New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan, Council Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and State Senator Adriano Espaillat today introduced a series of efforts to improve traffic safety in Northern Manhattan, including an Arterial Slow Zone on Broadway, the fourth of 25 to be installed on major streets across the city as part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero safety plan. Beginning in July, the speed limit will be lowered to 25 m.p.h. and traffic signals will be retimed to reduce opportunities for dangerous speeding along the 8.3 mile corridor from Columbus Circle to West 220th Street that has seen 24 fatalities, including 22 pedestrians, since 2008. The announcement preceded the release of eight additional Arterial Slow Zone locations later today in Queens, with the remaining locations to be announced later this year.
Through a combination of a lower speed limit, signal timing changes to discourage speeding, distinctive signs and increased enforcement by the NYPD, the announcement continues the expansion of efforts by DOT and its partners to prevent traffic fatalities and improve safety on New York City streets. The Commissioner was joined by street safety advocate Audrey Anderson, Aaron Charlop-Powers from Families for Safe Streets, and Tom DeVito from Transportation Alternatives at the intersection of Broadway, Dyckman Street and Riverside Drive, where the DOT will break ground this month on a project that will provide conflict-free crossings for pedestrians, shorten crossing distances and improve safety and mobility for all users of this important intersection. The Commissioner also announced the expansion of “Reckless Driving Kills,” a public safety awareness campaign featuring traffic safety messages from New Yorkers who have lost family members in deadly crashes on city streets.
“I’m excited to stand with Upper Manhattan’s elected officials and advocates and announce that Broadway will be the city’s next Arterial Slow Zone,” said DOT Commissioner Trottenberg. “Our agency is already hard at work on projects that will make this corridor and others across the city safer for everyone. By rolling out this important education campaign and further deterring dangerous speeding that causes too many deaths and serious injuries, we’re doubling down on our engineering efforts and helping to build a better Broadway.”
“Vision Zero is a commitment made to have safer streets and roadways. With, proper enforcement, the Department of Transportation’s Arterial Slow Zones will improve pedestrian safety,” said NYPD Chief Chan. “This collaboration between agencies and communities will bring us closer to our goal.”
“The NYC Department of Transportation and NYPD are bringing major life saving measures to Northern Manhattan and not a moment too soon” said Council Member and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “Following a spate of deaths on Broadway Uptown, the much needed arterial slow zone will ensure drivers respect the speed limit and keep the high number of children and seniors in our community safe. Also, one of the most dangerous intersections in our community, Dyckman and Broadway, is undergoing a significant overhaul that will shorten crossing times, increase visibility for drivers and calm the heavy traffic coming off of the West Side Highway. This has long been an intersection that I have avoided when walking with my daughter and I am glad to see these necessary changes being made. That Vision Zero is coming Uptown will provide our residents with relief and will ensure our drivers are more careful of their actions on city streets.”
“Reckless driving has caused immeasurable pain for families in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, and throughout the city,” said Senator Adriano Espaillat. “Low-income communities of color have disproportionately paid the price of unsafe conditions, and I applaud this administration for taking swift action. The new slow zone and safety redesign of the Broadway and Dyckman/Riverside intersection will save lives – our community is united behind this plan.”
The Arterial Slow Zone program – one of 63 initiatives included in the Vision Zero report released in February – will lower posted speed limits from 30 to 25 m.p.h. on streets that have seen some of highest numbers of fatalities and serious injuries. Citywide, arterials make up only 15 percent of total mileage but have accounted for some 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities. Previously, the DOT and NYPD announced Arterial Slow Zones on Atlantic Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard in Brooklyn and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
On these arterials, DOT will improve signal timing along the corridor, making it consistent with the new 25 m.p.h. speed limit while maintaining mobility on these heavily used corridors and preventing diversions to residential street.
The locations will also benefit from increased enforcement by the NYPD, with temporary speed boards installed in key locations to alert motorists of the new speed limit. The program will also feature distinctive blue-and-white signs with the name of the corridor, complementing the agency’s existing Neighborhood Slow Zone program, as well as the administration’s efforts to reduce the citywide speed limit in partnership with the state legislature.
