City to lower McGuinness speed limit to 25

What a drag: Majority of McGuinness drivers break traffic laws
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

A mile-long stretch of McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint will get the car-pinching treatment from the city, pols announced on Tuesday.

The city will lower the speed limit on the fast-moving thoroughfare that leads up to the Pulaski Bridge to 25 miles per hour and rejigger its traffic signals in an effort to avoid more deaths like the four the road has seen since 2008. A local activist hailed the move.

“I think it will help prevent deaths and any steps we can take to slow traffic is progress,” said John Beadle, a member of the Kings County Democratic Committee.

Boulevard of death: Police lay a white sheet over the body of 30-year-old Nicole Detweiler, who was killed while crossing McGuinness Boulevard in December 2013.
John Beadle

The official Slow Zone will start at Freeman Street at the base of the Pulaski Bridge and extend all the way to Bayard Street, just short of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The city will also reset the timing of all of the stoplights along that stretch of road to force drivers to get into lower gears.

Politicians made the announcement at the intersection of McGuinness and Nassau Avenue, where a woman was killed by a motorist in December as she tried to cross the fast-paced road. Two other pedestrians and a cyclist have also been killed on that stretch of pavement during the past six years.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol said that Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic deaths to zilch during the next decade is music to his ears after years of calling to squeeze drivers to no avail.

Slow-set boulevard: The speed limit on McGuinness Boulevard will soon be slowed to 25 miles per hour from Freeman Street to Bayard Street.
Photo by Steven Schnibbe

“I have been advocating for traffic calming measures along McGuinness Boulevard for quite some time now, with little success,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint). “This is the first indication that Vision Zero is making its way into Greenpoint. I applaud DOT Commissioner [Polly] Trottenberg and Mayor DeBlasio’s approach to improving the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists through Vision Zero and I hope that this is only the beginning.”

The street is the second in Brooklyn tapped for a major slowdown in the past two weeks after Atlantic Avenue, which is being designated a 25-miles-per-hour road along its entire eight miles in the borough.

The city will begin installing new signs on May 12 and has vowed to finish by the end of May.

On the road to safety: State Sen. Daniel Squadron, center announces the new McGuinness Boulevard Slow Zone flanked by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, left, city transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg, third from right, NYPD Chief Thomas Chan, second from right, and state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, right.
Photo by Steven Schnibbe

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.