The Bronx Helpers Bring Home a 20 MPH Slow Zone

A Bronx Helpers rally in support of pedestrian safety. Image: ##http://www.transalt.org/files/newsroom/reports/2012/Bronx%20Helpers%20Report%20Final.pdf##Transportation Alternatives##

The Bronx Helpers set out to get a stop sign. They won 17 blocks of safer streets.

The Mt. Eden neighborhood was one of 13 neighborhoods selected as a 20 mph slow zone this week, and one of only four slated for installation this year. The successful push for a safer speed limit and the speed humps to enforce it came from the Helpers, an after-school organization that has been tackling pedestrian safety issues in the neighborhood for three years.

The group began in 2009 by fighting for a stop sign at the corner of 172nd and Townsend, gathering over 1,000 signatures on a petition. After three years, they finally succeeded in bringing safety improvements to the corner, when DOT daylighted the intersection to improve visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

With one victory under their belts, the Helpers set their sights on a bigger target: a slow zone to improve safety across their entire neighborhood. These young activists, clearly effective agents of social change, won that too.

In a story published yesterday, the Daily News’ Daniel Beekman talked to a few of the Bronx Helpers about their victory. Reading their reactions is a great way to start your weekend:

“I feel happy and proud,” said Deomar Suarez, 12. “We worked really hard. We just kept trying and trying. We sent letters and made calls. We didn’t give up.”

“I’m really surprised,” said Rafael Gonzalez, 12. “I never know I could do something so big. I feel great about it.”

  • Ben Kintisch

    Good for you, kids. The future is brIghter because of your efforts!

  • Eric McClure

    True neighborhood heroes. They’re like the anti-NBBLers.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Bronx Teens Win Ped Safety Improvement After Three Years of Activism

|
Thanks to three years of dedicated activism from middle- and high-school students, one Bronx intersection is getting a little bit safer. The Bronx Helpers, a community service organization run by the New Settlement Apartments, has successfully lobbied the city to daylight the dangerous corner of E. 172nd Street and Townsend Avenue. Until last week, drivers […]

Bronx Teenagers Continue Two-Year Fight For Pedestrian Safety

|
Two years ago, the Bronx Helpers decided to take action about a dangerous intersection in their neighborhood. The team of middle and high-schoolers, participants in a community service group run by the New Settlement Apartments, routinely crossed the street at 172nd and Townsend. They all could recount traffic crashes they’d seen at the corner, with […]

Enthusiasm Builds for Slow Zone as DOT Stonewalls on Bronx Park Safety Fix

|
Residents of the Bronx’s Norwood section have long dealt with missing sidewalks and crosswalks on the street encircling Williamsbridge Oval Park, the neighborhood’s central green space. After getting stonewalled by DOT’s Bronx Borough Office, neighborhood leaders are now hoping a Slow Zone application will get DOT to take action. Since 2009, advocates have been asking for basic […]

NYC Will Expand 20 MPH Zones to 13 Neighborhoods, With More to Come

|
Following the launch of the city’s first 20 mph zone in the Claremont section of the Bronx last year, NYC DOT has selected 13 more areas to receive the “slow zone” treatment (see the full list), Mayor Michael Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced this afternoon. DOT was inundated with applications for slow zones […]