Eyes on the Street: Traffic Calming, 20 MPH Zone at Williamsbridge Oval

Illegal idling by ambulance drivers is still a problem, but recently-installed improvements around Williamsbridge Oval have calmed traffic for Norwood residents accessing the park. Photo: Elisabeth von Uhl

Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem isn’t the only green space receiving traffic calming improvements this summer. In the Bronx, Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval waged a fight with DOT to get crosswalks and pedestrian space near their park in the Norwood neighborhood. Now, a plan [PDFpresented to Community Board 7 this spring has been implemented.

The improvements include a 20 mph speed limit, expanded pedestrian space at intersections, crosswalks connecting to park entrances, additional on-street parking, and new signage. The 20 mph speed limit could be extended to the rest of the neighborhood if local leaders persevere in their effort to receive a Slow Zone from DOT.

Although there is still illegal idling in the area by ambulance drivers, Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval member and Norwood resident Elisabeth von Uhl is thrilled with the changes. “Finally, our streets are safer and our park is safer,” she told Streetsblog in an e-mail.

New pedestrian space and crosswalks make park access easier for Norwood residents. Photo: Elisabeth von Uhl
  • Gerald Fittipaldi

    I hope there are more “20 MPH” signs than just that tiny one on the utility pole located around the bend in the road. Traffic calming is a step in the right direction. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but I wonder if enough has been done to actually get people to drive slowly. Perhaps the lanes need to be narrowed even more or speed tables/humps should be added to the cross walks? If this is one of the first “Slow Zones,” it needs to be done right.

    Last thing we need is for some cars to be going 20 mph and others to be going 35 mph. Signs and enforcement are not enough. Drivers need to get jolted with a “holy crap, these lanes are really narrow and windy. I better slow down” feeling or else they won’t slow down much.

  • Anonymous

    @geraldfittipaldi:disqus: There is a link to the plan in the post, so you can see exactly where signage and other interventions have been added. This is not a Slow Zone project; as the piece says, there is a separate effort by local elected officials and community groups to get DOT to install a slow zone in the surrounding Norwood neighborhood.

  • Elisabeth von Uhl

    Before this work was done, there were two speed humps around The Oval. Those two speed humps are going to be reinstalled. Also, Stephen is correct, we are pushing hard for a “Slow Zone” in the whole Norwood neighborhood. Finally, sorry my pictures are not better, but, please, feel free to visit our beautiful park in person!

  • Bronxite

    Why doesn’t the city just create locations for emergency vehicles like ambulances to idle?


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 […]

City Council Candidates on the Issues: Andrew Cohen, District 11

Streetsblog continues our series on City Council candidates with a look at the race for District 11 in the Bronx, which covers Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Woodlawn, and Norwood. The seat has been held by Oliver Koppell, who is term-limited, since 2002. Four Democratic Party candidates are vying for the seat: Andrew Cohen, an attorney who also serves […]

NYCDOT Releases Landmark Ped Safety Study, Will Pilot 20 MPH Zones

To make walking safer, New York City will re-engineer 60 miles of streets per year and pilot the use of neighborhood-scale 20 mph zones, the city’s top electeds and transportation officials announced this morning. The commitments are among several street safety measures unveiled today, accompanying NYCDOT’s release of a landmark report analyzing the causes of […]