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Broadway Slow Zone Begins Monday

By  Lindsay Armstrong and Emily Frost | August 1, 2014 4:25pm | Updated on August 4, 2014 8:41am

 Drivers will have to slow down to 25 mph on the busy strip.
Drivers will have to slow down to 25 mph on the busy strip.
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DNAinfo/Lindsay Armstrong

MANHATTAN — Drivers will have to take it easy on one of Manhattan’s busiest streets starting this Monday.

An 8.3-mile stretch of Broadway will be transformed into one of the city’s slow zones with the speed limit cut from 30 mph to 25 mph. The slow zone, which was announced in May as part of the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, will run from 59th to 220th streets.

This will be the city’s fourth major street to be transformed into a slow zone. Atlantic Avenue and McGuiness Boulevard in Brooklyn and the Grand Concourse in The Bronx have already undergone the change, all chosen because of their high number of traffic fatalities

At least 22 pedestrians were killed on Broadway between 2008 and 2014. A study by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign found that between 2010 and 2012, Broadway was the most dangerous street in New York City for pedestrians. Nine pedestrians were killed on Broadway in this two-year time period, according to the study.

The Department of Transportation installed signs announcing the new speed limit on July 14, a DOT spokeswoman said.

Police will begin enforcing the new speed limit on Monday, said Captain Michael Falcon, the commanding officer of the 20th Precinct, which runs from 59th Street to 86th Street, between Central Park and the Hudson River.

For at least a week, and possibly longer, "all radar qualified officers assigned to the 20 will be deployed at different locations along Broadway at various times," Falcon said.

While Falcon would not say how many of his officers were trained in using speed radar guns, there were only three trained as of April, according to 20th Precinct officer Felicia Montgomery. 

The 34th Precinct will also do increased enforcement as drivers adjust to the new speed limit, a police source said. There were no details on how many officers would be devoted to the enforcement or for how long.

A 25 mph speed limit may soon be the rule rather than the exception in New York City.

In June, the New York State Assembly passed a bill lowering the speed limit to 25 mph citywide, a change that now only awaits the governor's signature, said Margaret Forgione, Manhattan borough commissioner at the Department of Transportation.

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, the DOT has 90 days to make the change, with preparations for it already in the works, Forgione said.