New Legislation Could Drop Area Speed Limits To 20 MPH

The City Council is currently considering legislation that would lower the speed limit to 20 miles per hour on “all streets fewer than sixty feet wide in areas zoned for residential purposes” in New York City, and two weeks ago, the family of Sammy Cohen-Eckstein gave an emotional testimony at a Council hearing after the boy had been struck and killed by a van on Prospect Park West. But to change the speed limit to 20 miles per hour, as the bill calls for, would require the approval of the state legislature.

However, WNYC points to a loophole that allows the NYC DOT to create 15-24 mph limits within a quarter mile of a school — and so they mapped those areas:

Here’s the upshot: 55 percent of all New York City streets are within a quarter mile of a school. In Manhattan, that number climbs to 75 percent. Seventy-one percent of Brooklyn’s streets are in a school zone. In the Bronx, it’s 64 percent; in Queens, 48 percent; and in Staten Island, 28 percent of all streets are in a school zone.

Almost all of South Slope and Greenwood Heights would be under this blanket of 20 miles per hour zones, with the exception of an area of 6th Avenue, between 13th and 15th Streets, and then on 4th and 5th Avenue, between 23rd and 25th Street.

Some members of City Council are hoping to bring the bill for a vote as soon as possible, but even if new, slower speed limits were in place tomorrow, a lot would, as now, rely on enforcement. And since our 78th Precinct issued zero speeding tickets in September (and they’re recommending pedestrians just be more careful out there!), do you think new limits could help?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Image via WNYC

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