There should be fewer cars flying down 19th Avenue this summer, making the area a little safer for the students of FDR High School, neighborhood residents, and most prominently — sanitation workers.
Last summer a number of residents voiced their concerns to City Councilmember David Greenfield about cars speeding down the 19th Avenue making it difficult to cross.
Most of the 4 blocks in question are fronted by Department of Sanitation for District 12 and its lots for parking equipment. There are a handful of homes and back of the school facing the 57-58th street block of 19th Avenue.
Absence of traffic lights on that stretch of the avenue, encourages drivers to race through, making crossings difficult for both drivers and pedestrians. The stretch is not at all pedestrian friendly with cars parked on sidewalks, and no street markings, and there were few folks that chose to use it when we visited earlier today around dismissal time.
After conducting a traffic study, the Department of Transportation confirmed this week to Councilmember Greenfield that it will install a new slow zone on 19th Avenue between 54th Street and 58th Street. The work is expected to be complete within three months.
Slow zones aim to change the driver behavior by reducing speed limits from 25mph to 20mph, making it less attractive for cut-through traffic, and to “lower the incidence and severity of crashes” according to the DOT.
“This is a major victory for pedestrian safety and for the safety of our children,” Councilmember Greenfield, a longtime supporter of Mayor De Blasio’s Vision Zero said of the news.
On 20th Avenue, which has the main entrance of FDR High School, there is already a school zone requiring 20mph limits during school days, whereas the stretch of 18th Avenue by Gravesend Park could probably do with a bit of slowing down.