Activists Put Unauthorized Speed Limit Signs on Prospect Park West

11.25.13 Andy Cush

Last month, 12-year-old Sammy Cohen-Eckstein, a Park Slope resident, was killed when a van hit him near the intersection of 3rd Street and Prospect Park West. Had the driver of that van been going a little slower, argue activists with the organization Right of Way, Cohen-Eckstein’s life may have been saved.

To drive that point home, members of Right of Way spent Saturday night putting up guerilla street signs that display a 20MPH speed limit and read “Twenty is Plenty” on every other block of Prospect Park West. The speed limit is officially 30MPH.

“Statistics show that a pedestrian hit by a car going 30MPH only has about a 50 percent chance of surviving, while a person hit by a car going 20MPH has a 95 percent chance,” Keegan Stephan of Right of Way told ANIMAL.

The signs are part of a campaign to encourage the city’s Department of Transportation to create more Slow Zones–residential areas where the speed limit is lowered to 20MPH and other pedestrian safety measures are implemented–around the city.

“We’re trying to force the issue, and show that creating Slow Zones is easy,” Stephan said. “If a bunch of broke activists can do it, the city should be able to do it too.”

Previously, Right of Way parodied Banksy’s Better Out Than In residency to criticize the NYPD’s blasé attitude towards investigating the drivers behind pedestrian deaths around the city.

The 20MPH signs were still up as of 10 this morning, but Stephan believes they may have been taken down since then.

“We’re trying to send the message that people should drive slower,” Stephan said. “It saves lives, and the city should be doing everything it can to save those lives.”

(Photo: Right of Way/Flickr)