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We would like to inform you that Mayor Bill de Blasio has made a commitment to decisively confront the epidemic of traffic fatalities and injuries on our streets. Vision Zero was put into action to combat death and injury on city streets. The Mayor no longer wants to regard serious crashes as inevitable. Tragedies happen in every community in our city, to families from every walk of life, people who drive and to those who bike, but overwhelmingly, the deadly toll is highest for pedestrians-especially our children and seniors. For a Safer New York City, the speed limit is changing to 25 MPH throughout the city starting on November 7th, 2014.
Crashes are Preventable. Together We Can Save Lives.
The speed limit on city streets will be cut to 25 miles per hour after the City Council voted for the change Tuesday.
The move to slow down drivers – reducing the limit from the current 30 mph – is a key part of the “Vision Zero” push to eliminate traffic deaths. It passed by a vote of 44-4.
“By lowering the speed limit, we send a message to drivers that they must not only drive slower, but safer on our streets,” said Transportation Committee chairman Ydanis Rodriguez. “For too long our roads have been a battleground between pedestrians and drivers, costing countless lives in preventable situations. This type of environment is unacceptable and will be tolerated no longer.”
Albany legislators have the city permission to lower the speed limit earlier this year. The lower limit will take effect Nov. 7 and will apply on all streets where no other limit is posted.
Highways and parkways will still have higher limits, while school zones and other spots will still have lower speeds.
Backers say the death rate is cut in half when a driver strikes a pedestrian going 25 mph as opposed to 30.
Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn), who sponsored the bill, said when he when he first proposed cutting the speed limit, “people actually laughed at the idea” and he could not even get the bill to a hearing.
“It’s really a refreshing change,” he said. “The lynchpin of Vision Zero is lowering the default speed limit in New York City…It’s going to save lives.”
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Queens) voted against the bill, saying he did not want to slow down commutes in a transit-starved neighborhood “that has been left out with no transportation alternatives, no train, no express bus, with no other way to get to work other than driving.”