On Broadway, Drivers Will Have to Slow Down

Sunday, August 03, 2014 - 06:15 PM

Starting Monday, traffic should be moving slower on Broadway, from Columbus Circle to West 220th Street, where the new speed limit is 25 miles per hour instead of 30.

Chauntele Robinson, who lives on Broadway in West Harlem, said she understands pedestrian deaths are driving this change. But she thinks the new speed limit will lead to traffic jams and delays.

"It's not fair that we all get punished," she said. "You should keep it 30. 30 is not fast at all. Period."

Broadway is one of twenty-seven 25 mph zones the Department of Transportation is creating this year. The initiative is part of Mayor de Blasio's "Vision Zero" program that aims to eliminate traffic fatalities. Other areas where speed will be lowered include Houston Street in lower Manhattan and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

Curtis Townsend, who lives on the Upper West side, said he supports the lower speed limit.

"I think it's a good thing," he said. "Take your time. You're gonna get where you're going. Take it easy and think about the pedestrians."

The slowed-down stretch of Broadway will include the area around West 95th and West 96th street, where there have been four traffic deaths within a two-block radius there this year.

But some like Susan Winston, who lives on the Upper West Side, say they are not sure this speed limit will make much difference.

"People are gonna walk pretty much the way they walk anyway and a five-mile decrease in the speed limit may or may not affect that," she said.

The new speed limit may soon become the norm. The State Legislature passed a bill in June that lowers it to 25mph in New York City. It is currently awaiting Governor Cuomo's signature.

With the Associated Press

Correction: This article was updated to correct the following error. The DOT is creating 27 slow zones, not 14.


Comments [10]

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Honestly, I doubt that lowering the speed limit will actually help in preventing deaths. As long as there are those who continue to jaywalk, they will always get hit even when everyone else is obeying it. If you really want to have safe streets, then every group must play their role, not just one group in particular. Overall, I just see this is nothing more than selective outrage. For the record, I was applauded at a Vision Zero hearing for saying all of this, which shows who knows what is really going on.

Aug. 04 2014 09:52 PM
TOM from Brooklyn

We will now begin to see if the drivers(the constituency left out of the discussion up to now) will buy into this new speed. It's only been fifty years at 30mph (posted limit) with 35-40mph being the real limit. Actually 30mph all around would be nice.

Aug. 04 2014 08:11 PM
Bronx from NYC

The speed limit DOES NOT increase congestion!

The average speed citywide is on average less than 15 MPH. This is due to traffic control devices, double parkers, blocked boxes, unorganized traffic, etc.

The problem is that way too many drivers speed between lights. Hualing at like 40+ MPH at times. This reduces reaction time in a city full of unexpected interactions. This culture of speeding results in death and serious injury.

Aug. 04 2014 04:54 PM
JOSEPH P. WALL from Pelham Bay, Bronx

I believe that Broadway (or, where ever else Mayor de Blasio wants to put this traffic slowdown in to effect), should put it into effect the entire streach of the street or avenue this new program will effect. For example, Broadway was considered for this new program. It should go into effect the entire streach of Broadway not just a certain lenght of Broadway and so on and so forth as I believe drivers will simply speed up on the sections of road where the speed limit may be higher.

Aug. 04 2014 11:33 AM
S from NY, NY

Ugh. Speed limits don't cause congestion! Too many cars cause congestion. And no matter the speed limit, NYC has too many cars. Please do your listeners a service and correct or explain this misconception.

Aug. 04 2014 10:30 AM
Jeff from Brooklyn

Here is a quote from someone who doesn't like the change.

Here is a quote from someone who does like the change.

Here is a quote from someone who is unsure of the change.

Aug. 04 2014 10:04 AM
AMHess from Harlem

"But she thinks the new speed limit will lead to traffic jams and delays."

Why do you keep quoting this misconception without correcting it? Speed limits have nothing to do with traffic jams and delays, which are caused mainly by double-parked vehicles and too much traffic. Lower speed limits generally result in smoother traffic flow, rather than short periods of high acceleration followed by slamming on the brakes.

Aug. 04 2014 09:51 AM
NSNY from Bklyn

Speed isn't the problem, it's people not paying attention and driving recklessly. Make the punishment for hitting a pedestrian so severe that it strikes fear into drivers, and then maybe there will be change. But really, Vision Zero? Not gonna happen.

Aug. 04 2014 09:34 AM
Gary from Greenwich Village

25 mph???? Wow that's fast! I can't remember the last time I drove that fast down Broadway? Are you sure the old speed limit wasn't 4 mph?

Aug. 04 2014 09:02 AM

Assuming there will be inadequate enforcement this is another case of illusion of action. "Talk is cheap."

Aug. 04 2014 08:52 AM

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