Eyes on the Street: Jackson Heights Work Zone Redux

Photo: Clarence Eckerson, Jr.

Clarence snapped a photo of the construction sign at Northern Boulevard and 82nd Street in Jackson Heights, which earlier this week displayed the wrong speed limit. Motorists should no longer be under the impression that they should drive faster through the work zone.

We’d love to know what spurred the correction. Any guesses?

  • Anonymous

    30 is still too high for NYC.

  • Ian Turner

    Especially in a work zone, it should be knocked down to 20.

  • Anonymous

    glad to see it fixed. I think its a good idea but i’ve seen similar signs that simply display a smile or a frown. showing a skeleton is a bit sensational. (even if there is truth to it)

  • Reader

    It says a lot about NYC’s messed up problem with speeding that the posted limit in a work zone is the same as the posted limit EVERYWHERE ELSE.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Noticed today that the sign flashes to a skull and crossbones at times.  At first it seemed random, but I think it must be triggered to flash at a certain speed limit.  I watched it for about 5 minutes and it didn’t flash at all for the first 2 minutes, but then it did 3 times in 30 seconds while cars were zooming by on Northern.  

  • Clarence… it says 30 mph when cars aren’t speeding, but when they are… it shows the skull and crossbones.  so if everyone obeys the limit, you won’t ever see the ‘scarier’ image. I think its impressive that easy to implement technology can track the speeds and force an automated response. If only it could also ticket the speeding driver somehow too. Oh wait… it can! it’s called speed cameras and NY State legislators are still dragging their feet on the subject while more and more people are murdered on our city streets by these ‘accidents.’

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Dave,
    That’s what I figured.  That’s awesome!  I was trying to figure out what the mph would be because some of the cars didn’t appear to be going that fast.  Then again, wide open Northern Boulevard might make it seem that cars are going slower than they actually are.

  • Anonymous

    I still think it looks like that sign is saying “the speed limit is 30 mph for pedestrians” rather than “the speed limit is 30 mph for cars because there are pedestrians around.”

  • KillMoto

    I wonder if it would be better to issue a “convenience fee” charge $1 per MPH over the speed limit, with an extremely low burden of proof, rather than a punitive fine for exceeding the limit (by a least 5mph), if someone is actually caught and convicted.  People are going to speed anyway.  Charge them all a little per MPH per mile.  It’ll add up quick.  GPS, speed cameras, Fast Pass, etc., would be the means to determine speed. 

  • Daphna

    To KillMoto: NYC can not charge any fine from a speed camera, even a low fine that you suggest, without permission from NY State Legislators.  As I understand it, NYC used to have this autonomy and could have implemented speed cameras, red light cameras, bus cameras before as would suit NYC’s specific local needs.  But in the 1970’s NYC gave up a degree of autonomy in return for some state aid.  Now ironically NYC gives aid to the state rather than the other way around.  It would be wonderful if those 1970’s decisions could now be reversed to give NYC back some of its own governing power, but NY State Legislators are probably loath to give up power.

  • Daphna

    I am glad to see this sign used for a good purpose.  In contrast, the NYPD is using four of these signs throughout Central Park.  Each sign says “bi-cyclists must obey all vehicle traffic laws”.  These giant signs are flashing during all the car-free hours in Central Park.  Last year the Central Park precinct of the NYPD went on a ticketing blitz giving tickets to cyclists for going through red lights during the car-free hours whether there were any pedestrians at a crosswalk or not.  There was huge push back from the community and the parks committee of the local community board.  Without admitting to an official change in policy, the NYPD stopped ticketing.  The DOT was asked to program the lights as blinking yellow during the car-free hours but said they could not.  However, it became a tacit understanding that the lights in Central Park during car-free hours should be treated as blinking yellow lights.

    Unfortunately with their four huge blinking lit signs during car-free hours in Central Park, the NYPD seems to have resurrected their previous misguided policy.

    It is a shame that these signs could not be used for a good purpose.  The speed limit is 25 mph in Central Park and 20mph around certain curves.  Those signs flashing the speed limit would be helpful!  Or they could flash “motorists must yield to pedestrians and cyclists at all times”.  That would be helpful too for safety!