In an effort to prevent more car crashes, the de Blasio Administration will reduce the speed limit along 45 miles of streets at 11 locations in the four outer boroughs. Officials identified the roadways for having some of the highest rates of crashes in the city.
The new speed limits will go into effect in the coming weeks, and the NYPD will allow a 60-day grace period before ticketing will begin.
“Telling drivers to slow down – and working closely with the NYPD to hold dangerous drivers accountable – will save lives and make our city safer,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
The speed limit reduction is part of the mayor’s Vision Zero program, which aims to eliminate all traffic deaths in the city by 2024. It comes at a time when the number of traffic deaths is up so far this year: 43 pedestrians have died between January and April, compared to 26 during the same period last year, according to Transportation Alternatives.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman said speed is the leading cause of traffic fatalities, “and we also know that less driving during COVID-19 led to an increase in speeding,” he said in a statement.
Gutman added that a third of fatal traffic crashes occured in places where there already were traffic speed cameras, but during the hours the cameras were not in operation. The city is trying to get the state to turn the cameras on 24-hours a day.
One roadway where the speed limit will drop is Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island. Stretches that are currently posted for 35 and 40 miles per hour will drop to 30 mph. City Councilman Joe Borelli, who represents the area, said he and his constituents oppose the move.
“It’s absurd to talk about pedestrian safety when the city hasn’t even put sidewalks in on their own property along portions of Hylan Boulevard,” he said. “But it’s easier to frustrate drivers and bang them out with speed camera tickets than it is to solve pedestrian safety issues.”
Today @nycmayor announced that speed limits will be reduced on 45 miles of major streets with some the highest rates of crashes across Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The announcement kicks off Streets Week!, a weeklong blitz of transportation announcements. pic.twitter.com/3dXAK4EiPf
— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) May 10, 2021
Due to state restrictions, the lowest speed limit in New York City is 25 miles per hour, except for school zones, where it can be 15. State Senator Brad Hoylman has a bill pending in Albany that would give the city the ability to reduce these limits without state approval.
In addition to reducing speed limits, street safety advocates have also called on the de Blasio administration to prevent traffic deaths by creating more car-free zones and safer bike lanes.
The city council recently passed a bill to allocate $4 million to expand the Open Streets program to poorer neighborhoods that have been left out of the Open Streets program.
Here’s the full list of locations where the speed limit will be reduced:
- Pelham Parkway from White Plains Road to Stillwell Avenue, 1.6 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
- Throggs Neck Expressway Service Road N/S from Longstreet Avenue to Sampson Avenue/Ellsworth Avenue, 1.5 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
- Jerome Avenue from Bainbridge Avenue to East 233rd Street, 0.6 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
- Woodhaven Boulevard from Queens Boulevard to Rockaway Boulevard, 4.3 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
- Cross Bay Boulevard from Rockaway Boulevard to the Cross Bay North Boulevard Bridge, 2.5 miles (30/40 MPH to 25/35 MPH)
- Van Wyck Service Road E/W from 135th Avenue to Queens Boulevard, 3.1 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
- Astoria Boulevard from 111th Street to 8th Street, 3.9 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
- South Conduit Avenue from Sutter Ave to Sunrise Highway, 5.3 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)
- North Conduit Avenue from Sutter Ave to Sunrise Highway, 6.6 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)
- Conduit Boulevard from Atlantic Avenue to Sutter Ave, 1.9 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)
- Hylan Boulevard from Bay Street to Massachusetts Street, 13.5 miles (30/35/40 MPH to 30 MPH)
New speed limits will go into effect as speed-limit signage is posted over the coming weeks. Speed cameras located along any of these streets will be reprogrammed and drivers will be given a 60-day adjustment period after new signage is posted.