Lower speed limits take effect on Third and Hamilton aves

hamilton ave
A DOT worker peels away the old 30-miles-per-hour speed limit to reveal the new 25-miles-per-hour designation on Hamilton Avenue between Second Avenue and Hamilton Place on Jan. 21.
Courtesy of NYC DOT

Slow down, Brooklyn!

Lower speed limits on two of Brooklyn’s most dangerous streets kicked in Tuesday, with the maximum legal speed dropping from 30 to 25 miles-per-hour along Third and Hamilton avenues, officials said. 

The Department of Transportation announced on Twitter that it instituted the new limits along a 2.3 mile stretch of Third Avenue, between Prospect Avenue and 62nd Street, where cars fatally struck six people in 2019, compared with two people throughout all of 2018.

The agency also made the change to a 1.9 mile span of Hamilton Avenue, between Luquer and 18th streets, and the tweaks will calm the roads connecting several neighborhoods, the department’s chief said last month.

“We believe that lowering the speed limit along Third and Hamilton avenues, coupled with strong enforcement, will help calm traffic in the burgeoning neighborhoods of Gowanus, Red Hook, and Sunset Park,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the changes in December, adding that the city will also increase police enforcement along the corridors.

The transportation department also plans to add speed cameras at 60 school zones every month this year as a result of a state law that took effect in July allowing for up to 750 school zones to be monitored for speeding.

This past year was particularly deadly for Brooklyn cyclists and pedestrians, with traffic fatalities increasing for the first time since de Blasio launched his Vision Zero initiative in 2014.

The city lowered the speed limit to 25 miles-per-hour on Third Avenue, where six people were killed by drivers in 2019, including cyclist Em Samolewicz in July.Photo by Caroline Ourso

Motorists fatally struck 29 cyclists citywide in 2019, including 18 in Brooklyn — compared with 10 citywide, and two in Brooklyn, throughout 2018.

Some 117 pedestrians died in traffic during that time, compared with 115 the year before, while motorcyclist deaths dropped from 40 last year to 25 across the five boroughs during that time period.