The intersection of Broadway, Riverside Drive and Dyckman Street saw 19 injuries between 2010 and 2012, and DOT’s safety proposal, introduced in November 2013, received wide support from the Community Board and elected officials. In order to eliminate conflicts with crossing pedestrians, the project will restrict left turn movements from Broadway to Riverside, from Broadway to Dyckman and from Dyckman to Broadway, as well as the irregular u-turn from Riverside to Dyckman. Scheduled for completion this summer, the project will shorten crossing distances with significant sidewalk extensions and provide additional crossing time dedicated pedestrian-only crossing periods. The project is also located near the Inwood Neighborhood Slow Zone, which lowered the speed limit on nearby residential streets to 20 m.p.h.
“Enforced slow zones and better education are key components in ensuring our City is able to eliminate traffic fatalities, and I applaud DOT and City Hall for these stepped up measures,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “The community has long sought safety solutions, and the Broadway corridor in particular was in need of swift action according to local Community Boards as surveyed by my office.”
“Today marks another important milestone for pedestrian safety in New York City. The implementation of the Vision Zero arterial slow zone between Columbus Circle up to West 220th Street on Broadway is a remarkable improvement to the safety of pedestrians on the Upper West Side,” said Senator José M. Serrano. “I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for helping transform this portion of Broadway into a street that will be as safe as it is famous.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for instituting a slow zone on Upper Broadway, one of the most dangerous roadways in my district,” said Senator Brad Holyman. “This slow zone, along with the legislation passed yesterday by the New York State Senate to authorize 120 additional speed cameras in school zones, bring us another step closer to making the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan to eliminate traffic fatalities a reality for New Yorkers.”
“I’m thrilled that DOT chose Broadway from Columbus Circle to W. 220th Street to be an Arterial Slow Zone,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “This corridor is a highly trafficked pedestrian area, and lowering the speed limit to 25mph will save lives.”
The Reckless Driving Kills public safety awareness campaign is designed to engage with drivers on the consequences of dangerous driving, as the Vision Zero report highlighted that driver choices are the cause of 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities. The campaign includes images of New Yorkers holding a picture of a family member killed in a traffic crash while standing at the location where the crash occurred. The first focuses on Audrey Anderson, a Queens resident whose 14-year old son Andre was killed in 2005 while riding his bicycle in the Rockaways. The ad reads, “My son, Andre was killed by a reckless driver riding his bicycle on Shorefront Parkway. I keep his memory alive.”
The other features David Shephard, whose fiancée Sonya Powell was killed on Black Friday in 2009 by a speeding driver in a crosswalk in the Bronx.
That ad reads, “While crossing Baychester Avenue, my fiancée, Sonya, was killed by a reckless driver. Everyone she left behind still feels the impact.” Beginning at the end of April, the ads will continue to roll out to more than 115 bus shelters in areas found to have high rates of pedestrian crashes, with radio and video spots to follow later this spring.
“We thank DOT Commissioner Trottenberg and Chief Chan for making Broadway an Arterial Slow Zone between Columbus circle and 220th street,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “A lower speed limit, new signal timing and stepped-up traffic enforcement will all go a long way toward reducing the number of crashes in the northern part of Manhattan. We look forward to working with DOT and local communities to redesign the corridor with the kind of engineering improvements that have proven so effective south of 59th Street, including protected bike lanes and pedestrian safety infrastructure.”
These efforts in Northern Manhattan come as the extensive public outreach program for Vision Zero continues. At each of the well-attended town hall meetings and workshops to date, speeding along these corridors has been named a serious safety issue by New Yorkers across the boroughs, and this program is designed to address some of these concerns. Building on these community-driven efforts, the agency is also looking to gain additional input at seven additional upcoming Vision Zero public workshops to be held across the city. The two Manhattan workshops will be held on Wednesday, June 11, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Our Lady of Pompeii (lower level), 25 Carmine Street, and on Monday, June 16, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Alhambra Ballroom, 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. All New Yorkers are invited to provide insight on conditions in neighborhoods and to aide in the prioritization of street safety initiatives, as DOT and the NYPD work to develop comprehensive pedestrian safety plans for each borough.
For more information on Arterial Slow Zones, DOT’s intersection safety project at Broadway, Dyckman and Riverside, and the agency’s education campaigns, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot and www.nyc.gov/visionzero.