Following votes in the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate last week, the bill to lower the New York City speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph passed and will soon be signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The bill, sponsored by Upper West Side assembly member Daniel O’Donnell, was introduced after a spate of traffic-related deaths across the city earlier this year, including three on the Upper West Side. Alexander Shear, 73, and Cooper Stock, 9, were both killed on the evening of January 10, while Columbia University Medical Center anesthesiology resident Samantha Lee, 26, was killed on January 19.
“A pedestrian hit by a car traveling at 25 mph is half as likely to die as someone hit by a car going 30 mph. This reduction will save many lives every year, and make the city safer for all who inhabit it,” O’Donnell said in an email blast to the community on June 20.
The lower speed limit comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio prepares to sign 11 other traffic-related bills into law on Monday as part of his Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic-related deaths in the city. Along the bills de Blasio will sign tomorrow includes Cooper’s Law, proposed by Upper West Side City Council member Helen Rosenthal, which will automatically suspend the Taxi and Limousine Commission license until an investigation of any TLC driver that kills or injures a pedestrian. Vision Zero also includes a push for increased numbers of speeding cameras in school zones and a redesign of the intersection at 96th Street and Broadway.
Deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, Noah Budnick, told Capital New York that the success of the speed limit law “shows that safety and saving lives are transcending politics, which is great for New Yorkers.”