Life in the Slow Lane

New Yorkers, as you cannot failed to have noticed, live their lives at a pace that would leave the good citizens of many other world-class cities in the dust. We talk fast, we eat fast, and, on those rare occasions when traffic allows, we drive fast.

The driving bit is about to change, and that’s not a bad thing.

The city recently announced an expansion of its Slow Zones initiative, which has been credited with reducing traffic fatalities over the last year. The speed limit in selected city neighborhoods has been reduced from 30 miles an hour to 20. The program’s initial success led the city to expand it to 13 more neighborhoods, including the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan, the other day.

The number of traffic-related fatalities hit an all-time low last year, thanks in no small measure to the Slow Zones program. In addition to the lower speed limits, streets in the Slow Zone program are specially marked to warn motorists to slow down, and some streets have speed bumps to drive home the point.

This common-sense approach to needless death and injuries on our streets inevitably will expand to many more neighborhoods and to areas near schools and elder-care facilities. As well it should—the results speak to the program’s wisdom.