The New York City Department of Transportation, DOT, has released a new series of maps in response to recent changes in road speed limits. The maps show previous speed limits for each borough, along with the new limits put in place by Mayor de Blasio in 2014 as part of New York City’s Vision Zero initiative. That initiative, aimed at reducing traffic accidents and deaths, lowered the default speed limit throughout the city from 30 mph to 25 mph, although some roads still have higher limits.
The DOT intends the maps to be a resource for city residents, allowing them to see where changes have occurred and to help them decide where future changes may be needed. When a resident sees a sign above 25 mph, they now have a way of determining whether the sign is correct or not. The maps also provide useful information in cases where there are no posted limits. While over 90 percent of the city has a limit of 25 mph or lower, only about 12 percent of road (measured by mileage) actually has these limits posted. The maps also indicate slow-zone neighborhoods with a speed limit of 20 mph.
The process of switching over posted speed limit signs from 30 mph to 25 mph has gone slowly, with some roads retaining the higher speed limit signs even after their official limit had been changed on paper. There are now 4,700 new 25-mph signs that have been added across the city to implement changes and address the problem of streets without posted limits. Additionally, around 2,400 30-mph signs were removed as part of this initiative.
According to the DOT, “Thirty miles per hour was and is an inappropriate speed limit for most residential streets.” Increased speed makes accidents both more likely to occur and more dangerous when they do occur.
The Vision Zero initiative aims to reduce traffic deaths and injuries over time, eventually leading to their elimination. Until that happens, pedestrians, drivers and passengers continue to suffer injuries. If you have been involved in an auto accident in New York City, meet with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer at Rubenstein & Rynecki. Call us at (718) 522-1020 or contact us online to get started.