2011-10-07 / Top Stories

DOT Extends 'Speed Board' Program

Motorists see the default display, left, and if you go over 30 m.p.h., right. Motorists see the default display, left, and if you go over 30 m.p.h., right. New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan has announced the relocation of speed boards to new sites citywide, extending the reach of a vital safety message that calls dramatic attention to the city’s 30 mph speed limit and the fatal consequences of speeding.

DOT introduced speed boards this spring as part of its “That’s Why It’s 30” antispeeding campaign, temporarily installing them along corridors with histories of excessive speeding. In addition to traditional speed boards that display oncoming vehicles’ speeds, DOT unveiled specialized ones that display an LED image of a skeleton next to the words “Slow Down” if a passing motorist exceeds the speed limit. Skeleton speed boards currently are stationed at Beverly Road between East 28 and East 29 Streets and Dahill Road between 52 and 53 Streets in Brooklyn; Hillside Avenue between 248 and 249 Streets and Utopia Parkway between 67 and Peck Avenues in Queens; and Hylan Boulevard between Buffalo Street and Chesterton Avenue in Staten Island. Traditional speed boards are now located at Linden Boulevard between Warwick and Jerome Streets in Brooklyn; Targee Street between Venice Street and Clove Road and Mosel Avenue between Osgood Avenue and Manton Place in Staten Island; Webster Avenue between 194 Street and Bedford Park Boulevard and Hutchinson River Parkway East between Wilkinson and St. Paul Avenues in the Bronx; and Fifth Avenue between 132nd and 135th Streets in Manhattan.

“Speed limits create safer streets by reducing deadly driving,” said Sadik-Khan. “Over half of New Yorkers don’t know the city’s speed limit and these speed boards are an instant reminder to slow down and save lives.”

DOT selects locations for speed boards based on speed-observation studies. A summary of the current locations shows high amounts of drivers exceeding the speed limits, ranging from 45 percent of drivers at Hutchinson River Parkway East to 82 percent on Hillside Avenue to 89 percent on Fifth Avenue to 96 percent on Dahill Road to 99 percent on Mosel Avenue.

The speed boards will continue to be rotated to new locations each month to curb excessive speeding. Future locations for speed boards include Utica Avenue between Avenue L and Avenue M, 21 Avenue between 53 and 57 Streets, and Shore Parkway at Knapp Street in Brooklyn; Richmond Avenue between Arthur Kill Road and Victory Boulevard in Staten Island; 172 Street between 107 and Liberty Avenues and North Conduit Avenue between Sutter Avenue and 76 Street in Queens; Bruckner Boulevard between Longwood Avenue and East 156 Street and Lafayette Avenue between East Tremont and Balcom Avenues in the Bronx, and Broadway between Dongan Place and Arden Street in Manhattan. The use of speed boards builds on a growing portfolio of safety tools designed to educate New Yorkers about the safety benefits of the city’s 30 mph speed limit. In DOT’s “Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan,” focus groups showed that more than two-thirds of New Yorkers did not know the 30 mph speed limit in the city. DOT’s “That’s Why It’s 30” advertising campaign was developed to build awareness and change behavior by focusing on a key statistic that highlights the danger of speeding: If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 mph or faster, there’s a 70 percent chance that the pedestrian will be killed; at 30 mph, there’s an 80 percent chance that the pedestrian will live.

For more information about DOT’s efforts to curb speeding and enhance safety for all street users, go to nyc.gov/dot.

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