New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and City Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca today unveiled a new speed board along Bruckner Boulevard/Kearney Avenue between Waterbury and Hollywood avenues in the Bronx to alert motorists of their driving speeds in an effort to reduce speeding along this heavily used corridor. A DOT survey last month revealed 96% of vehicles exceeding the speed limit at this location, with an average speed of 37 m.p.h. despite a posted speed limit of 25 m.p.h. The temporary speed board will remain at this location for several weeks, and can be relocated to another location in the Bronx or another borough to spread its safety message. New York City’s streets are safer than ever, with the last four years recording the fewest traffic fatalities in City history. Still, in its landmark Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan, DOT found that serious pedestrian crashes involving unsafe speeds are twice as deadly as other crashes. To continue its push to make streets even safer, DOT outlined a new set of strategies in the report, including targeted efforts to curb speeding.
“A little technology can go a long way to bring motorists up to speed on driving safely,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Educating drivers and providing information so they can make better decisions on our roads will make our streets safer for everyone who uses them.”
“This service road represents one of the most prone locations for speeding in my District, and we have seen accidents here on a regular basis,” said Council Member James Vacca. “Because the road abuts a highway, many cars do not realize how fast they are truly going. Setting up a speed board will help create greater awareness and hopefully result in better cooperation among motorists.”
The new, portable electric speed board is one of three recently acquired by DOT, and will be dedicated to the agency’s anti-speeding initiative. With bright, 18-inch LEDs, the speed boards use radar technology to record and display the speeds of oncoming vehicles.
Positioning the speed boards near streets with chronic speeding is just one of many resources in the agency’s toolkit to combat speeding. Earlier this month, DOT re-introduced its “That’s Why It’s 30” advertising campaign, which was developed as part of the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan and originally launched last fall. Quantitative surveys showed that more than two-thirds of New Yorkers did not know the city’s standard speed limit—30 m.p.h. The ads focus on a key statistic that highlights the danger of speeding just 10 miles over the speed limit: If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 m.p.h. or faster, there’s a 70% chance that the pedestrian will be killed; at 30 m.p.h., there’s an 80% chance that the pedestrian will live. The agency also continues to tailor streets so they’re safer for everyone by implementing traffic-calming projects in all five boroughs.
To expand its anti-speeding efforts, DOT created a traffic-safety residency program for fourth graders, teaching them the math behind safety rationale of following the speed limit so they can share with adults. To announce this program’s launch, the Commissioner and Councilman Vacca joined students at Brooklyn’s P.S. 261 in November 2010 to record speeding vehicles on Atlantic Avenue using a speed detector. Staten Island’s P.S. 48 took part in a similar workshop this month, recording vehicles traveling an average of 39 m.p.h. despite posted speed limit signs of 30 m.p.h. and school crossing signs.
The Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan maps out a series of new strategies designed to make the streets safer for everyone using them. In addition to installing 1,500 pedestrian countdown signals citywide, including the Grand Concourse from E. 140th Street to Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx, the agency will pilot a program to test the safety performance of neighborhood 20 m.p.h zones and make safety upgrades at 60 miles of streets per year for greater pedestrian safety.
For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.