NEW YORK (PIX11) — Desire Wandan knows about the damage that can happen when cars speed down Atlantic Avenue all too well.
“My mom got hit by a car a block away from here personally and my brother got hit by a car,” said Wandan. “So, that’s two members of my family that got hit by a car in the last 10 years.”
Fortunately Wandan’s family was able to walk away from the accidents, but many others aren’t so lucky. Between 2008 and 2012 the Department of Transportation says 25 people were killed along the eight mile stretch. Which is why Wandan says he supports the DOT’s plan to lower the speed limit from 30 to 25 miles-per-hour.
“I think it’s a good idea because in the past couple of years a lot of people have died especially on Vanderbilt. I know people have died on their bicycles and even people walking have died.”
Later this month Atlantic Avenue will become the first of 25 major roadways throughout the city where the DOT will implement the reduced speed limit.
“By targeting corridors with the greatest numbers of injuries, building on our agency’s engineering expertise and partnering with communities across the city, this program marks the next step towards Vision Zero and streets that are safer for all New Yorkers,” said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
As part of the new speed limit plan, the DOT says they will synchronize traffic signals so that drivers who obey the speed limit will have to wait at fewer red lights. But not everyone supports the slower speed limit.
“I think it seems like sort of a band-aid on things sometimes,” said DJ Cabin. “They need to just deal with the problem of the interaction between pedestrians and cars here.”
Which is why the Arterial Slow Zone program is just one of more than 60 proposals from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan introduced back in February.
Together with an increased police presence and more predictable traffic patterns, the DOT and Mayor de Blasio hope the reduced speed limit can help eliminate traffic deaths throughout the city within the next 10 years.