NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Big changes are now in effect on the West Side Highway and drivers may want to slow down.

The speed limit will drop from 35 mph to 30 mph between 59th Street and the Battery, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reports.

A big reason for the change is the number of traffic deaths in the area, especially over the last few years.

Mary Beth Kelly’s husband was hit by a car and killed on the West Side Highway, which has been called one of the most dangerous roads in New York City.

“I just pulled in, missed me, hit my husband,” Kelly said.

Some drivers don’t agree with the move by the Department of Transportation, especially those who worry about the already existing slowdown on perimeter roads because of congestion pricing.

“You’re normally crawling 15, 20 miles an hour anyway,” one driver said.

Web Extra: DOT Lowering Speed On West Side Highway:

 

Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg says she thinks the reduced speeds will actually have the opposite effect when it comes to traffic.

“One thing I think we are hoping with congestion pricing, what they have seen in London and Stockholm is on day one, traffic volumes went down by around 20%,” she said.

The DOT says it will be enforcing the new limit with speed cameras. It will also be putting up new speed limit signs, all in an area that the DOT says has seen at least 10 traffic fatalities in the past six years.

Officials say drivers often speed down the West Side Highway going close to 40 mph. That’s a speed at which nearly 90% of crashes with pedestrians are fatal.

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