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Alphabet City-Tompkins Square Slow Zone program slows the speed limit near schools

A park bench in the afternoon in Tompkins

A park bench in the afternoon in Tompkins Square Park. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

The Department of Transportation’s Alphabet City-Tompkins Square Slow Zone program was recently implemented in the East Village on various blocks.

The program reduces the speed limit in designated zones from 30mph to 20, and 15 near schools.

According to the city Department of Transportation, the slow zone is in the boundaries of First Avenue to the FDR Drive and East Second Street to East 14th Street.

DOT also recently installed 20 speed bumps in the area.

Community Board 3 member Chad Marlow, who has lived in the East Village for five years and founded the Tompkins Square Park & Playground Parents’ Association, called for the slow zone in early 2013 and it was approved by DOT later that year.

According to a study from the transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, between 2005 and 2009 there were 143 pedestrian injuries, 70 cyclist injuries and two pedestrian fatalities in the Alphabet City-Tompkins Square Slow Zone area.

According to DOT, this specific slow zone is home to 16 schools and multiple daycares, pre-Ks, and senior centers. DOT also identified this location as a high crash area.

"We're pleased DOT recognized and not only implemented it but made it a top priority," Marlow said, noting that when DOT selected it from the applications received, it was the first on the list to be implemented. "It is an absolute necessity for our neighborhood."

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