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Lower Speed Limits Still Possible for NYC

Friday, June 13, 2014 - 01:20 PM

Efforts to lower New York City speed limits are still alive, as the final days of the legislative session approach in Albany. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver introduced a bill lowering the speed limit on city streets to 25 miles per hour, from the current limit of 30 mph. But action has been stalled in the state Senate. Now, Sen. Jeffrey Klein – the Senate’s co-leader – is picking up the baton.

"Just as Senator Klein delivered 120 speed cameras to keep the streets of New York City safe, he is in conversations with stakeholders to introduce a Senate version of the bill to lower the speed limit to 25 miles per hour, which would include input from the community," said Candice Giove, a spokesperson for Sen. Klein.

The New York City Council sent a “home rule” message to Albany Wednesday, formally asking for the lower speed limit – a procedural prerequisite for the bills’ final passage. Any legislation in the Senate will have to be reconciled with the companion Assembly bill. And there’s not much time – the legislative session is slated to end June 19.

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Comments [9]

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

I find it very appalling to hear from the anti-car fanatics on lowering the speed limits. I'm all for safe streets, but blaming one group alone isn't going to be a magic bullet here. As long as pedestrians and cyclists continue to flout the laws themselves, there never will be safe street, and it's still possible to get hit by a motorist who actually was following the rules themselves when the others weren't. For the record, I do follow the traffic laws myself when I drive, so I do practice what I preach hence giving me the moral legitimacy unlike the rest of you who believes that everybody but yourselves should be subject to the rules. BTW, having the right of way isn't absolute nor does it assure safety, and this was mentioned in the driving test at the DMV. For anytime I hear about you guys talking about motorists who flout the traffic laws, I can say the same thing about pedestrians and cyclists that constantly flout the laws as well, and I was applauded at a Vision Zero hearing for saying this.

Jun. 16 2014 07:33 PM
AMHess from Harlem

Excellent ideas on addressing speeding with proper timing of traffic signals--this is a downside of controlling every intersection with a light and also of having so many one-way avenues. The DOT should address signal timing to discourage speeding and consider making the avenues 2-way again.

Shame on the commenters who see death and injury as appropriate punishment for "placing oneself in harm's way". Why should our streets be harmful places? A lower speed limit is key to making our streets safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Jun. 16 2014 11:49 AM
JOSEPH P. WALL from PELHAM BAY BRONX

It unfortunately takes two to tango. If, NYC is going to try and enforce ANY new driving laws like reducing the speed a car can travel at to about 25 M.P.H for example, it needs to clamp down BIG TIME on predestrians who cross a street or a thourafare at any old point of their choosing even though large tandum articulated buses might be bearing down on the person who is taking the liberty to cross where they feel like it. THAT!S JAY WALKING! People wonder why other people get killed while crossing the street. If, the Good Lord wanted all of us to have electronics, all a woman giving birth would have to do is push a certain button and we all would be born with them. Thus, a EXTREAMLY LARGE CRACKDOWN WITH PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCEMENTS like the Late Mich Miller and his Gang did back in the Day.

Jun. 16 2014 11:43 AM

Reading most of these comments you would think that killing pedestrians who "flout the law" is appropriate punishment. How sick is that? Whatever happened to the law that says motorists must yield the right-if-way to pedestrians....even when they flout the law? We don't have a death penalty for murderers, but we do allow the death penalty for pedestrians who jaywalk (what a crime!) or cross against the light or even with the light. Shame on this driving culture!

Jun. 16 2014 09:46 AM

Most of the speeding that I see (at least in Manhattan) is due to drivers racing along the avenues, trying to catch up with or get ahead of the rolling green lights ... and when they're doing it, their attention is on the lights, not the pedestrians. These drivers already ignore the 25 mph limit, and changing the numbers on the signs will have no effect whatsoever on their habits.

If the DOT would just reduce the rate at which the lights advance in sequence, to 20 mph, we would immediately see vastly better results than we'll ever get by lowering the limit. Proper sequencing will also eliminate racing to catch a green light after turning onto an avenue. (Certain intersections, as all cab drivers know, give a driver a decent chance of catching a green light after a turn; this is where you see them creeping through red lights and performing jackrabbit starts.) As an added attraction, permission from Albany is probably not required.

Jun. 16 2014 08:33 AM
Chang from NYC

NYC already has the special rule that prohibits cars from making right turn on red unlike any other dense city in USA (not sure only one or one of a few in US). Now 25mph also? If it is goood because lower speed saves life, I couldn't agree more for that! How about 20, 15, 10 or even better 5mph? How about informing all pedestrians that all vehicles make full 30 seconds stop idling at 0 mph without advantage of making right turn on red? Still crossing safely is problem is because pedestrians in NYC is spoiled not reminded of illegal and unsafe behavior. It's like being protected under mother's wing irrationally. Pedestrians need spanking in father's way near Father's Day for wrong, unsafe and illegal practice.

By the way, the sign in picture has wrong information: pedestrians has the righ of way when they have walk sign, not all the time against the light. Maybe 20 mph sign supporters have that wrong idea and attempt to cross anytime and feel threatened by 30mph. I feel sympathetic for them. Peds should respect others right of way and clearly yield to drivers n bikers in moving lane. Pedestrians and bikers don't pay any but drivers pay a lot to the city and for everything else not necessarily polluting air (advanced hybrid cars, EV n small cars). Drivers have right of way to move at 30mph (sufficiently slow for humans to operate cars safely with traffic light control to stop at 0mph to let peds to cross safely without making right turn in NYC).

Jun. 15 2014 12:23 AM
Michael from New York City

B.S. !! This speeding propaganda is just s revenue scam for the trial "LOYaaahs' - and to crank up revenues for 'Comrad deBlasio' and his bloated - dare I say - 'work' force !! Airplanes go 700 MPH, race cars go 200 mph... SAFELY !! What SHOULD be done is a REAL crack-down on TEXTING and distracted driving - THAT is the REAL problem. Also, drinking and druggies should be THROWN IN JAIL and NOT given tickets !! There should ALSO be some responsibility for PARKING GARAGE who give back the keys to DRUNK DRIVERS when they pick up their cars !! STOP THIS BILL !! IT IS A LIE & A SCAM !!

Jun. 14 2014 03:29 PM
Haden from Manhattan

I think a 25 mph speed limit is still too high for Manhattan and many other densely populated parts of the city; 20 would be better. But even at 25, my guess is that we'll see a significant reduction in the number of pedestrian deaths. I'm a car owner btw who feels that this is a neglible 'price' to pay to save lives. It's my feeling that a reduced speed limit will also reduce the tension level that affects all of us who walk in a crowded city with cars.

Yes, the new lower limit will require enforcement in the beginning, but a few thousand tickets in the first six months should help with compliance.

Jun. 13 2014 09:57 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

I still find this to be nothing but a joke. If cops are hardly enforcing the current speed limit, then I don't see how lowering it will make any difference. All it really does is punish an entire group for the actions of a few. Even if all motorists obey the speed limit, you will still have pedestrians and cyclists that continue to flout the laws and will still get hit mainly because they are placing themselves into harm's way. In reality, the only real way for safe streets is for all groups to follow the rules, not just one group in the way of George Orwell's Animal Farms where there were only some animals that didn't have to obey to the rules compared to the rest who were always subject to them.

Jun. 13 2014 08:19 PM

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