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City Reducing Speed Limit on Roosevelt to 25 MPH

Roosevelt Avenue (Photo: Google Earth)

Aug. 4, 2014 By Michael Florio

The traffic on Roosevelt Avenue is likely to move a little slower come September.

The Department of Transportation announced Friday that 14 new slow zones are about to be rolled out across the city, including a 5.8 mile stretch on Roosevelt Avenue.

The DOT announcement represents phase 2 of its Arterial Slow Zone program, which aims to clamp down on dangerous driving by reducing the speed limit to 25 MPH, down from 30 MPH.

The slow zone on Roosevelt Avenue will go into effect in September—and will go from Queens Blvd to 154th Street.  According to the DOT, there were five fatalities from 2008 to 2012 on this stretch of roadway.

The Arterial Slow Zones are not just about reducing the speed limit. The DOT will also change the signal timing to reduce speed and will call on the NYPD for increased enforcement. The DOT will also install temporary speed boards to alert drivers of the new speed limit.

“This will have a dramatic impact on the amount of traffic fatalities and serious injuries our City experiences every year,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “By reducing the speed limit and increasing traffic enforcement along Roosevelt Avenue, we can and will prevent tragedy from occurring.”

Phase one of the Arterial Slow Zone program was announced in May, and includes stretches of Northern Blvd and Queens Blvd.

The Northern Boulevard slow zone runs for 4.2 miles, from 40th Road to 114th Street.

Since 2008, there have been five fatalities on Northern Boulevard. One of the accidents involved 8-year-old Noshat Nahian, who was fatally struck by a truck on his way to school by 61st Street, according to the DOT.

The Queens Boulevard slow zone is 7.4 miles long, from Jackson Avenue to Hillside Avenue. There were 23 deaths in the past six years at this location.

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Seriously, Tony, if you really were to study traffic flow around here, you would have little difficulty finding vehicles going faster than 30 MPH. Roosevelt is not the best street to use as an example, but tell me there isn’t a problem with speeding on QB between 58th and 38th street, an area jam-packed with pedestrians? You don’t think slowing down traffic on this road will have a positive effect? There are speeders on 43dt street, heading towards the BQE, and see cars going too fast on 50th avenue on a regular basis, trying to beat the lights.

It’s doubtful that the DOT is worried about speeders on Roosevelt Avenue- you are choosing one of the slowest thoroughfares around to make your point.

South Side Johnny

More cops enforcing traffic laws + more fines for scofflaws and revenue for the city.

I also “cannot wait until the cops pull someone over and BLOCK THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC as the take their sweet time to write the ticket” because it will slow down traffic even more. Either walk or if you want to go fast, go over to the expressway. Slower traffic means fewer dead pedestrians. WIN WIN

Tony Baloney

As someone who has studied traffic flow and pedestrian behaviors, I don’t see this as a positive fix. Reducing the speed limit will have little impact in my opinion. This is NYC, since when do drivers respect the posted speed limits? Time is money in this city, and trying to slow drivers down, I am afraid, will only have the reverse effect by creating more congestion and fueling the likelihood for road rage type of behavior and more erratic driving. The city should spend more time and money implementing measures to reduce congestion (honestly, I rarely get over 25 mph the way on that Roosevelt Avenue corridor), and improve pedestrian access. It’s usually a sea of double-parked cars, livery drivers meandering around looking for a fare, and pedestrians with little respect for a roadway. One of the more horrific pedestrian deaths I recall on Roosevelt Avenue (victim was struck by multiple vehicles), was the result of the victim being overly intoxicated and stumbling out from a bar onto the roadway. A horrible tragedy, but I find it interesting that the DOT somehow attributes pedestrian deaths to speeding cars down this corridor. I will be avoiding Roosvelt Avenue once this change takes place. It’s only going to get worse…

Theorem Ox

The more I see “Vision Zero” being implemented, the more it resembles the path of “Obamacare” (PPACA) in the following ways: (1) It sounds good in press conferences / on paper, (2) has some good ideas but most of them will end up becoming liabilities in the future, (3) outcome takes a long time to pan out and (4) the “unintended consequences” (to anybody not scrutinizing the details and thinking rationally) will make the previous status quo look like heaven in comparison.

