New lower speed limits are part of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which is aimed at curbing pedestrian deaths. These are in effect on some major roadways today.
Neighborhood Slow Zones are a community-based program that reduces the speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph and adds safety measures within a select area in order to change driver behavior. The ultimate goal of the Neighborhood Slow Zone program is to lower the incidence and severity of crashes. Slow Zones also seek to enhance quality of life by reducing cut-through traffic and traffic noise in residential neighborhoods.
DOT creates Slow Zones in response to applications from communities. After each round of applications, DOT selects appropriate locations and works with the community to devise a plan to install the Slow Zone. Slow Zones must be approved by the local Community Board. DOT has worked with communities throughout the city to create Slow Zones. Read more about the proposed and installed slow zones
Slow Zone Treatments
Neighborhood Slow Zones are established in small, self-contained areas that consist primarily of local streets. Gateways announce the presence of a Slow Zone. A gateway is a set of signs and markings at an intersection to alert drivers to the reduced speed limit.
The zone itself is a self-enforcing, reduced-speed area with speed bumps, markings and other traffic calming treatments. Slow Zones are implemented in areas with low traffic volumes and minimal through traffic, where reducing the speed limit will not cause traffic congestion.
In New York City areas where Neighborhood Slow Zones have been implemented there has been a 10-15% decrease in speeds, 14% reduction in crashes with injuries and 31% reduction in vehicles injuries.
Slow Zone Implementation Period
Alphabet City, Manhattan (pdf)
Brownsville-East New York (pdf)
Clinton Hill (pdf)
Crown Heights, Brooklyn (pdf)
Jackson Heights, Queens (pdf)
Norwood, the Bronx (pdf)
Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside, Queens (pdf)
Sunnyside, Queens (pdf)
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn (pdf)
Hudson Heights, Manhattan (pdf)
Midland Beach, Staten Island (pdf)
Parkchester, the Bronx (pdf)
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (pdf)
West Village, Manhattan (pdf)
Westchester Square, the Bronx (pdf)
Astoria, Queens (pdf)
DOT is not accepting new Slow Zone applications at this time, but during the next submittal period applications may be submitted by local Community Boards, civic associations, business improvement districts (BIDs), elected officials, or other community institutions such as schools or churches.
pick a location with an area of roughly a quarter square mile (around 5 by 5 blocks)
pick a location that is primarily residential. Avoid wide, major streets, industrial sites and major commercial areas within the zone
pick an area with strong boundaries, e.g. major streets, highways, large parks or elevated train tracks
Applications must demonstrate local support for the Slow Zone. Applications that include letters of support from key community stakeholders will be prioritized. Examples of key stakeholders include the local Community Board, police precinct, civic councils, community groups, BIDs and local elected officials.
Map of the Slow Zone in Boerum Hill and Gowanus, Brooklyn. The major streets, in yellow, form a strong boundary around the interior streets, in blue.
boundary street Example of a boundary street
interior street Example of an interior street
Application Review and Evaluation
All applications will be reviewed to ensure they are complete, and applicants will be sent confirmation of receipt of their applications as soon as they have been processed. Applicants may be asked to provide additional information or make changes to the application after the original application has been submitted. Applicants may amend their proposals within a reasonable time period, set by DOT.
DOT objectively reviews and evaluates each application. DOT prioritizes applications based on a wide range of factors, including:
an analysis of traffic crashes inside the proposed zone, using official crash data records
strength of the proposed zone's boundaries
letters of support
presence of schools, senior centers, daycare centers, and small parks
proximity to subway stations
the feasibility for DOT to implement the zone
zones cannot contain fire stations, hospitals or truck routes (except on boundary)
Find schools, hospitals and other institutions on NYCityMap
Find Truck Routes
Browse transit maps from the MTA
New York City announces new 'slow zones' to reduce pedestrian deaths http://7online.com/237525/
New "Slow Zones" Take Effect in Manhattan, The Bronx