2011-11-25 / Top Stories

More DOT ‘Slow Zones’ On The Way

An example of how DOT will alert drivers about slow zones. An example of how DOT will alert drivers about slow zones. New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca (Bronx) to announce the start of the city’s firstever Neighborhood Slow Zone, in the Claremont neighborhood of the Bronx, reducing the local speed limit from 30 m.p.h. to 20 m.p.h. and adding traffic calming measures to make residential streets even safer and more welcoming for local residents. DOT is also launching a new application process allowing communities to request slow zones in residential areas in all five boroughs at www.nyc.gov/dot. Neighborhood Slow Zones were announced last year as part of the DOT’s landmark Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan to continue to reduce the number and severity of traffic crashes on residential streets following the four safest years in New York City’s history.

The Claremont Slow Zone is marked by the city’s first street-flanking, eyecatching blue “gateway” signs that clearly indicate the entrance of the slow zone, and 28 new signs mark the 20 mph speed limit in and around the zone. The zone itself is self-enforcing, with nine new speed bumps installed in addition to the five already installed on streets within the quarter-squaremile zone, and “20 MPH” is being stenciled in eight-foot-high letters at 45 other locations in the zone. The Commissioner was joined by Borough President Diaz, Council Member Vacca and local leaders at the intersection of 167 Street, Vyse Avenue and West Farms Road, one of the 14 gateway entrances to the slow zone. “Local neighborhood streets are not highways, they are not shortcuts, they are where New Yorkers live,” said Sadik-Khan. “While fatalities and serious injuries are at record low levels in New York City, too many of the remaining crashes are still preventable, and one in four traffic fatalities involved unsafe speed.

A pedestrian struck by a car going 40 mph has a 70 percent chance of dying while a pedestrian struck by a car going 20 mph has a 95 percent chance of surviving. Making neighborhoods safer can be as simple as reducing the speed on our residential streets.”

DOT will continue to create Slow Zones in response to applications from communities, available at www.nyc.- gov/dot. After each round of applications, DOT will select appropriate locations, work with communities to design and install the Slow Zones, and present to local Community Boards for approval. Potential locations for the slow-speed zones are evaluated by severity of crashes per mile and criteria such as the number of schools, senior and day care centers, as well as consideration of truck and bus routes and roadway types.

In the last four years, DOT has enhanced street safety engineering in all five boroughs, including through the Safe Streets for Seniors and Safe Routes to Schools programs.

Safety improvements continue be installed throughout the city, including the addition of pedestrian countdown signals at more than half of the 1,500 locations in all five boroughs announced last year and installing more than 1,500 speed bumps citywide. For more information, including the criteria for establishing a neighborhood slow zone, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.

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