New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Elizabeth Crowley and James Vacca today announced the installation of three new speed bumps along Maurice Avenue in Queens to improve safety on this corridor by forcing motorists to slow down at these locations. The landmark Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan released last year examined over 7,000 pedestrian crashes and found that those involving unsafe speeds were twice as deadly as others and that serious pedestrian crashes are two-thirds deadlier on major street corridors than on smaller local streets. DOT is using the report’s data to guide a comprehensive set of street improvements and has committed to re-engineering 60 miles of streets a year to enhance safety. Council Members Van Bramer and Crowley asked DOT to investigate ways to reduce speeding along Maurice Avenue after residents had complained about its use as a drag racing location at night. After studying the area the agency found that speed bumps could effectively reduce dangerous speeding here and two were installed last week between Tyler Avenue and 53rd Avenue with another installed between 53rd Drive and 53rd Avenue. DOT also installed signs and markings alerting drivers to the speed bumps.
“Traffic fatalities have reached an all-time low in the last four years but speeding drivers remain a danger to themselves and to all New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “By making changes to our streets like these new speed bumps, we can further reduce the number of fatalities each year, and Maurice Avenue residents can be safer on their own street. I want to thank Councilmembers Van Bramer and Crowley for drawing attention to the scourge of speeding and standing up for the safety of all New Yorkers.”
“Ensuring our streets are safe for the entire community continues to be one of my top priorities,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “Illegal drag racing is a dangerous activity that claims far too many lives each year. I am proud to have led the grassroots efforts with residents and community leaders to provide speed bumps that will help combat drag racing and save lives on one of the most notorious roads for illegal racing. I want to thank the Department of Transportation and my fellow Council Members for their work on this important safety measure.”
""These new speed bumps are intended to prevent people from using Maurice Avenue as a speedway,” said Council Member Crowley. “For far too long, Maspeth residents have been burdened with the noise and the dangers of drag racing right outside their front door. I thank the DOT for installing these speed bumps and addressing the dangerous issue of drag racing in our community.""
“My committee has made a priority of addressing speedways and sending a message to drivers in all five boroughs that everyone needs to take a deep breath and slow down,” said Council Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca. “Whether it’s a stop sign or a speed bump or a complete road redesign, we need to use every tool in the toolkit to make our streets safe for pedestrians and for motorists. I am proud to join Council Member Van Bramer and DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan today to help make the streets of Queens a little safer.”
These three speed bumps and another installed nearby at I.S. 125 on 47th Street are the most recent of 102 installed so far in FY 2011 and 997 installed since FY 2002.160 speed bumps were installed in FY 2010, more than any other year during the Bloomberg administration. DOT’s Pedestrian Safety Study demonstrated the significance of excessive speeding in serious crashes and also found that most New Yorkers are unaware that the standard speed limit in the five boroughs is 30 m.p.h. The agency launched an anti-speeding campaign called “That’s Why It’s 30” to raise awareness of the speed limit and inform the public that a pedestrian struck at 40 m.p.h. has a 70 percent chance of being killed, while someone struck at 30 m.p.h. has an 80 percent chance of surviving.
DOT recently installed its first two speed boards at locations in the Bronx and Staten Island identified by local elected officials for the prevalence of excessive speeding. The boards display the speeds of approaching vehicles and remind drivers of the existing speed limit. Similar boards will be installed in the other boroughs at to-be-determined locations in the near future. DOT will also pilot a program to test the safety performance of a neighborhood 20 m.p.h. zone.
Further information about DOT’s Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan and the agency’s efforts to curb speeding are available online at www.nyc.gov/dot.