A new billboard in East New York shows a pedestrian thrown into the air after bouncing off the front of a car, as his coffee splashes everywhere. “Speeding ruins lives,” it says. “Slow down.”
The goal of the campaign is to scare speeding drivers in this Brooklyn neighborhood, where 35 people have been killed in traffic crashes since 2017.
It is part of New York City’s latest effort to battle rampant speeding, which has turned neighborhood streets into raceways and propelled traffic deaths to the highest level in eight years.
pandemic boom in cycling and electric bikes, scooters and skateboards.
Just over one-quarter of the 64 deaths this year were on highways — including three deaths each on Henry Hudson Parkway and Grand Central Parkway — while the rest were on local streets throughout the city.
The traffic deaths have reversed some of the hard-won gains of the city’s eight-year-old transportation policy, called Vision Zero, which once aimed to eliminate all traffic deaths and had become a national model. Under the policy, the city won state approval to lower the speed limit to 25 m.p.h. from 30 m.p.h. on most streets, built a sprawling network of nearly 2,000 automated speed cameras, and redesigned many streets to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Mayor Eric Adams, who took office in January, has promised to expand on Vision Zero efforts. He recently pledged $904 million to the city’s streets plan over the next five years, which will include redesigning dangerous intersections and adding more protected bike lanes and pedestrian areas. He has said police officials will also increase enforcement of traffic laws.
epidemic of speeding and reckless driving around the country during the pandemic in part as some drivers have become emboldened by emptier roads and lax police enforcement, according to transportation experts. New York City has also seen a rise in car ownership as many people have avoided public transit.
Even before the pandemic, a growing number of cities sought to lower speed limits and design safer roads over concerns that higher speeds and larger vehicles like S.U.V.s led to more severe injuries and fatalities.
“The risk of death exponentially increases as speed increases,” said Alex Engel, a spokesman for the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “This is especially important as the vehicles on the streets have gotten larger.”