Sunset Park

Bypassing city, Sunset Park group posts its own speed limit signs

December 16, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Members of Sunset Park Restoration posted signs like this one at several spots along Fourth Avenue. Photo courtesy Sunset Park Restoration

Members of a Sunset Park civic improvement group have decided to take matters into their own hands to warn motorists of the recently lowered speed limit on New York City streets.

Sunset Park Restoration had signs made to inform drivers of the city’s new 25 mph speed limit and then posted the signs at several locations along Fourth Avenue, one of the neighborhood’s most heavily trafficked roadways. The signs were posted by restoration members during the Dec. 13-14 weekend.

In addition to informing drivers of the new speed limit, the signs also seek to tug at the heartstrings by reminding motorists that children cross the street. The words “Do it as if your child crosses here – Ours Do” are printed on the signs.

Sunset Park Restoration is also encouraging store owners and residents on Fourth Avenue to place the signs in their windows.

The de Blasio Administration instituted the new 25 mph speed limit on Nov. 7 as part of the mayor’s Vision Zero plan. The speed limit on city streets used to be 30 mph.

But the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) did not post new speed limit signs on the avenue, according to Sunset Park Restoration President Tony Giordano, who said he thinks the agency should have done so. The signs would serve as a good educational outreach to motorists, he said.

“Encouraging stores and apartment houses along Fourth to display the new speed limit in their windows is sending a message to the city that we want official speed limit signs posted.  We believe that when DOT sees windows in apartment houses facing Fourth Avenue with these simple signs they will understand how important this is to us,” Giordano said.

Giordano wrote on the group’s Facebook page that lowering the speed by just five mph cuts the chance of death in car crashes by an astounding 50 percent.

On the DOT’s website, it is noted that a street with no speed limit signs posted automatically has a speed limit of 25 mph.

“After November 7, 2014, all streets that do not have a posted speed limit have a speed limit of 25 mph,” the website reads.

Giordano said he is aware of the fact that an un-posted roadway has a 25 mph speed restriction, but asked, “wouldn’t a reminder be good?”

Late Monday, a DOT spokesman sent an email to the Brooklyn Eagle saying that the agency is preparing to post new speed limit signs along the entire length of Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn and had always planned to do so. The signs are scheduled for installation within the next few weeks. 

In addition, DOT is developing and will soon be distributing 25 mph cling signs for merchants to place on the front doors of their shops, according to the spokesman.