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DOT now accepting applications for 'slow zones'

Here in New York City, we are accustomed to seeing the drivers of cars, taxis, buses and trucks exceed the posted speed limit, undoubtedly trying to make up time lost traversing the city's often congested streets. While we may not give this a second thought in certain industrial areas or business districts, we may have an altogether different opinion when we see these vehicles speeding through the streets around parks, hospitals or even our own neighborhood.

Interestingly, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is now giving New Yorkers the chance to voice their opinions about the need for motorists to slow down.

Specifically, DOT officials are now accepting applications from residents, local civic associations, business improvement districts and elected officials regarding the creation of so-called "slow zones" in specific areas throughout the city.

According to the DOT, a slow zone is one in which the posted speed limit is reduced from 30 miles-per-hour to 20 miles-per-hour, and often includes such traffic control devices as street markings, speed bumps, and/or additional signs.

Not surprisingly, the idea is drawing considerable support.

"Traffic-calming devices such as additional signage and speed bumps have proven to be an effective deterrent to speeding and reckless driving," said Borough President James Molinaro. "The additional speed zones would further improve the quality of life in our communities and would prevent the occurrence of traffic-related injuries and fatalities."

The DOT has already indicated that it will give priority to the following applications:

  • Applications with letters of support from area police
  • Applications calling for a slow zone in an area already prone to car crashes and supported by official accident data
  • Applications calling for a slow zone near day-care centers, fire stations, hospitals, and bus/truck routes

The application process officially runs until February 3, 2012, with the selected slow zones announced sometime during the spring. The zones -- pending approval by local community boards -- will then be created during the summer of 2012.

How do you feel about this idea? Are there any areas in particular that you feel would benefit from a slow zone?

Stay tuned for more from our New York traffic law blog ...

If you or a loved one has received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, don't just dismiss it.

Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


Staten Island Real-Time News, "New York City looks to put brakes on speeding drivers" Nov. 25, 2011

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