Assemblyman Calls for 20 MPH Speed Limit Across NYC

By Emily Frost on January 16, 2014 5:45pm 

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 Citing recent pedestrian deaths, Assemblymember O'Donnell called for a lowered speed limit across the city. 
Assemblyman Calls for 20 MPH Speed Limit
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Less than a week after two Upper West Side pedestrians were struck and killed in the only blocks from each other, a local politician has introduced legislation that would lower the speed limit to 20 mph citywide.

The bill, introduced Thursday by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnellcalls for the lowered speed limit across New York City, "except where a different speed is determined appropriate and is indicated by an official sign."

O'Donnell, who represents the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights, cited the fact that there have already been seven traffic-related deaths in the city this year as part of his rationale for the measure.

"Studies have shown that pedestrians hit at speeds of 20 and lower have a dramatically higher chance of surviving an accident than those hit at speeds of 30 and above," he said in a statement Thursday. 

"I hope my bill will change the devastating rate of traffic deaths in the city, and contribute to Mayor [Bill] de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan to prevent unsafe driving and end traffic fatalities," concluded O'Donnell. 

The city's speed limit is currently 30 mph.

At a vigil Wednesday night that O'Donnell attended, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer also called for a lowering of the city's speed limit to 20 mph, eliciting support from the hundreds assembled to mourn the recent pedestrian deaths. 

Cooper Stock, 9, was killed Friday night at West 97th Street and West End Avenue by a turning taxi driver who failed to yield, authorities said. That same night, Alex Shear, 73, was killed by a tour bus at West 96th Street and Broadway, authorities said. Both residents and the community board have called for immediate changes at the intersections.

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