Residents in western Queens will soon be able to cross their streets more safely.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will install slow zones in Sunnyside Gardens, Woodside, and Sunnyside south of Queens Boulevard, according to Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. The slow zones, set for 2015, will be designed through input from the community.
“By installing these two slow zones in western Queens, we will have tremendous impact on improving the safety of pedestrians who walk along heavily trafficked corridors in our neighborhoods,” said Van Bramer. “I believe it is vital to use every tool we have to protect the lives of residents on our city’s streets.”
The locations, which are part of 15 communities chosen to receive slow zones over the next three years, were selected based on the DOT’s evaluation on crash history, community support, the proximity of schools and seniors and day care centers, along with other data.
The Sunnyside slow zone would be bordered by 36th Avenue, Queens Boulevard, Greenpoint Avenue, 49th Street and parts of the Long Island and Brooklyn-Queens Expressways. The Sunnyside Gardens and Woodside Slow Zone would be surrounded by 43rd Street, Barnett Avenue, 58th Street and a part of Queens Boulevard.
The goal of the Neighborhood Slow Zone program is to lower the number of crashes and “to enhance quality of life by reducing cut through traffic and traffic noise in residential neighborhoods,” according to the fact sheet.
Slow zones are marked with high-visibility blue signs that warn drivers at all streets entering the zones. Each area has a speed limit of 20 mph and includes speed bumps and eight-foot-high letters on the road that read “20 MPH.”
“Speeding is the single greatest contributing factor in traffic fatalities in our city,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last month. “Slow zones have shown proven results in curbing dangerous driving and we want more neighborhoods to benefit from the program.”
According to the DOT, a slow zone has also been proposed for Jackson Heights in 2014.