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Prospect Heights 20 MPH 'Slow Zone' Proposal Not Strong Enough, CB Says

 A DOT proposal for a slow zone in Prospect Heights includes a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit, nine speed bumps (marked in yellow) and new street signs.
A DOT proposal for a slow zone in Prospect Heights includes a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit, nine speed bumps (marked in yellow) and new street signs.
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Department of Transportation

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The city's plan to beef up street safety in the area by reducing the speed limit to 20 miles per hour doesn’t go far enough, members of the local community board told Department of Transportation officials on Tuesday.

The DOT went before Community Board 8’s transportation committee Tuesday night to present its “slow zone” plan for Prospect Heights — which would lower the speed limit between Washington and Flatbush avenues to the east and west and from Atlantic Avenue to Eastern Parkway to the north and south. To enforce the new rules, the DOT would install nine new speed bumps throughout the area and nearly two dozen new street signs, according to the proposal.

Leadership at CB8 said those at the meeting felt “the elements proposed, while good, do not go far enough,” said committee co-chair Robert Witherwax in an email.

Some at CB8 wanted more traffic control elements like curb extensions and better signal timing, he said. And the plan did not include traffic calming measures specifically for Underhill Avenue, where there have been “several bad crashes” near the playground there, Witherwax said, and Carlton Avenue which is “routinely abused by speeding vehicles trying to beat Flatbush traffic, or used improperly as a bus or truck route.”

The committee was pleased, however, with the inclusion of Dean Street in the plan, which Witherwax said is a “welcome development” given the high volume of traffic surrounding the Barclays Center and, presumably, the Pacific Park/Atlantic Yards project in the future.

If adopted, the "slow zone" would follow two others in the area created in the past year as part of the mayor's Vision Zero pedestrian safety initiative. The first came in April of 2014 when the speed limit on Atlantic Avenue changed from 30 mph to 25 mph. Two months later, Eastern Parkway got the same treatment.

The committee asked the DOT to come back to the board in May so that CB8 can review the plan and propose changes to it.

The next Community Board 8 transportation committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. at 727 Classon Ave.