DOT claims reduction in speed limit and
speed bumps will thwart crashes
By Stephen Witt
The city’s proposal to install a Neighborhood Slow Zone that straddles Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant has hit a speed bump.
Under the Department of Transportation (DOT) plan, the speed limit in a large rectangular area bounded by Bedford Avenue to the east, Washington Avenue to the west, Lafayette Avenue to the north and Fulton Street to the south will be reduced from 30 to 20 miles an hour to adjust driver behavior on local streets. The major thoroughfare running through the center of the zone is the two-way Gates Avenue, on which the highly utilized B52 bus runs.
The goal of the Neighborhood Slow Zone program, which is a holdover of the Bloomberg Administration, is to lower the incidence and severity of crashes and to enhance quality of life by reducing cut-through traffic and traffic noise in residential neighborhoods. Besides reducing the speed limit, DOT uses signs, markings and speed bumps to calm traffic within the Zone.
“As with all Slow Zones, DOT selects locations based on crash history, community support, proximity of schools and senior and daycare centers, among other criteria,” said agency spokesperson Nicholas Mosquera.
Mosquera said the zone was chosen because it fit the criteria of having strong community support, 4 schools, 8 pre-k/Head Start/daycare centers and a history of crashes. DOT data says this includes 62.4 average yearly injuries including 6 severe injuries/fatalities per road in the zone.
DOT was set to make a presentation at the proposal at Mondays Community Board 3 meeting, but it was postponed due to inclement weather.
CB 3 Chair Tremaine Wright called the cancelation a blessing in disguise because she isn’t sold on the idea that it has broad community support. DOT said it was requested from some parents at the Brooklyn Waldorf School, 11 Jefferson Avenue, but a lot of residents don’t know about the plan, she said.
“With the cancelation of the meeting until next Monday, I’m trying to encourage people who live in the affected area to weigh in,” she said.
But it appears DOT is full-speed ahead for the Slow Down Zone
“The Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy Slow Zone is currently scheduled for implementation in the Spring, pending Community Board support,” said Mosquera.