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Catching up with an op-ed that appears in this week's issue of The Villager. Here, CB3 member Chad Marlow, and the group that he founded in 2011, the Tompkins Square Park & Playground Parents’ Association (TSP3A), are kicking off a major neighborhood safety initiative.
It involves applying to the Department of Transportation to have them create what the group is calling the "Tompkins Square/Alphabet City Slow Zone" (TSACSZ).
The TSACSZ, in short, is an effort to improve pedestrian safety for children and all others who live/work/play in the proposed 0.38 square-mile zone by reducing motor vehicle speeds. As Marlow writes, the slow zone program "takes a well-defined, relatively compact area, and reduces its speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour, with further reductions to 15 miles per hour near schools."
The above map previews the proposal, using crash data demonstrating how dangerous the area is. Per the op-ed:
According to Transportation Alternatives, from 2005 to 2009 (the five most recent years for which State Department of Motor Vehicles data is available), there were 143 pedestrian injuries and 70 cyclist injuries in the proposed TSACSZ. There were also two pedestrian fatalities. That means the proposed TSACSZ averages 42.6 injuries and 0.4 deaths annually. By way of comparison, only one existing slow zone — Elmhurst, with an average of 44.6 annual injuries — is even in the same ballpark as the proposed TSACSZ.
The group believes that the proposed TSACSZ will benefit the neighborhood's residents, visitors and businesses by creating a safer, cleaner neighborhood with less traffic noise, among other things.
Aside from other NYC neighborhoods, Marlow points to the successful implementation of such zones in several international cities, including Berlin, Zurich, Dublin, London and Helsinki.
Finally, Marlow reveals a personal reason behind this proposal. In 1995, a drunken driver struck Marlow's father, an accident that left him with quadriplegia and a severe brain injury. His father died 13 years after the accident.
Read the entire op-ed here.
Previously on EV Grieve:
A proposal to help curb the East Village crusty population
Parents group upset about number of rats in Tompkins Square Park
I think this is a great idea. Our block association has been trying to get a speed bump for a long time. There are ten kids on just one end of this block.
What a load of crap. The EV streets are a nightmare of pedestrians walking in the street randomly, across, diagonally and doing their best to ignore vehicles that have the right of way. Same goes for bikes. 30mph is a reasonable speed to travel those streets as long as everyone respects each others use.
As long as Quinn isn't the next mayor, you're going to see a lot less of this anti-car bullshit.
Should be easy enough to off. There are only a few streets and avenues where speed is a real problem: Avenue C, 4th Street, St. Marks. Most everything else is too narrow or has restrictive lights.
it would be nice to extend this further west were the same problems exist.
Of course, having less drunk people wandering around (and driving?) on the weekends would probably help as well.
Sorry, but that area is no more "special" and in need of such slow speeds than any other area.
Stay out of the street until the light is green for you.
It would be inefficient to make such a low limit, and it would be unfair to other neighborhoods.
Why should just that area get a reduced speed?
Because YOU'RE a parent?
I sympathize iwth your situation but being outside of your situation there are other practical factors involved.
I like this proposal much more than the one about getting rid of crusties.
Anonymous 9:06 AM, I agree that other areas of the city are in need of this protection as well. I would support extending the "slow zone" to the whole of Manhattan.
Jesus is this city getting precious.
I can't believe that people (wait -- yes I can) would have a problem with having vehicles slow down near schools or hospitals? No humanity.
Agree with @10:10 - what the hell is the matter with some of the posers here? There is actually a pro-getting-hit-by-cars bunch in the neighborhood. Some people are just nasty naysayers. This is not only a great idea, it is about the least controversial neighborhood proposal I have ever seen.
use crusties for speed bumps, problem solved.
This is a great idea. This is and should be an increasingly pedestrian, public transportation, and bicycle-friendly city. Reducing and slowing down traffic in the more neighborhood-like areas of the city--like alphabet city--is a no-brainer.
Real bad idea. Some cars are the problem however they will still continue to speed. Bicyclists & pedestrians need to be responsible as well. 15mph is slower than most bicyclists.
Random segue. What is up with that super-loud motorcycle that speeds by the neighborhood at like 5:00every morning now?
REDUCE RICH DRUNKS NOT AUTOMOTIVE SPEED!
More pedestrians are hit by cars while legally crossing the road in NYC than those that are jaywalking.
The less cars in the City the better. I don't remember the EV being jammed full of (working) vehicles when it was the "real" EV.
The parkside corner of 7 and B is particularly bad. Not only do drivers speed through there but it is impossible to get a good safe look before crossing. The street parking impedes the view quite a bit. I've seen at least 4or 5 (non-drunk) people get clipped on that corner, none seriously injured, and 2 or 3 bicyclists hit, one severely injured.
@2:39 the other side of the park is a problem too. 10th and B. Especially cabs use that street as a mega speedway. People get hit all the time. They need a few speed bumps.
