Though many in Park Slope have been trying for years to get the city to implement the Neighborhood Slow Zone program here, the new community group Park Slope Street Safety Partnership is making another push, and they are looking for neighbors’ support.
The Neighborhood Slow Zone program reduces the speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 20, with a goal of lowering the number and severity of crashes. Organizations like the Park Slope Civic Council and Park Slope Neighbors have helped get Park Slope in the running before, but so far the neighborhood has been passed up for the program three times.
Now that Mayor Bill de Blasio has outlined his Vision Zero plan, which includes having 52 Slow Zones in the city in four years, the Park Slope Street Safety Partnership is trying to gain some traction on the idea here again.
“While we’re fortunate that Park Slope experiences, relatively speaking, fewer violent crashes than many of the other neighborhoods awarded Slow Zones, we’re obviously not immune,” PSSSP wrote is its recent newsletter. “We’re bordered by two of the more dangerous arterial roads in New York City in Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. Furthermore, taking concrete steps to prevent crashes before they happen makes more sense than waiting until our frequency of dangerous incidents makes us more ‘qualified.'”
They’ve created an online petition, and will also be looking for signatures out on the streets of the neighborhood, to demonstrate local support of a Slow Zone.
“Our aim is to show overwhelming support in Park Slope for lowering the speed limit — support that the Department of Transportation and Mayor de Blasio won’t be able to ignore,” they wrote.
One street has seen its speed limit lowered recently — Prospect Park West, where 12-year-old Sammy Cohen-Eckstein was struck and killed by a van last fall. After the incident, activist group Right of Way installed fake 20 mph speed limit signs, but it wasn’t long before the Department of Transportation actually changed the limit from 30mph to 25mph along the strip.
Photo by Make Brooklyn Safer