The city will lower the speed limits on from 30 to 25 miles-per-hour on three busy Brooklyn streets in the coming weeks, the city’s chief transportation guru announced Tuesday.
“Speeding is a leading cause of traffic fatalities. Even under COVID-19, this administration has maintained our commitment to keep our streets safe for the all users, especially the most vulnerable,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement Sept. 1.
The roadways that will see the slower speed limits are:
|4.8 miles||Shore Parkway Service Road||Bay Eighth Street to Plumb Third Street||Sheepshead Bay|
|0.8 miles||Flatbush Avenue||Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard||Prospect Lefferts Gardens|
|0.3 miles||Dahlgren Place||86th to 92nd streets||Bay Ridge|
Transportation officials will reprogram speed cameras along the thoroughfares, which will only issue warnings for the first 60 days after the new speed limit signs are up, according to the DOT.
The three Kings County roadways account for 5.9 miles out of a total 25 miles of streets that the agency plans to slow down across the five boroughs in the coming weeks, which comes as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero program to reduce road deaths.
The slightly slower streets are mostly arterial roadways, funneling heavy traffic through the Big Apple, and many are also heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists — such as the stretch of Flatbush Avenue, which separates Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and got a brand new two-way protected bike lane earlier this summer.
The changes follow a similar adjustment DOT made on Third and Hamilton avenues below the Gowanus Expressway in January, where several pedestrians and cyclists were killed by drivers in 2019.
Trottenberg also announced that the city has installed speed cameras in 750 school zones, the maximum threshold under an expansion program approved by the state legislature in 2019.
The city has set up more than 950 cameras in those zones and aims to activate 2,000 by the end of 2021, which, along with the lower max speeds and increased police enforcement will keep drivers safer, said de Blasio.
“Slower speed limits, speed cameras, and increased enforcement will save lives and keep New York City the safest big city in America for the next generation,” hizzoner said in a statement.
The city unveiled its new slate of slower streets the same day that the mayor’s appointed panel on transportation improvements during the pandemic published a letter calling on City Hall to produce a better plan for combating congestion, pollution, and traffic deaths.
That letter includes recommendations such as 40 miles of additional bus lanes, a network of protected bike lanes, and more high-occupancy vehicle lanes.