The Grand Concourse in the Bronx will become a “slow zone” under a program aimed at improving traffic safety across New York City, CBS New York reported recently.
It is the second of 25 slow zones being established as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero Plan to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries. Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn was the first.
Speed limits will be reduced in the zones, and police will step up enforcement. Traffic signals will be retimed to 25 mph in the Grand Concourse corridor, which extends 5.2 miles from East 140th Street in Mott Haven to Moshulu Parkway in Bedford Park. The corridor was the site of 12 fatalities, including seven pedestrians, between 2008 and 2012.
According to the mayor’s office, traffic crashes kill more than 250 people in the city each year, and most of those killed are pedestrians.
Being struck by a vehicle is the number one cause of injury-related deaths for children under 14 and the second-leading cause for seniors, the mayor’s office says.
Speeding accounted for 21% of all crashes in which pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in New York City in 2010. Concerns about speeding led to the establishment of the slow zone program under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2011.
In addition to expansion of the slow zones, De Blasio’s plan includes increased enforcement of speed limits and laws requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians, redesigned intersections, reduction of the speed limit citywide from 30 mph to 25 mph and stiffer penalties for taxi drivers who drive dangerously.
Precinct community affairs officers have distributed more than 20,000 safety education flyers to drivers and pedestrians on the Grand Concourse since March 31, and in one week, New York City law enforcement officers handed out tickets for more than 500 moving violations and more than 1,400 parking violations along the corridor.