Mayor de Blasio came to Delancey Street this morning to sign legislation lowering the default speed limit to 25 m.p.h. on most city streets. The busy thoroughfare leading to the Williamsburg Bridge has been the scene of numerous fatal accidents. Safety measures, including an expanded pedestrian plaza, were implemented in the area following the January 2012 death of 12-year-old Dashane Santana.
The law takes effect November 7. It’s part of the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to make New York’s streets safer. According to the mayor’s office, the speed limit is currently 30 m.p.h. on about 95% of city streets. Beginning next month, 90% will be set below 25 m.p.h. New York will spend $500,000 to install 3,000 new speed limit singns. It’s estimated that the reduced speed limit could cut traffic fatalities in half.
Local elected officials, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and City Council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez attended today’s bill signing. The City Council approved the legislation during the summer after the state Legislature gave its authorization. Council member Chin has called on the city to install signs along South Street, where an elderly woman was killed in a traffic accident during the summer.