Transportation Alternatives, a pedestrian safety group, is offering a $25 cash reward for information leading to the discovery of a speed limit sign in Manhattan between Houston St and 60th St.
According to spokesman Paul Harrison, "We have yet to find a single speed limit sign in all of midtown. We bet that no one will find any. Even though motorists killed 249 pedestrians and injured 12,730 in New York City last year, the message sent by the city to drivers is clear: go ahead and speed, the City of New York doesn't care."
Direct Relationship Between Speed and Likelyhood of Death
Studies show that the faster a car is going when it hits a pedestrian, the more likely the pedestrian is to die or sustain severe injury. An informal survey showed that 7 out of 10 cabbies didn't know the NYC speed limit. Former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly thought it was 35. Clearly, New Yorkers don't know that the speed limit is thirty. It's not surprising, given that there are so few speed limit signs.
500 Signs For All of NYC. Los Angeles Has 9,300
As for the five boroughs, New York City has 500 speed limit signs (including an estimated 200 of which have been torn down or defaced by vandals), only one sign for every 11 miles. Los Angeles has 9,300 speed limit signs for 6,500 road miles, almost one sign every half mile.
Transportation Alternatives Calls For Safer Streets
During off-peak and nighttime hours, speeds on NYC streets often approach 50 mph. A pedestrian hit at 50 mph has a 100% chance of death. Transportation Alternatives is calling for slower speeds on the city's streets, 15 mph on residential streets and 25 on arterials (not including limited access highways). Speed limit signs should be posted at least once every mile on major avenues (30 Manhattan blocks) and once every block on residential streets.