Brooklyn Heights

‘Slow Zone’ rolling out in Brooklyn Heights

Watch out for the hump!

September 30, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DOT has begun to install speed humps, signs and markings in Brooklyn Heights. Map courtesy of DOT
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The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun implementing a Slow Zone in Brooklyn Heights.

The Slow Zone will lower the speed limit in the Heights to 20 mph, and install 21 speed humps, according to the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA).

The gently-rounded humps, which are just over three inches high, cause drivers to slow down by as much as 15 percent, depending on their speed. Three of the humps will be built on Hicks Street, used by some commuters as a northbound fast lane to the BQE, and three more will be installed on Henry Street, which runs south, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The Slow Zone also includes nine sets of signs and markings at the entry points to the neighborhood, an upgrade of existing roadway markings, high-visibility crosswalks and speed hump signs.

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DOT awarded Brooklyn Heights the Slow Zone designation based on BHA’s 2013 application. In a survey completed by more than 600 residents, many commenters expressed concerns about cars and trucks speeding through the neighborhood. A few expressed concern about noise from cars going over speed humps. A study carried out by DOT found that streets with the humps were actually quieter than those without them, however.

While BHA had been interested in traffic calming for some time, the issue gained additional traction when a tragic crash on Clinton Street claimed the life of Heights resident and BHA board member Martha Atwater.

The Heights was one of 15 neighborhoods chosen from among 74 applications.

Applicants were evaluated based on crash history, community support, and the proximity of schools and senior and day care centers, among other criteria. This section of the Heights is home to five schools and five daycare centers or pre-Ks.

At the time of BHA’s application, the neighborhood averaged 16.8 vehicle-related injuries a year.

In New York City areas where Slow Zones have been implemented, there has been a 10-15 percent decrease in speeds, a 14 percent reduction in crashes with injuries and a 31 percent reduction in vehicles injuries, according to DOT.

The humps won’t be installed near the Middagh Street fire house.

Last November, the city rolled out its Vision Zero plan, which lowered the speed limit citywide to 25 mph.

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