NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New lower speed limits — part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative aimed at curbing pedestrian deaths — will take effect on some major roadways Monday.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, the NYPD will begin enforcing two additional slow zones, areas where the speed limit of 30 mph will be reduced to 25.
“Speeding is one of the No. 1 causes of traffic injuries and fatalities,” said Polly Trottenberg, commissioner of the city’s Department of Transportation.
One of the new zones will be on Broadway between West 59th and West 220th streets in Manhattan, which includes the area around West 95th and West 96th streets, where there have been four traffic deaths within a two-block radius this year.
The latest victim was Jean Chambers, 61. She died last month after being hit by an SUV while crossing in a crosswalk at West 95th Street and West End Avenue.
“It’s just I miss her, so much already,” said Jane Burbank, Chambers’ friend. “What a wonderful person. Much loved.”
There have been 22 pedestrians killed since 2008 in the new Broadway slow zone, WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reported.
The city also has expanded the median at West 96th and Broadway to make it easier for pedestrians to cross.
The other zone being enforced will be in the Bronx on Jerome Avenue between East 161 Street to Bainbridge Avenue.
Most residents on the Upper West Side told Burrell the speed zone is needed.
“If the police have to stop them to save lives, then I agree with them,” one woman said.
“These drivers need to be more careful, man,” said Eric Estrada, of the Upper West Side. “They think the street is just for them.”
“Twenty-five miles per hour should be the speed limit for the city,” one man said. “People basically don’t go that fast during rush hour anyway.”
But not everyone agrees that slower speed is a good idea.
“Twenty-five very hard, you know,” said cab driver Debasish Das.
Jennifer, who works at Roosevelt Hospital, told Kosola she’s skeptical the measure will stop speeding.
“People can go fast,” she said. “I’m pretty sure they go faster than the speed limit.”
But she said she still thinks it’s worth a try.
Peter, who lives near Columbus Circle, said the city needs to do something about jaywalkers.
“Because they’re just going across the street,” he said. “They’re not looking left or right.”
More than a dozen slow zones will go into effect across the city over the next few months.
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