The speed limit on Broadway above Columbus Circle was reduced to 25 miles per hour today, part of the city’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic injuries. The standard city speed limit is 30 mph, but the state has passed a bill sponsored by local Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell that allows the city to lower it to 25. It could take effect citywide this fall.
Since 2008, 22 pedestrians have been killed on Broadway in the area now covered by the slow zone (up to 220th street). according to WCBS 880. The NYPD estimates that a 5 mph reduction in the speed limit could cut pedestrian deaths in half.
A bill in the state senate gives some stats on how reducing limits could reduce pedestrian fatalities:
“[I]f a pedestrian is hit at 40 mph there is about a 7 in 10 chance of being killed. At 35 mph, there is a 5 in 10 chance of being killed. At 30 mph, there is a 1 in 5 chance of being killed. If the speed limit were lowered to 25 mph, the chance of an accident resulting in death drops significantly to 1 in 10. Another benefit to having a speed limit of 25 mph is the marked improvement in vehicle stopping distance. At 25 mph, stopping distance is improved by 45 feet (23%), which will allow many crashes to be avoided altogether.”
Another slow zone was added in the Bronx on Southern Boulevard between Bruckner Boulevard and East Fordham Road.
Photo by R. Schmunk.