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Safety Activists Place Fake Speed Signs in Jackson Heights, Elmhurst

By Katie Honan | March 18, 2014 9:00am
 The homemade signs are meant to raise awareness about safety.
Speed Signs Placed Around Jackson Heights
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JACKSON HEIGHTS — Safe streets activists and neighbors put up homemade signs encouraging drivers to slow down as they drive around the neighborhood ahead of the installation of a planned slow zone by the Department of Transportation.

The 20 mph signs were posted Sunday along 34th Avenue between 74th and 82nd streets in Jackson Heights as well as at two intersections in Elmhurst — Broadway and Baxter Street and 41st Street and 80th Street.

Residents joined safety group Right of Way, which placed the signs in 10 neighborhoods throughout the city, including Astoria and Jamaica, for the project.

The group also placed signs in Fort Greene in February, where residents say they've been pushing for the city to adopt a slow zone.

Last year, the DOT approved a plan to create a .25-square-mile 20 mph slow zone in Jackson Heights that includes 34th Avenue between 69th and 82nd streets down to Roosevelt Avenue, according to the DOT's website.

The site was chosen because there are several schools and an average of 75 crashes a year, among other reasons, according to city documents.

A spokesman with the DOT said the slow zone is expected to be implemented this summer, with support from the community board.

"The agency is looking to meet with the board at an upcoming meeting," he said.

Meanwhile, residents say they're taking pedestrian safety into their own hands.

Christopher Stone, of Jackson Heights, helped put up signs on Sunday and said the issue of pedestrian safety is crucial to his neighbors.

"It's just a very important issue to me both as a biker and as a pedestrian, and as a parent with small children," he said.

His two children, ages 5 and 9, ride scooters to their Jackson Heights school and safety, he said, is an issue for "most people in the neighborhood."

"It's been an issue for a while," he said.