Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lower speed limits are safer for pedestrians and cyclists

Groundbreaking NYCDOT Pedestrian Study Recommends Testing 20 mph Limit for Neighborhoods

by Michelle Ernst

Citing even one crash as “one crash too many,” New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on Monday released the city’s “roadmap for safety strategies.” The study recommends four specific engineering and design strategies to improve pedestrian safety:

* 20 mph zone pilot program in at least 75 residential neighborhoods;
* dangerous corridor re-engineering on 60 miles of street per year;
* dangerous intersection re-engineering at 20 intersections along major two-way Manhattan streets); and,
* improving left-turn visibility by removing curb parking near intersections of targeted Manhattan avenues.

The rest of the Story Here

I grew up in Phoenix where every residential street had a speed limit of 25mph. I was amazed that once we moved to Indiana that traffic engineers think that 30 mph is safe for a narrow residential street where kids are. I was very proud of Karen Goldner, 2nd District Councilperson (My Councilperson, yea!) when she was traveling around to all of the Neighborhood partnership meetings trying to get buy in on an ordinance that she wanted to sponsor to drop all of the residential limits down to 25. Oh you never knew that? Oh, that is because everyone thought that it was a waste of money. They had arguments that it would cost too much for the signs to be changed, and that most of the people who speed live in the neighborhood, and (this one is classic!) that when people have snow tires on their car that they can't tell how fast they are going, among others. That 30 was safe enough even though they don't give tickets if you are going 7-9 mph over that.
Kudos NYC. I am a little envious.
Thanks for caring about the citizens of your city enough to do something to make them safer. I can't wait to visit!

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