Canal St. to be a slow zone


BY SAM SPOKONY  |  Citing numerous traffic fatalities along Canal St.’s 1.5-mile stretch, the city’s Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the key cross-town artery will become a slow zone by this June.

That move will lower the speed limit along all of Canal St. — which runs from E. Broadway to West St. — to 25 miles per hour. Canal St. currently sports the city’s standard speed limit: 30 miles per hour. The hazardous pedestrian stretch has entrances to the West Side Highway, the Holland Tunnel and the Manhattan Bridge.

Canal St. is Lower Manhattan’s first street included in D.O.T.’s new “arterial slow zone” program, which specifically targets major streets. The department has said that while these traffic­-heavy, arterial roadways comprise 15 percent of city streets, they account for 60 percent of traffic fatalities.

There have been six fatalities along Canal St. since 2008, according to D.O.T.

“Sometimes it seems as if Canal St. is a perpetual slow zone — but slowing down traffic on Canal, which bustles with bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles all day long, is the right thing to do,” state Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district covers the street’s eastern portion, said on Thursday.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, whose district covers the street’s western portion, also applauded the new, calling Canal St. one of the “most dangerous roadways in my district.”

Thursday’s announcement also included several other planned arterial slow zones in the city, including an 8.3­-mile stretch of Broadway from Columbus Circle to W. 220th St.

The first two arterial slow zones were launched earlier this month, in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Eleven others — including Canal St. — have been announced. D.O.T. plans to introduce 25 arterial slow zones by year’s end.