Zerega Slow Zone will reduce traffic deaths: DOT

The NYC Department of Transportation has mapped out in pink chalk the area on Frisby Avenue where they will put a speed bump. To the right is the sign to accompny the speed bump
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

The NYC Department of Transportation has already begun mapping out locations in Westchester Square on which they will install new speed bumps.

The speed bumps are a part of the new ‘slow zone’ coming to Westchester Square.

Slow Zones, which are being placed all around the city, are part Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Initiative to create a safer commute for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Slow Zones usually entail traffic measures — such as speed bumps, reduced speed limits and gateway signage — in order to insure motorists drive at a safer speed.

In the Zerega area, the speed limit will drop to 20 mph on neighborhood streets.

Boundary street speed limits will stay 25 mph.

According to DOT, a 20-mph speed limit translates to a five percent greater chance a pedestrian lives following a collision with a motorist.

A 30 mph speed limit increases that chance of fatality to 20 percent and a 40 mph speed limit creates a jump to seventy percent.

There will be 15 speedbumps placed throughout the residential streets such as Frisby Avenue, Fuller Street, Overing Street and Zerega Avenue.

There are currentlyeight existing speed humps in the area,

The location of the additional speed bumps required the association to get approvals from the affected homeowners before the project was approved by DOT.

In addition, there will be 13 gateway signs which will announce that motorists are heading into a slow zone.

The signs will be light blue, placed under speed limit signs and say ‘Neighborhood Slow Zone.’

“Hopefully, keeping inline with what’s happening in other areas of the city, drivers naturally start slowing down as opposed to damaging their vehicles [on the speed bumps],” said Martin Prince, chair of Community Board 10.

The Slow Zone was requested by the Westchester Square Community Association earlier this year.

Lou Rocco, president of the association, said he has been pushing for traffic changes in the area for years.

Rocco said he was hit by a car in early spring while on St. Raymond Avenue.

“I really hope that this works,” said Rocco. “It’s going to change this community.”

He added, “This is going to make the community a much better and safer place.”

The WSCA application was one of 16 applications citywide approved by the DOT which received about 74 applications in all.

Councilmember James Vacca said he is a fan of slow zones and expects good things from the project in Zerega.

“There’s not a meeting I go to where people don’t talk about the speed of cars,” he said.

Vacca said that in communities like Zerega there are a number of one-way streets.

He said that sometimes when those streets are well paved and – because it’s a one-way – motorists aren’t expecting oncoming traffic, they are tempted to speed.

Vacca said that in these cases speed bumps, accompanied with proper signage, can go a long way to making sure drivers slow down.

The boundary of the Slow Zone is Lane Avenue, Westchester Avenue, Castle Hill Avenue and East Tremont Avenue.

The DOT said they anticipate completion of the speed bumps by mid-November.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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