoke with Lydon last week and asked him, specifically, how the city and he did it.