Neglecting the likely scenario of the citywide speed limit being reduced to 25 mph in the near future, I especially don’t really see the point of the Roosevelt Avenue “slow zone.” Perhaps with the exception of the Flushing Meadows Park area, it’s not easy to consistently maintain a speed of 30 mph for most of the day anyway. From Sunnyside to Auburndale, much of Roosevelt Avenue is congested. Sometimes, it’s the sheer volume of moving vehicles and pedestrians. Sometimes, it’s the double parked cars and trucks. Construction and the poor state of the road discourages unreasonable speeding anyhow.


That happens all the time. People also mentioned pedestrians darting into Queens Blvd (not only people with kids, everyone) on a red light, blissfully inattentive to all the signs saying ‘a person was killed here’.

Not to mention the bikes that basically obey NO traffic rules at all. What about them?


No, jaywalking is NOT the main cause of accidents; that would be Distracted Drivers, Reckless Drivers, Speeders, & DUI. While crossing QB when you do not have the Walk signal is certainly stupid, that sort of behavior is NOT what is causing all the problems. When I come out of the post office and want to go to the Japanese store across the street, do you expect me to walk all the way to the corner before crossing 44th street? Of course not- most “jay walking” is normal pedestrian behavior- walking like any normal person would walk. Slowing down the traffic is more realistic- who here hasn’t seen vehicles moving through this congested area at too fast of a speed lately?- it’s happening everywhere. Blaming jaywalkers is silly. If drivers would slow down and pay attention, there will be fewer accidents. I’m trying to imagine someone lowering a baby carriage down off of a curb in the middle of the block, between two cars, and crossing in the middle of the street….Nope, don’t believe it, at least that it happens often.

Jeanne Alvarado

I am so happy this finally happened!!!!!!!! The traffic in general has been way to out of control for a very long time. Speeding, cell phones, loud music ect. That whole area over by MC Donald’s is so dangerous!!!!! On the flip side, I think it is equally important to enforce the law regarding jaywalking. I totally agree with Responsible Driver on this. Many many times, I have witnessed women with baby carriages crossing in the middle of the street, against the light. Now if this could be addressed as well, Roosevelt Avenue would be much safer.

Hoof Hearted

I’m sure De Blasio’s drivers won’t be paying any attention to the new speed limit.

Oldschool Sunnysider

Lets RAISE THE FINE for Jaywalking to $250 and watch how the accident rate will fall like a lead balloon!!!

Responsible Driver

I’m all for this plan but along with it I hope they are just as diligent when it comes to jaywalking pedestrians. While walking up Queens Blvd. tonight I saw at least 10 morons crossing against the light after getting off the 7 train at 46th street. One woman with a young child darted out without even looking–she just followed the pack. Maybe the 108 pct. needs to station some of their traffic agents at the subway exits to nab some of these fools. As much as people would like to you just can’t blame drivers for the whole problem.


That’s great. Now you can get a good look at the drug dealers and hookers in Jackson Heights while dodging bullets. Wish we had a mayor instead of a traffic cop! How much time does he have left?

Plain Spoken

Until people stop driving like a-holes nothing will change-except an increase in the cops coffers. People will continue to speed through residential neighborhoods. They will text and drive. They will talk on their phones and drive. They will drink and drive. They will do drugs and drive. They will tailgate. They will pass a car on a two lane street. They will beep after a light turns green because the car in front of them is waiting for pedestrians to cross. Then they will rush ahead to wait at another red light. A lot of people drive like a-holes and they always will. Let the ticket blitz begin.

Oldschool Sunnysider

I cannot wait until the cops pull someone over and BLOCK THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC as the take their sweet time to write the ticket, ADDING TO THE CONGESTION that ALREADY EXISTS….ohhhhh yeaaaah.

Mike Novak

BFD….you cannot drive over 10mph with all the Grandma’s and Auntie’s driving their nine seat vans while yakking away with their relatives.

stupid peds

Let me get this str8…because dummies don’t know how to cross the street, the city lowers the speed limit. Let Darwinism take it’s course.


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