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CB2 Pushes Forward with Slow Zone Plan Despite Neighboring Board's Veto

By Janet Upadhye | February 13, 2014 3:19pm
 The slow zone would lower speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph in parts of Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill.
The slow zone would lower speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph in parts of Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill.
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Department of Transportation

CLINTON HILL — Community Board 2 members gave the green light Wednesday night to a plan to turn parts of Bed-Stuy and Clinton Hill into a "slow zone," lowering speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph in order to make the streets safer for pedestrians.

But it's an uphill battle for proponents because Community Board 3 — which encompasses part of the slow zone in Bed-Stuy — put the brakes on the plan Monday night.

The proposed zone in Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy — bordered by Classon Avenue, Lafayette Avenue, Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street — was chosen in part because of traffic injuries in the area, the city said.

The 0.2-square-mile area averages 62.4 injuries per year, with about six injuries or fatalities per road mile, according to the DOT. There are also four schools within the zone's boundaries.

By comparison, another proposed 0.25-square-mile area for Brooklyn Heights had 16.8 injuries per year and a zone in Prospect Heights had an average of 23.8 injuries.

Opponents said the proposal would make traffic on an already-congested Classon Avenue even worse, DNAinfo New York first reported.

But CB3's rejection of the plan incited anger on Twitter and local listserves.

Jessica Doyle — a resident of Clinton Hill in CB2 — called CB3's rejection of the slow zone "shameful" on a pedestrian safety listserv and Brooklyn resident Doug Gordon tweeted that any serious proposal to combat traffic deaths has to "reduce the role of community boards in the planning process."

Some residents suggested splitting off the Clinton Hill portion of the slow zone, but the city's Department of Transportation plans to move forward with the creation of slow zone as a whole, according to CB2 District Manager Robert Perris.

"The DOT has informed me that they will continue to have conversations with Community Board 3," he said. "It remains their intention to create a Clinton Hill/Bedford-Stuyvesant Slow Zone in its entirety if possible."

A DOT spokesman said the agency is "look[ing] forward to revisiting this with the community board."