Speaker Christine Quinn said yesterday that City Council would work to pass legislation lowering the speed limit to 20mph from 30mph before the end of the year. As Politicker points out, 148 pedestrians were killed in traffic in the city last year. This bill is aimed at lowering that number, as the risk of a fatality is greatly reduced when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle doing 20 rather than 30.
“We are working to fine-tune this life-saving legislation that will slow down automobiles on narrow residential streets,” said Councilman David Greenfield, who introduced the bill. “I am hopeful that we can get consensus on this important legislation, which will literally save lives once it is enacted here in New York City.”
The legislation has seen a few roadblocks so far. Recently, Councilman Jimmy Vacca said it was being tweaked, with speeds dropping to 25 instead of 20, and on a more limited selection of streets.
Over the weekend, the advocacy group Right of Way installed guerilla 20mph Speed Limit signs on Prospect Park West, where a 12-year-old boy was recently killed in traffic. “We’re trying to send the message that people should drive slower,” Keegan Stephan of Right of Way told ANIMAL at the time. “It saves lives, and the city should be doing everything it can to save those lives.”