May 10, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The city will lower the speed limit on Astoria Boulevard, Woodhaven Boulevard and a number of other arterial streets in Queens in coming weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will lower the speed limit on more than 25 miles of roadway in the borough by 5 MPH in an effort to expand on de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” street safety program.
The 25 miles is a significant portion of the 45 miles of major streets citywide that will see the speed limit reduced. The select streets have some of the highest number of crashes in New York City, de Blasio said.
“We’re lowering speed limits on over 45 miles of major streets in this city,” the mayor said at a press briefing this morning. “We’re focusing on some of the areas where we’ve seen the most crashes, and this is a way to create safety and accountability.”
The Queens streets that will undergo the speed reduction are:
- —Woodhaven Boulevard from Queens Boulevard to Rockaway Boulevard, 4.3 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
—Astoria Boulevard from 111th Street to 8th Street, 3.9 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
—Cross Bay Boulevard from Rockaway Boulevard to the Cross Bay North Boulevard Bridge, 2.5 miles (30/40 MPH to 25/35 MPH)
—Van Wyck Service Road E/W from 135th Avenue to Queens Boulevard, 3.1 miles (30 MPH to 25 MPH)
—South Conduit Avenue from Sutter Ave to Sunrise Highway, 5.3 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)
—North Conduit Avenue from Sutter Ave to Sunrise Highway, 6.6 miles (35 MPH to 30 MPH)
The city will be putting up new signage with the reduced speed limits in coming weeks. The new limit for a given street will go into effect once the signage is up.
Speed cameras along the routes will be reprogrammed to the new speed limits and will begin ticketing people based on the lower limits 60 days after new signage is posted. Drivers are ticketed upon going 10 MPH above the limit.
De Blasio also announced that more officers will be out in force across the five boroughs this week to crack down on drivers who speed and fail to yield to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as those who block bike lanes.
Each NYPD precinct will assign a traffic safety team to participate in the increased enforcement effort from Monday through Sunday. Teams will be stationed at intersections where there is a history of pedestrians and cyclists being hit by cars, de Blasio said.
The mayor also called on the state legislature this morning to allow speed cameras to operate 24/7. Currently, they are only permitted by state law to run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays only.
More than 1,300 speed cameras are now active citywide and de Blasio has allocated money in his executive budget to expand the number of cameras to 2,000 by the end of the year.
De Blasio said he respects the concerns of drivers who complain about the lower speed limits and additional cameras, but safety comes first.
“I know some people gripe about it — I respect the concerns — but this is about safety,” he said. “This is about saving lives. This is about protecting kids, about protecting seniors.”
According to the DOT’s latest speed camera report, speeding is down by more than 70 percent on average at locations where speed cameras have been installed—and injuries are down 17 percent at the same locations.