NEW YORK - Drivers will have to take their foot off the gas on more roadways around the city as the Transportation Department lowers the speed limit on nine major thoroughfare.
Driving the changes - the deaths of 71 people in motor vehicle crashes so far this year, eclipsing the death toll in all of 2019.
“The main reason has been speeding. Speeding has been rampant in New York City since the onset of COVID-19, it’s been rampant around the country," Polly Trottenberg, the city transportation commissioner, said.
The maximum speed on eight of those nine corridors are being reduced to to 25 miles an hour - one, Rockaway Boulevard, to 35 miles an hour.
The corridors include sections of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, Riverside Drive in Washington Heights, Bruckner Boulevard and Webster Avenue in the Bronx, Northern Boulevard in Queens and Targee Street in Staten Island
Mayor de Blasio and the City Council acted six years ago to reduce the speed limit everywhere in the city to 25 miles an hour, unless otherwise posted.
The nine corridors were among the roadways that, until now, were allowed a higher limit.
Local officials made the announcement on Bruckner Boulevard, where 70 people were seriously injured or killed from 2015 through 2017.
“As a child growing up they called this part of Bruckner Boulevard Highway to Heaven because of the excessive amounts of accidents that we had on this boulevard," said City Councilman Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx) "We will get used to it and we must learn how to drive within the 25 mile an hour speed limit."
It still has that reputation for lead foot drivers.
"In the pandemic, it got more worse," one person on Bruckner Boulvard said.
The city will re-time signals and post new speed limit signs over the next six weeks.
Meanwhile, the city is installing more speed cameras - by law limited to areas around schools - which can earn a driver a $50 ticket for blowing the speed limit by 10 miles an hour.
So far, 950 have been installed, towards the city's goal of 2,000 speed cameras by the end of 2021.