John Jurgeleit, executive director of Operations for the Department of Transportation (DOT), has worked out of the Queens-based shop for the last nine years.
“On a good month, we put out about 8,000 to 12,000 signs,” Jurgeleit explained following a tour of the plant with members of DOT and dozens of reporters.
Jurgeleit said they plan to successfully meet the deadline for the 3,000 new signs, which is costing the city $500,000.
Last week, his crew loaded up their trucks with 89 new signs to be installed at major bridges and tunnel crossings.
Anthony Galagan, chief of Traffic Control and Engineering for DOT, explained that the first sigsn would be installed at the city’s entry points, as well as East River crossings, to remind drivers of the change.
“When you enter the city, you’ll see these signs,” Galagan said. “It’s really there to say hey, the speed limit here is 25.”
Following the change on November 7, DOT estimates that 90 percent of streets will have a speed limit of 25 mph or lower.
Statistics suggest that excessive speed contributes to 25 percent of roadway fatalities in the city, and advocates and traffic experts say reducing this speed will double the likelihood of a pedestrian’s survival.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg acknowledged that it could take some time for drivers to become acclimated to the new speed limits. She explained that awareness and education about the repercussions of speeding must be part of the rollout.
“We want drivers on our street to have more reaction time,” Trottenberg said. “If they have the reaction time they can brake and avoid a collision.”