LOWER EAST SIDE — Slower traffic is coming to Houston Street and the Bowery this fall.
Starting in November, the city will reduce the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph along Houston Street from river to river, as well as along the entire length of the Bowery from Chatham Square to Cooper Square, according to the Department of Transportation.
In addition to reducing the speed limit in the two new slow zones, the city will also add signs and step up enforcement of traffic rules as part of the city's Vision Zero initiative to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, according to the DOT.
There have been five traffic fatalities on Bowery from 2008 to 2012 and one on Houston Street in the same time period, according ot the DOT. The fatalities include pedestrians as well as those injured in motor vehicles, bikes and other non-motorized devices like skateboards, according to a DOT spokesman.
“Keeping traffic flowing along our most important thoroughfares need not come at the expense of people’s safety," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who helped pass legislation authorizing the city to lower the speed limit citywide.
"By creating arterial slow zones, the Department of Transportation will make essential improvements to our most dangerous roads, which will save lives."
Houston Street and the Bowery are two of 14 streets included in the city's second phase of arterial slow zones, which launched Monday in The Bronx. The city already installed a slow zone on Canal Street between West Street and East Broadway earlier this summer.