Following increased efforts on the part of local electeds to make North Brooklyn a priority in the implementation of Vision Zero, the city’s Department of Transportation declared McGuinness Boulevard a slow zone Tuesday morning.
The slow zone will consist of the 1.1-mile long stretch along McGuinness Boulevard between Freeman and Bayard Streets. The change will mean that speed will be reduced from 30 M.P.H. to 25 along that stretch with the addition of distinct signage, better signal timing, and increased enforcement of traffic laws by the NYPD.
McGuinness Boulevard now joins Atlantic Avenue and Grand Concourse among the prominent slow zone areas throughout the city, part of Vision Zero’s plan to install 25 such slow zones city-wide.
The implementation of the slow-zone comes as a long-needed remedy to an area that has seen four fatalities – three pedestrian and one cyclist – between 2008 and 2013.
“Vision Zero is creating safer streets along the entire length of McGuinness Boulevard,” said Polly Trottenberg, the commissioner of the transportation department. “Safety has been a long-standing community concern and the Arterial Slow Zone will help reduce dangerous driving, injuries and deaths.”
In March, City Councilmembers Antonio Reynoso and Stephen Levin had called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to make North Brooklyn a top priority in Vision Zero, the plan to eliminate all traffic related fatalities by 2024, after the death of a 21-year-old nursing student next to the Williamsburg bus depot.
“Greenpoint will be a safer place for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists thanks to the launch of the McGuinness Boulevard Arterial Slow Zone,” said Levin. “Reducing speeds is proven to also reduce the rate of fatalities in traffic crashes and McGuinness Boulevard is the perfect location for this new program.”
Following the rally in March, State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol had joined forces with street safety activists to install Guerilla stop signs in Greenpoint as a reminder of dangerous speeding conditions and the spate of accidents the neighborhood had been witness to.
Tuesday’s announcement was the first major step towards making those demands a reality. The changes to the street will be installed in the coming weeks.