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Amsterdam Avenue Speed Limit Set to Drop to 25 MPH in Slow Zone

By Emily Frost | August 5, 2014 7:48am
 The Amsterdam Avenue slow zone will launch this November. 
Amsterdam Avenue slow zone
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UPPER WEST SIDE — The speed limit along Amsterdam Avenue will drop to 25 mph when a new slow zone goes into effect there in November, officials said. 

Capt. Marlon Larin, commanding officer of the 24th Precinct, confirmed that his officers will begin enforcing the lower speed limit between West 59th and West 193rd streets on Nov. 17.

New signs are expected to go up advertising the new speed limit in October, said Bonny Tsang, assistant spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation. 

The change is part of the mayor's Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic deaths across the city. The DOT targeted 13 other avenues where it will also add slow zones, including Park Avenue. On Monday, the Broadway slow zone, part of the first round of such stretches in the city, went into effect. 

Amsterdam Avenue is one of the more dangerous in the neighborhood, with 82 injuries and one death involving pedestrians over the past two years between West 60th and 107th streets. In comparison, there were 50 injuries and two deaths involving pedestrians during the same time period on West End Avenue, according to a DNAinfo New York study. 

According to the DOT, there were eight traffic fatalities along the 6.6-mile avenue between 2008 and 2012.

Beginning Nov. 17, police will give extra attention to Amsterdam Avenue over a four-week period, with all radar-trained officers assigned to catching speeding drivers, Larin explained.

"As opposed to enforcing speeding in a spotty manner throughout the geographical boundaries of the precinct, we will be narrowing it down to this corridor," he said. 

After a push to calm traffic and ease the movement of cyclists by local activists, Community Board 7 agreed to let DOT study the feasibility of adding a bike lane to Amsterdam Avenue. The DOT confirmed last week it is studying the avenue and will present its findings in the coming months.