Neighborhood Slow Zones are a community-based program that reduces the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph and adds safety measures within a select area in order to change driver behavior. The ultimate goal of the Neighborhood Slow Zone program is to lower the incidence and severity of crashes. Slow Zones also seek to enhance quality of life by reducing cut-through traffic and traffic noise in residential neighborhoods.
NYC DOT creates Slow Zones in response to applications from communities. After each round of applications, NYC DOT selects appropriate locations and works with the community to devise a plan to install the Slow Zone. Slow Zones must be approved by the local Community Board. NYC DOT has worked with communities throughout the city to create Slow Zones.
NYC DOT is not accepting applications for Slow Zones at this time.
Slow Zone Treatments
Neighborhood Slow Zones are established in small, self-contained areas that consist primarily of local streets. Gateways announce the presence of a Slow Zone. A gateway is a set of signs and markings at an intersection to alert drivers to the reduced speed limit.
The zone itself is a self-enforcing, reduced-speed area with speed bumps, markings and other traffic calming treatments. Slow Zones are implemented in areas with low traffic volumes and minimal through traffic, where reducing the speed limit will not cause traffic congestion.
In New York City areas where Neighborhood Slow Zones have been implemented there has been a 10-15% decrease in speeds, 14% reduction in crashes with injuries and 31% reduction in vehicles injuries.