Vision Zero Hits the Streets with First 'Arterial Slow Zone'

Delivering the first example of a critical component of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” program, New York will lower the speed limit from 30 to 25 along Atlantic Blvd, which cuts through Brooklyn and Queens.
April 10, 2014, 9am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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“New York City officials announced Wednesday that a 7.6 mile stretch of Atlantic Avenue, from the Brooklyn waterfront to 76th Street in Queens, will be the first of 25 planned ‘arterial slow zones,’” reports Kate Hinds.

“To discourage speeding along these multi-lane, wide roadways, traffic lights will be re-timed, the speed limit will be lowered from 30 to 25 miles per hour, and police will step up enforcement of moving violations.”

Dana Rubinstein, writing for Capital, adds this bit of perspective on why the city is starting with arterials to bring sanity to the streets: “Arterials, with their wide, speed-facilitating proportions, and unwieldy pedestrian crossings, comprise 15 percent of city streets, and account for 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities.” On the street in question, Atlantic Boulevard, 25 people were killed between 2008 and 2012. 

As the arterial slow zones program component of the Vision Zero plan rolls out, Mayor de Blasio hopes about 160 speed cameras will  supplement NYPD’s enforcement of the new speed limits. The city currently has permission to use 20 while permission for the whole number is pending with the state. 

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Published on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in WNYC: Transportation Nation
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