The New York City Department of Transportation on Friday announced 14 new “arterial slow zones,” major corridors that will see speed limits slashed by five miles per hour as part of the Vision Zero initiative. Coney Island Avenue and Flatbush Avenue are both on the list, with implementation to begin this fall.
The first slow zones were implemented yesterday on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx and 7th Avenue in Manhattan, the first phase of the program. The speed limits will be lowered to 25 miles per hour from 30, with new “distinctive” signs with blue-and-white coloring and the name of the corridor to complement the DOT’s existing Neighborhood Slow Zone program. Alongside the signage, the streets will see increased police enforcement and temporary lighted speed boards.
The entirety of Coney Island Avenue will be converted to a slow zone in September, with Flatbush Avenue from Concord Street to Hendrickson Place (near the Belt Parkway) to follow in October.
The program is part of the Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities citywide. Ultimately the agency will create a total of 25 arterial slow zones, according to the Vision Zero website.
Arterial roadways make up only 15 percent of the total road system but account for 60 percent of the fatalities, according to the DOT. These 14 corridors make up only 65 miles of roadway, but account for 83 fatalities.
Coney Island Avenue is 5.5 miles long, and accounted for six fatalities between 2008 and 2012, while Flatbush Avenue is 7.1 miles long and accounts for 11 fatalities.
Local pols are praising the measure, saying it will help reduce deaths at some of their district’s busiest intersections.
“This second phase of Vision Zero being implemented along Coney Island Avenue is an indication that my voice, in advocating for traffic calming measures, was heard,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch in the press release. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for improving the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists throughout my district.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams too praised the new zones.
“Driving slow is the best way to go on Brooklyn’s highways and byways. In partnership with the Department of Transportation, our borough is turning a dangerous corner toward safer streets,” he said in the same release. “The additions of Coney Island Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Utica Avenue to our growing roster of arterial slow zones, which also include Atlantic Avenue, Eastern Parkway and McGuinness Boulevard, prioritize safety in all directions that Brooklynites travel every day.”
Photo via lorna.