A handful of neighborhoods were turned into Slow Zones over the weekend—not by the city, but by advocacy group Right of Way. Signs that read "20 Is Plenty" were hung in 10 locations around Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, with the twin purpose of encouraging drivers to slow down, and to prod the DOT to become more proactive when it comes to implementing traffic calming measures along high-paced corridors.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for the expansion of Slow Zones, a process in which neighborhoods are outfitted with speed humps, narrower roads, daylighting (the removal of a parking space near an intersection to increase visibility) and 20 mph speed limits. But these measures are only implemented with city approval—a process that can take many months to come to fruition. In the meantime, Right of Way organizers argue, people are dying.

“If you look at this recent slew of tragic deaths, they all occurred in neighborhoods that had applied for slow zones—Noshat Nahian in Jackson Heights, Coopers Stock on the Upper West Side, Lucian Merryweather in Fort Greene, Sammy Cohen Eckstein in Park Slope, and so many more," said Keegan Stephan, an organizer with Right of Way. "These communities knew their streets were dangerous and asked the city to fix them, but were told no or not yet by the last administration.”

Stephan also called for the revocation of Community Boards' veto power when it comes to Slow Zones, in light of Bed-Stuy recently voting down the initiative. "This policy is not required and is nonsensical for a public safety initiative. If the water supply were poisoned and killing 250 people a year, would we ask for community board approval to fix it? No," he said.

The important thing is to create a bulwark against the accidents and missteps that occur on the part of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians every day, said Liz Patek, another Right of Way organizer.

"Human error will occur, but streets designed according to the principles of Sustainable Safety eliminate or greatly reduce the consequences of human error," she said. "The cost of redesigning our streets is far outweighed by the cost of losing even one life.”