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Traffic Slow Zone Approved for Alphabet City

By Serena Solomon | October 11, 2013 4:52pm
 The Department of Transportation announced the approval of the slow zone to lower traffic speed.
The Department of Transportation announced the approval of the slow zone to lower traffic speed.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

EAST VILLAGE — A traffic plan for Alphabet City that proposes to lower the area's speed limit from 30 to 20 mph next year was approved by the city's Department of Transportation Friday.

The plan is part of the DOT program Neighborhood Slow Zone and will require drivers of cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles to ease off the pedal in the area east of First Avenue to west of the FDR Drive, north of Second Street to just below 14th Street.

Community Board 3 member Chad Marlow proposed the traffic plan in April to better protect pedestrians in an area dotted by schools, daycare centers and seniors centers, with Tompkins Square Park at its center.

The plan would likely be implemented at some stage during 2014, according to a transportation committee letter.

"This slow zone will undoubtedly save the lives and preserve the health of innumerable amount of East Village residents and visitors," said Marlow, a native New Yorker who has lived in the neighborhood since 2009. He has served on the transportation and public safety committee of CB3 since January of this year.

Marlow called the area one of the most dangerous in city, citing a study he conducted with the group Transportation Alternatives that culled data from the DOT, the NYPD and the New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles.

From 2005 to 2009, there were 143 pedestrian injuries and 70 cyclist injuries in the Alphabet City area, according to the study.

Marlow said inspiration for the slow zone also came from personal tragedy. In 1995, his father was hit by a speeding drunk driver on Harlem River Drive, leaving him a quadriplegic with severe brain injuries.