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Staff and Volunteers Building a Demonstration Project in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

Vision Zero Demonstration Projects Do’s and Dont’s

by Jim Wood

This article describes Vision Zero demonstration projects for Boca Raton. These demonstration projects are quick
build, temporary roadway projects that test safety features and get resident buy-in. Jersey City, New Jersey, has successfully implemented demonstration projects and the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has recently begun
awarding grants to cities for implementing demonstration projects.

In addition to describing the Jersey City demonstration project process and the USDOT demonstration project grant
program we include a description of an award-winning demonstration project in Deerfield Beach, Florida.

December 2021 Volunteers Building a Demonstration Project in Deerfield Beach, Florida
December 2021 Volunteers Building a Demonstration Project in Deerfield Beach, Florida


BocaFirst has published a number of studies regarding Vision Zero and Jersey City.

Demonstration Projects

Here is a summary of the benefits of Jersey City’s demonstration projects. “People are creatures of habit, and change can be disorienting. This applies just as much to transportation planning as it does to all of us in our everyday lives. Temporary demonstration projects are a community’s opportunity to “try before you buy”. They are the low risk, low cost, short term end of the pop up to permanent spectrum. Concerns, resistance, and inertia can be mitigated by neutrally testing an idea or design to see what works or tweaking what doesn’t.” Sessions| 2022 New Jersey Planning and Redevelopment Conference – June 14, 2022 (pheedloop.com) According to the previously referenced annual report, Jersey City has implemented over 150 projects using quick build materials.

How Jersey City Implements Demonstration Projects

These are the steps Jersey City takes to implement demonstration projects.

  • City or residents select projects
  • Make pre-project measurements
  • Design changes
  • Meet with affected residents to explain project details
  • Implement project using quick build materials
  • Make post-project measurements
  • Remove in 1-2 weeks
  • Survey residents
  • Decide on permanent installation

US Department of Transportation (USDOT)

In December, 2023 the USDOT awarded the first demonstration grants under its version of Vision Zero named Safe Streets for All (SS4A). These grants are for activities that inform the development of cities’ Vision Zero safety action plans. Some of the activities eligible for demonstration grants include:

  • Feasibility studies (similar to Jersey City’s demonstration projects)
  • MUTCD engineering studies
  • Behavioral or operational activity pilot programs
  • New technology pilot programs

See “#3: Eligible Demonstration Activities” in this document for more details. Planning and Demonstration Activities – SS4A | US Department of Transportation

Deerfield Beach

Deerfield and the Broward County MPO implemented their demonstration project on NE 3rd Avenue in December, 2021. The above pic shows staff and volunteers working on the project and the drone feature pic to this article shows the completed project. The project received numerous awards, including a Complete Streets Community Award and Smart Growth Excellence Award. The success of this project motivated the city, in 2024, to apply for a grant to make the changes permanent.

An issue with this demonstration project is the amount of time that has elapsed between completion of the project and the permanent replacement. Demonstration projects use quick build materials which are lower quality than permanent materials. Therefore, if they are not maintained or quickly replaced, they rapidly deteriorate.

May 2024 Current State of Demonstration Project in Deerfield Beach, Florida

A lesson learned is that budgeting for demonstration projects should include money for next steps after the demonstration project is complete. If the project is a failure the project should be rapidly fixed or removed. If the project is a success funds should be allocated to maintaining the demonstration project as well as implementing the permanent replacement project.


This article provides information on Vision Zero demonstration projects for Boca Raton. Included is information from Jersey City, USDOT and Deerfield Beach. This information will be useful as Boca develops a Vision Zero safety action plan.

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