NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city is pumping the brakes on drivers. Mayor Bill de Blasio will lower the speed limit on 45 miles of streets.
The speed limit along a nearly four-mile stretch of Astoria Boulevard will go from 30 to 25 mph.
“These are not small changes in terms of their potential impact on the safety of New Yorkers,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Henry Gutman told reporters, including CBS2’s Kevin Rincon on Monday.
The city is focused on 10 major roadways where the most accidents happen, places like Woodhaven Boulevard, the Van Wyck service road, and Pelham Parkway in the Bronx.
In Queens, drivers have mixed reactions.
“It’s for the better, honestly, because elderly people walking by, you don’t want to hurt them. You don’t want to feel that guilt because you were rushing to work, or you had road rage,” one person said.
“The traffic has to keep flowing in this area or we’re all going to be stuck. So it could be good, could be bad. I don’t really know,” another driver said.
“Thirty is high speed, but 25 is okay, is low, is too low to drive, but I think it’s safer for the pedestrians,” another added.
Making sure cars go slower in congested areas is the mayor’s goal, as he tries to deal with a growing number of pedestrian deaths.
“It’s clear you have to do something differently when you see that,” de Blasio said. “In the end, lowering speed limits creates accountability and saves lives.”
So far this year, pedestrian deaths are up 58%, and while not everyone will agree on the need to slow down, the mayor insists it’s the right thing to do.
“I know some people gripe about it. I respect the concerns, but this is about safety,” de Blasio said.
To ensure drivers follow the rules, the NYPD will be out enforcing these changes all week long.
For more information on the speed limit change, please click here.
CBS2’s Kevin Rincon contributed to this report