NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Speed limits are being reduced by five miles per hour on nine of the most dangerous streets across New York City, officials announced Tuesday, as part of the city's ongoing Vision Zero efforts to reduce pedestrian deaths.
The reason, officials say, is a spike in the number of fatalities involving cars and motorcycles, already more than all of last year.
"New York City's children deserve safe, livable communities, and Vision Zero's groundbreaking work will protect them in their streets," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Slower speed limits, speed cameras, and increased enforcement will save lives and keep New York City the safest big city in America for the next generation."
Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Torttenberg says it appears drivers have gotten used to driving faster on open roads during the coronavirus pandemic, when traffic has been reduced due to the lockdown.
"We know the reasons," she said. "It's not complicated. We see it in the crash reports. It's speeding."
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The following areas will have speed limits reduced from 30 mph to 25:
--Riverside Drive in Manhattan, from 165th Street to 181st Street
--Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard
--Northern Boulevard in Queens, from 114th Street to Glenwood Street
--Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx, from East 135th Street to Pelham Bay Park
--Shore Parkway Service Road in Brooklyn, from Bay 8th Street to Plumb 3rd Street
--Dahlgren Place in Brooklyn, from 86th Street to 92nd Street
--Webster Avenue in the Bronx, from East 233 Street to East Gun Hill Road
--Targee Street in Staten Island, from West Fingerboard Road to Broad Street
The speed limit on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens from 150th Avenue to 3rd Street will also drop 5 mph, from 40 to 35.
All of the speed limits will go into effect as DOT posts new speed-limit signage over the next four to six weeks. Speed cameras located along any of these streets will be reprogrammed and will only issue warnings for the first 60 days after new signage is posted.
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The number of speed camera violations has doubled to over 20,000 a month, and the city is moving forward with its camera program.
The number of cameras is up to 950, including in every school zone.
In the last year, DOT has lowered the speed limit along Manhattan's West Street as well as along 3rd Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, two major streets under Brooklyn's Gowanus Expressway. The nine newly targeted streets, more than 25 miles citywide, are largely arterial roadways that are also heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists.
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