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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