Between the speeding trucks and the crater-like potholes, McGuinness Boulevard is a transit menace. But Vision Zero is coming for the notoriously lethal road, which stretches from the Pulaski Bridge through Greenpoint before terminating at the BQE. The DOT announced yesterday that McGuinness will become the city's third "Arterial Slow Zone," reducing its speed limit from 30 to 25 mph, retiming traffic lights and increasing NYPD enforcement.
“Vision Zero is creating safer streets along the entire length of McGuinness Boulevard,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. “Safety has been a long-standing community concern and the Arterial Slow Zone will help reduce dangerous driving, injuries and deaths."
McGuinness Boulevard has been the site of several traffic deaths over the past five years, with three pedestrian fatalities and one cyclist fatality occurring between 2008 and 2013.
In 2009, Solange Raulston was struck and killed by a flatbed truck near Nassau Avenue as she pedaled her bike toward her job at a florist. Advocacy groups called for safety measures at the time, though few improvements were ultimately made. The intersection, which has been called one of the deadliest in Brooklyn, has seen numerous pedestrian deaths and dozens of crashes in the past several years.
A study by Transportation Alternatives found that 66 percent of drivers speed on the road, a statistic that raises some concerns about the effectiveness of a reduced speed limit. With an already overextended police department, it remains to be seen whether creating a slow zone will actually impact driver behavior.
The new signs will be installed on May 12, with the rest of the measures implemented by the end of May. Public forums on how best to create safer streets around the city begin tomorrow.