Today, the city announced that 13 new neighborhoods would have their speed limits of 30 MPH reduced to 20 MPH, in an attempt to improve traffic safety. Mayor Bloomberg said, "We are continuing our assault on the number one traffic killer: speeding. We’ve seen success already where we have installed Slow Zones and we expect safety will improve as speeding is reduced in these communities."
City officials say the program, which was launched last year, has "helped bring traffic fatalities to the lowest levels in recorded history in 2011 and made the last four years the safest period in city history." At a press conference in Corona, Queens, City Councilman James Vacca emphasized, "Our streets are not for drag racing." And State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who is co-sponsoring a bill to bring speed cameras to NYC, said, "Speeding is the number one cause of car crashes and is a detriment to the well being of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers alike."
The new neighborhoods are, at this point, Mt. Eden, Baychester, Eastchester and Riverdale in the Bronx; Boerum Hill in Brooklyn; Inwood in Northern Manhattan; Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights/East Elmhurst and Auburndale in Queens; and New Brighton/St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank on Staten Island. And what goes into a Slow Zone? Painted warnings, gateways notifying drivers about the lower speed limit and speed bumps.
Any neighborhood can apply, but the DOT says, "Criteria considered in evaluating the Slow Zone applications included crash rates, community support, number of local schools, senior centers, daycare centers, subway stations and distinct boundaries. Areas that included fire stations, hospitals, truck routes were avoided and the amount of bus routes were kept to a minimum inside the proposed zone."