Grand Concourse in the Bronx will be the second of 25 arterial slow zones to be implemented on major streets throughout the city, after the program was first introduced on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn last week, the Department of Transportation and the New York Police Department announced on Thursday.
Starting this month, traffic signals will be retimed to reduce speeding on Grand Concourse, the 5.2-mile long corridor that runs from East 140th Street to Mosholu Parkways. Between 2008 and 2012, there were 12 fatalities — seven of which were pedestrians, along the corridor. It is the latest step taken by the DOT and its partners to reduce pedestrian deaths as part of the Vision Zero plan.
“We’re bringing innovative safety changes like these to the Concourse, to Atlantic Avenue and other major streets to deter dangerous speeding and deadly crashes, as we work to make these arterials and every New York City street safer for all New Yorkers," Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement.
The Arterial Slow Zone program, one of 63 proposals in the Vision Zero report released in February, brings the posted speed limit down to 25 miles per hour from 30 miles per hour on streets that are notorious for a large number of fatalities and serious injuries. Although arterials — an urban road that is usually at high capacity — make up only 15 percent of total mileage throughout the city, they are responsible for 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
“A safer Bronx is a better Bronx. This slow zone along the Grand Concourse will undoubtedly save lives, and we are grateful as a borough to Commissioner Trottenberg and the de Blasio administration for bringing the principles of ‘Vision Zero’ to one of our most trafficked thoroughfares,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said in a statement.
“The Museum is a cultural destination located on the Grand Concourse at 165th Street that provides arts and cultural programing and supports initiatives that benefit our neighbors’ well-being," Bronx Museum Director Holly Block said in a statement. "The Museum is an active partner for the safety of our Bronx communities and strongly believes in policies that will make our main boulevard the safest place for pedestrians and cyclists.”
The city has held a series of town halls throughout the boroughs to educate the public about Vision Zero. The city is planning to host nine more workshops on the plan in the coming months. The other 23 arterial slow zones will be installed throughout the five boroughs in the future.