Working Together for Slower and Safer Streets
New York City’s Department of Transportation has launched an initiative to implement neighborhood slow zones, a community-based program that reduces the speed limit to 20 mph (down from 30 mph, the citywide speed limit) within a select area and adds other measures to change driver behavior and help improve safety, in neighborhoods that apply for the program. The ultimate goal of the program is to lower the incidence and severity of crashes. Slow Zones also seek to enhance quality of life by reducing cut-through traffic and traffic noise in residential neighborhoods.
The Civic Council organized a community-wide meeting on Jan. 21, 2012, to review the pros and cons of the initiative; some 75 people joined us to learn more about the program and consider whether (or how) it would work in Park Slope. Another spirited discussion on the issue took place at our Feb. 2 Trustees Meeting, after which the Civic Council’s trustees voted in favor of an application for slow zones that would encompass Park Slope.
The application is just an early step in what is likely to be a lengthy process. First of all, DOT will not implement all applications that are received; available funds will cover only a limited number of zones citywide. For those applications DOT decides to pursue further, there will be an extensive process of community engagement that applicants and their supporters will be expected to assist with – helping to publicize community meetings, among other things. And no slow zone will be implemented without the approval of the local community board.
You can keep abreast of the progress of this initiative in Park Slope and neighboring communities on our website and in Civic News.
- The joint application for a Park Slope slow zone, from the Park Slope Civic Council and Park Slope Neighbors
- Slow Zones presentation by the Civic Council and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council
- NYCDOT Neighborhood Slow Zones Pilot Study
- The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan
- The NYC Street Design Manual
- Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Primer
Important external links:
- About neighborhood slow zones, from the New York City Department of Transportation
- Film of Senator Adams, Rod King, and others discussing “20 Is Plenty” (from Streetsblog)
- 20’s Plenty for Us, United Kingdom
- Hoboken Tells Drivers: “Twenty is Plenty”
- Neighborhood Slow Zone Opens in Claremont, Perhaps the First of Many (from Streetsblog)
- “AA [Automobile Association] supports 20mph limit in boost for cycle safety,” The Times (UK), Feb. 6
- E-mail us at email@example.com.