Sunset Park residents help bring new 25 MPH signs to neighborhood

Where are the signs?

This was the question asked for several weeks by Sunset Park residents regarding the revised New York City speed limit, which decreased from 30 to 25 miles per hour, which was made official on November 7. Although the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) decided to remove all the dated signs from Fourth Avenue, they didn’t immediately replace them with the new speed limit ones.

When residents noticed the lack of progress, Sunset Park Restoration (SPR) member Evelyn Ruiz asked the DOT when the new ones would go up. She was then told by DOT’S Keith Bray that there wouldn’t be new 25 MPH signs placed and that any road that has no speed limit sign is considered 25 MPH limit area. “The City DOT seems willing to risk public safety to save a few pennies,” Ruiz said.

SPR wrote letters to both Sunset Park’s Community Board 7 and elected officials asking them to contact DOT and get them to reverse their decision.

Executive Director of SPR, Tony Giordano, who also runs the popular neighborhood Facebook page Sunset Parker, also stated his disappointment in the initial decision. “If necessary, we will begin an on line petition and if that fails, we will install our own speed limit signs.” Days later, residents did just that, posting their own speed limit signs around Fourth Avenue.

Several days after the movement, the DOT began installing the revised limit signs throughout, much to the delight of residents and SPR. Giordano attributes the change to the people that decided to take a stand. “I think when residents began putting their own 25 MPH signs up along Fourth Avenue, it showed DOT that Sunset Parkers don’t sit back on their hands, they take action.”

“We know that the speed limit is 25 MPH but it is nice to have a reminder,” added Ruiz, who applauded the DOT’s change of heart. “This will definitely save lives.  I am so thrilled that the Commissioner Polly Trottenberg heard our voices.”

“We were surprised to be told by DOT that no signs were needed, but to their credit they quickly reversed themselves,” added longtime Sunset Parker, Rob Aguilar.

“I hate driving slow, but if I can help save a life I will do it,” added Giordano. “The numbers are just too significant to ignore.”

The signs have been going up along throughout the week.

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