New York City reducing speed limits on 45 miles of major streets

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday 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.

City officials say the NYPD will conduct a weeklong pedestrian and cyclist safety enforcement blitz, across all 77 patrol precincts, to crack down on drivers who speed and fail to yield.

The announcements kick off Streets Week!, a suite of transportation, traffic safety, and open space policy announcements to double down on the transformative Vision Zero initiative.

"Vision Zero has revolutionized traffic safety action in New York City and beyond, but its work isn't finished until every New Yorker is safe on the streets," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Telling drivers to slow down - and working closely with the NYPD to hold dangerous drivers accountable - will save lives and make our city safer. New York City will do its part. Now, it's time for Albany to pass the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act and join us in acting boldly to protect pedestrians and cyclists."

Last week, de Blasio called on the State Legislature to pass the Crash Victim Rights and Safety Act, a series of bills designed to take aggressive action against dangerous driving and support the families of crash victims.

The act includes a bill of rights for traffic crash victims, lowing the blood alcohol concentration limit, DMV pre-licensing courses, and 24/7 operation of speed cameras, among many other life-saving safety initiatives.

Lower Speed Limits on High-Crash Corridors:
Last year, DOT lowered speed limits by 5 MPH on eleven corridors citywide, totaling about 25 miles. The newly targeted corridors this year in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island represent 45 miles of streets.

Street locations, mileage, and speed limit changes are as follows:

Bronx:
- 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)

Queens:
- 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)

Brooklyn:
- Conduit Boulevard from Atlantic Avenue to Sutter Ave, 1.9 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)

Staten Island:
- 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.

NYPD Enforcement
The NYPD is placing significant emphasis on a multifaceted pedestrian and cyclist safety operation during the week of May 10th through May 16th. This effort is anchored by increased focus on combating motorists who speed and fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. It is a comprehensive, citywide operation, to be carried out in all 77 patrol precincts. The effort will incorporate all the Transportation Bureau's units and deploy additional Patrol Services.

Each Precinct will assign their traffic safety team to participate in these stepped-up efforts to combat traffic injuries. Officers will concentrate their enforcement on drivers who speed and drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Enforcement will be focused at specific intersections and the corresponding corridors where the data shows a high frequency of pedestrian and cyclist injuries as a result of being struck by a vehicle.

NYPD Highway Patrol will focus enforcement efforts on high-crash highways to catch speeding before dangerous drivers come into close proximity with the cyclists and pedestrians.

The Traffic Enforcement District will focus its high-volume enforcement on vehicles that are obstructing bike lanes while parked, and it has specifically dedicated enforcement resources in each borough to keep bike lanes clear for cyclists. Vehicles that are summonsed for obstructing a bike lane are eligible to be towed to the NYPD's violation tow pound.

Speed Cameras
In December 2020, the Mayor proposed expanding the State law that governs the hours during which speed cameras are operational. Under the current law passed in 2019, cameras are limited to operate only during the hours of 6 am to 10 pm on weekdays. The proposal would make cameras operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An analysis of 2020 fatal crashes shows that 36% of all traffic deaths this year that were not on highways occurred within school speed zones where permanent cameras are located, but happened during hours - on nights and during weekends - when the automated enforcement cameras were not legally allowed to issue summonses.

For the first time, the Department of Transportation also released a Citywide map (above) showing the locations of the 750 school zones with fixed automatic speed cameras - the largest speed camera program in the world. Over 1,300 speed cameras are now active citywide; DOT plans to have 2,000 active cameras by the end of 2021. According to DOT's latest speed camera report:

Speeding has been reduced on average by over 70% at locations where speed cameras are installed.

Injuries are down 17% at these same locations.

Two-thirds of vehicle owners who received a notice of liability in 2019 did not receive another within the calendar year.

A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle traveling at 30 MPH is twice as likely to be killed as a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 MPH.

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