New York City may say Twenty is Plenty

The Twenty is Plenty movement started in the UK, where 20 MPH speed limits have been imposed by dozens of local authorities. Now it is gaining speed in New York City. According to Politicker, legislation may be passed by the end of the year.

The bill, introduced by Councilman David Greenfield, is aimed at reducing serous pedestrian injuries and traffic fatalities. Last year, 148 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents and crashes. “We are working to fine-tune this life-saving legislation that will slow down automobiles on narrow residential streets. I am hopeful that we can get consensus on this important legislation, which will literally save lives once it is enacted here in New York City,” he said in response to the speaker’s comments.

Surprisingly, given the way New York Taxis drive so fast that you fear for your life, the taxi owners are in favour of this, and are quoted in Streetsblog:

This important bill should not be used as an excuse to target drivers for tickets, but rather it should bring all New Yorkers together for a common goal, to make our streets safer, especially for our children and elderly residents. Research shows that 20 mph residential speed limits work — including in London and Tokyo, where reduced speed limits have cut the number of fatal crashes on residential streets by as much as half.

© Right of Way NYC

Citizens are taking matters into their own hands; the activist group Right Of Way recently put up their own 20 MPH signs in Park Slope, including at an intersection where a 12 year old boy was killed last month. The mother of the boy was quoted in a press release:

We urge the City Council and Mayor-elect de Blasio to immediately pass the pending legislation for a citywide 20-mile-per-hour speed limit in all of our residential neighborhoods. Reducing the default speed limit to 20 miles per hour will provide an important margin of error so that many crashes can be avoided and when they do occur, injuries will be significantly reduced. According to witnesses, Sammy had the light when he entered the crosswalk but it quickly changed and the driver entered the intersection at full speed. If the van that hit Sammy had been going slower, the driver would have had plenty of time to stop when he saw Sammy’s ball in the street like the car in the next lane that stopped so that Sammy could enter the crosswalk.

Good for New York.

Meanwhile, in Toronto:

When the chief medical officer proposed that the speed limit be dropped to 30 kilometers/hr, the metric equivalent of 20 MPH, Councillor Minnan-Wong said:

Doesn’t he have better things to do than interfere in every single department and everybody else’s lives? If he wants to lower speed limits, maybe he should apply for the general manager’s job in the transportation department.

According to the Star,

Ford quickly dismissed the idea as “nuts, nuts, nuts,” and then, last Sunday on the radio show, took aim at McKeown himself, calling the official’s $290,000 salary “embarrassing” and promising to “look into it.” Councillor Doug Ford, calling in from Florida, asked: “Why does he still have a job?”

These guys don't even get the connection, it's just more of the war on the car.

Tags: New York City | Urban Life | Urban Planning

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