Go-Go NYC Now Slo-Mo

Slow down!

Yes, I’m talking to you, speed demon, whipping down our streets at 28 mph. Sure, other cars are passing you like you’re standing still, but now NYC streets will be subject to a new law initiated by Mayor de Blasio and approved last week by state lawmakers that lowers the city speed limit from 30 to 25 mph, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs it as expected.

As a lifetime New Yorker, I’ve flipped the bird to more speeding lunatics than I can count on the other nine fingers, as they recklessly race down our streets to make a light and burn rubber turning the corner (why do they always seem to have Jersey plates?). I’m absolutely in favor of anything that lessens the danger of New Yorkers being run down by these maniacs.

That said, is 25 mph a realistic limit for every city street? For example, does the mayor truly expect to see drivers crawling down Brooklyn’s expansive Ocean Parkway at that turtle’s pace? As a Brooklyn guy, de Blasio must know that’s a bit unrealistic. So what can we really expect?

More money in the city’s coffers, that’s what! The city has been using new speed cameras to nab drivers exceeding the limit (imagine when it officially drops to 25), and police have been issuing jaywalking tickets at a record pace.

The mayor seems quite earnest about this push for pedestrian safety, and that’s commendable.

From the start of his administration, de Blasio emphasized his Vision Zero proposal designed to bring safety to our streets. Then he was (d’oh!) videoed jaywalking in Brooklyn and his SUV was taped speeding and ignoring stop signs soon after he announced his grand plan.

But that’s old news, and with this latest success, the mayor has accelerated his quest to reduce the number of city pedestrian fatalities (176 in 2013) “literally to zero” in 10 years.

Of course, by now de Blasio has learned that the best way to lead is by example.

So the next time our habitually tardy mayor is late for an appointment and tells his driver to step on it, I’m sure he’ll catch himself and chuckle. “Did I say gun it? Of course, I meant slow down.”

Yep, I’m absolutely certain of that.

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2 Responses to Go-Go NYC Now Slo-Mo

  1. I applaud the effort to reduce pedestrian-vehicle accidents. In my neighborhood on the upper west side I constantly see close calls when cars (or in one case a bus) are speeding, jumping or ignoring a red light, or even speeding along in the wrong lane through a red light! Hopefully speeding tickets will be handed out in sufficient numbers to get the message through. (Most of the offenders I see are taxis.)

  2. Artie says:

    This is insanity. First off, most of the time when driving in the city, you’re lucky if you can do 10 mph. Try doing 25 mph going crosstown in midday. Now that’s dangerous. But going up an avenue at 30-40 mph when there’s few cars on the road is perfectly safe. People in the city have to get to shows, concerts, airports, etc. How can you justify forcing drivers to go at a snail’s pace when it’s perfectly safe to go faster?

    If De Blasio is serious about saving lives, he should start educating pedestrians who are busy talking on phones, texting, etc. when they step out into the road without looking at the traffic.

    My suggestion to protest this dumb idea is what I would call “an act of civil obedience”. All cars, taxis, trucks, etc. should go no faster than 25 mph at all times, preferably 20 mph so as not to accidentally exceed the new limit. As NYC slowly grinds to a halt, maybe our brilliant politicians will rethink this one.

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