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NYC Will Roll Out Nine Additional Arterial Slow Zones by September

Over the past three weeks, DOT has been rolling out its 25 mph arterial slow zone program to high-crash streets one by one: Atlantic Avenue [1], the Grand Concourse [2], McGuinness Boulevard [3], and this morning, Broadway [4] in Manhattan. Now, the initiative will expand to nine more streets across the city by the end of August, with 12 more streets to be announced later this year.

As of today, DOT has announced 13 arterial slow zones to be installed by the end of August. Image: NYC DOT/Twitter [5]

As of today, DOT has announced 13 arterial slow zones to be installed by the end of August. Image: NYC DOT/Twitter [6]

Each corridor will receive 25 mph speed limit signs (with the exception of Queens Boulevard), as well as retimed traffic signals and focused enforcement from NYPD. Here is the complete list of arterial slow zones announced today, including anticipated implementation dates and the number of traffic fatalities on each since 2008:

With a total of 13 announced arterial slow zones, DOT has publicly identified more than half of the streets that will comprise the 25 arterial slow zones it has set out to implement by the end of the year. The streets selected for the program so far cover more than 61 miles of roadway and have had a combined 152 traffic fatalities since 2008.

DOT is adding pedestrian islands [8] to the Northern Boulevard intersection where an unlicensed truck driver killed 8-year-old Noshat Nahian [9] in the crosswalk last year. Queens elected officials and street safety advocates, who joined Trottenberg at today’s announcement on Northern Boulevard, have pressed for design changes [10] as part of Vision Zero. So far, DOT has not announced significant street redesigns as a component of the arterial slow zone program, instead focusing on speed limits and signal timing.

DOT says its arterial slow zone signal retimings are aimed at slowing down off-peak drivers, especially between midnight and 6 a.m., when 21 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur. (Only four percent of pedestrian travel happens during these hours.) Arterial streets comprise only 15 percent of New York’s roadways but account for 60 percent of its pedestrian fatalities, according to DOT.

Stepped-up enforcement is another component of the arterial slow zone program. So far, NYPD has said that it will increase enforcement of speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, and failure to yield to pedestrians along arterial slow zones. Because NYPD summons data is aggregated by precinct and lacks specific location information [11], it is impossible for the public to know whether the department is concentrating enforcement resources on particular streets.

This post has been updated to reflect the speed limit change on Queens Boulevard.