When's the last time you saw anyone get a ticket for speeding, or jaywalking, or riding their bike the wrong way down the street?
We don't need a new law nobody is going to enforce. We need the police to enforce existing laws meant to enhance public safety. If there's a specific problem at an intersection, school, medical facility etc - then a specific fix should be implemented to solve it. Not a one size fits all that under the current police protocol will be ignored anyway.
@6:11. That is what speed humps are for - you don't need NYPD enforcement. You take them at over 20 MPH and you damage your car.
I think this is a great idea -- prioritizes safety and neighborhood feel over people ensconced in a ton or two of steel.
absolutely we don't need more laws that aren't enforced! So I agree with Anon 6:11pm.
And I see all sides... I walk a lot, ride my bike regularly and I drive my car. (I take the bus a lot too. Subway not so often.) We all just have to learn to get along but in the meantime... fine the hell out of those who break the current laws!
It would be such a smart move. Having lived in several of these zones for numerous years in European cities, I can tell you first hand that it just works like a charm for everybody.
gojira +1 As a kid we played handball dodging cars. Pedestrians were all red-green color blind. Ever since the Giuliani program to clean up the city for moneyed interests, NYers welcome every kind of social control -- speed bumps, sidewalk fences to force pedestrians to walk at the corner, bike lanes that force bikes onto the shoulder. It's as if the gentrifiers and the non NYers have taken over and taken all the grit out of the city. Pedestrians stand on the curb obediently even when there isn't a car in sight, as if they were terrified tourists. What's vanishing in this city is not just its distinctive places. Humans have disappeared too.
Anyone notice Marlowe's contradiction in his first sentence about the fast ride to the hospital? I laughed, but it's a serious problem.
Marlow brings the EV one step closer to a gated community. ~(-:
Exactly who would be gated out by a zone that runs from 14th Street to Houston and 1st Ave to the FDR and, um, isn't gated at all? Guess what Rob, eveyone who lives in the area, including those of all ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds and of all income levels (especially in the Avenue D projects where the car problem is VERY bad), don't want to be mowed down by cars. Instead of just espousing your fake-progressive East Village dogma, why don't you try thinking first - and don't try to paternalistically speak for groups to which you clearly don't belong.
Transportation Alternatives is the biggest enemy of a quiet/safe zone that there is. Talk about hypocrites. Let them quit advcating for and start to get control of the Kamikazi Biccyle community before they gp ranting about Autos. Quite frankly I am more afraid of the psycho bicyclists (delivery and the free-wheeling terrorists) than the Autos.
@ 11:18 -- It was an in joke between me and shmnyc. (That's what the was to indicate.) He says -- frequently -- that preventing a 7-Eleven will bring the EV "one step closer to a gated community." My response to him was, well, your response exactly -- Loisaida is not likely ever to be gated, it's too diverse.
As for paternalism -- I spoke only for me and my experience growing up in New York.
Serious question - how would this not back up traffic outside the zone? The current construction on Houston has traffic backed all the way up 2nd Ave to St Marks.
One of the rules for slow zones is that they have major roads as borders. Presumably, that is so most major traffic does not run through the zone and traffic trying to avoid the zone can be absorbed by the bigger roads to.
Seriously, are we really having a debate going about whether speeding cars in a neighborhood rich with local pedestrian traffic is a bad or a good thing? Or whether this is more or less "authentic"? Just silly.
@12:00am -- Observations are not always objections. Looking at how and why and when proposals emerge can help understand why they weren't proposed decades before (there were people and cars then), for example, and that's no objection to the proposal, and neither is observing what it means politically, economically and socially today. You can call it whining, historical memory, sociological observation, or just grieving.
I'm not a parent nor on the CB, so I'm not taking a "position" on this, just observing that when I dodged traffic (which I enjoyed immensely as a kid) my mom yelled at me, not understanding that we were as expert at traffic-dodging as balancing is for a tightrope walker (which would terrify me as a parent). So I grasp the concerns.
On the other hand, I know of three people who've been hit by cars -- Michael Shenker was one -- all many years ago. They were hit at intersections where speed bumps wouldn't seem to be any help. What would help? Obviously not banning cellphones in cars. Maybe cellphone-calling has made drivers more careful, just as drivers are more cautious among helmetless bycyclists (that's been studied, btw.). What would the irony-challenged say? Mandate texting?
10th between a/b is particularly bad. i think maybe because there's only parking on one side of the street and it's one of the few two way streets in the area, folks think they're on a motor speedway. they literally speed up to race to a red light. speed bumps a brilliant idea. at least for this street.
Stupid idea. As if taking the bus home wasn't ridiculous and slow enough now it's going to be worse. all for feel good legislation that doesn't really solve anything.
Hey anon 9:48
This won't have any impact on city buses. This is not on the Avenues, just the side streets (and it will not impact the crosstown m8 either).
Unless you meant SCHOOL BUSES, which, based on your uninformed comment, you must still be in grade school
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