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Photo by Yinghao Luo
By Rebecca Henely

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced on a visit to Corona Tuesday that a 0.26-square-mile section of Corona would be one of 13 new Slow Zones being created throughout the city.

In a Slow Zone, first implemented in the Bronx neighborhood of Claremont, motorists are required by law to drive at 20 mph or less. The citywide speed limit is 30 mph. Slow Zones are distinguished by blue signs at the entrances to the zones and multiple speed limit signs and speed bumps.

“Slow Zones send a strong message to drivers that our neighborhoods are not shortcuts,” Sadik-Khan said.

The boundaries of Corona’s Slow Zone will be 34th Avenue to Junction Boulevard to Roosevelt Avenue to 108th Street. The zone, which will also include 14 new speed bumps, will be completed this year now that it has received approval from Community Board 3.

In this 0.26-square-mile section, which has two schools and 10 preschools, an average of 33 injuries a year due to car accidents have been recorded, the mayor’s office said.

“We have many children, many young children,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “This area is very, very dangerous.”

The Corona Slow Zone is one of 13 neighborhoods with sectors that have been preliminarily selected to become Slow Zones. Queens is set to be given four of those zones, including the one in Corona. Queens is tied with the Bronx for the largest number of new Slow Zones.

Elmhurst’s Slow Zone, which measures about 0.3 square miles, will be between Roosevelt and 34th avenues, with Junction Boulevard bordering it to the east and Broadway and Baxter Avenue bordering it to the west.

Jackson Heights was selected to receive a 0.26-square-mile Slow Zone from 82nd Street to 31st Avenue to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Astoria Boulevard.

In northeast Queens, Auburndale has been approved for a 0.19-square-mile Slow Zone from Francis Lewis Boulevard to 35th Avenue to the Clearview Expressway to Northern Boulevard.

The neighborhoods were chosen after being nominated by area advocates and then evaluated on the basis of a number of criteria, including crash history, community support for the project and how many schools, senior centers and day-care centers are in or near the area.

Bloomberg said 2011 had 243 traffic fatalities, the lowest since the city began tracking records in 1910. He said the drop in accidents has occurred in large part due to the series of new safety measures the city has implemented, such as countdown clocks and pedestrian plazas.

Bloomberg said the city will continue to enact additional measures to reduce fatalities and injuries from car accidents.

“Today we are announcing our newest measures to up our overall safety gains,” he said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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