Mary Beth Kelly: Let’s Start Driving on City Streets With a Respect for Life


Tomorrow the default New York City speed limit will drop to 25 miles per hour. This change was a major component of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and thanks to support from city and state lawmakers, and tireless advocacy on the part of Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, streets will be more forgiving for New Yorkers who walk, bike, and drive.

While new signage is at the ready, and the city has worked at getting the word out, all city motorists won’t ease off their accelerators at the stroke of midnight. In this short PSA, Mary Beth Kelly of Families for Safe Streets tells Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson what she hopes to see as drivers become accustomed to the new law.

“I’d like to see New Yorkers re-learn how to drive in an urban space,” says Kelly.

I think, like with any change, our neuro-circuitry isn’t prepared, and it’s going to take practice, and time, and people are going to feel like going slower with the new 25 miles per hour is too slow. But that’s only because we’re used to going so much faster, or trying to. So it’s a matter of practice and getting used to that, so that when you go fast you feel uncomfortable, you feel the difference, and you realize, rather it feeling too slow, you’re noticing when it’s feeling too fast.

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Streetfilms: Talking Traffic Safety at the Home of Vision Zero

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Clarence Eckerson shot this great interview with Mary Beth Kelly of Families for Safe Streets and Claes Tingvall, director of traffic safety for the Swedish Transport Administration. On Queen Street in Stockholm, a car-free plaza once “choked” with vehicle traffic, and standing within sight of the parliament building where Vision Zero took shape in the […]