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Author Topic: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits  (Read 12838 times)

cpzilliacus

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NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« on: November 27, 2013, 11:05:07 AM »

N.Y. Times: City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits

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A high-velocity, if perpetually congested, city is being told yet again to slow down.

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Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, said on Tuesday that she hoped to pass a bill in the coming weeks lowering the current speed limit of 30 miles per hour on many New York streets.

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“We are actively working on that bill,”  she told reporters, referring to legislation sponsored by Councilman David G. Greenfield of Brooklyn, adding, “Our goal is to pass it before the end of the year.”

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Mr. Greenfield’s bill had called for 20 m.p.h. limits “on all streets fewer than 60 feet wide in areas zoned for residential purposes.”

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But later on Tuesday, Mr. Greenfield said in an interview that an adjusted version of the bill – lowering the speed limit to 25 m.p.h. on “one-way streets that do not have more than one lane of traffic”  – was being considered instead.
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Dr Frankenstein

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2013, 11:13:02 AM »

Cross-posting my opinion from the "20 is Plenty" thread:

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=10982.msg261484#msg261484
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froggie

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2013, 11:27:51 AM »

Carl:  the fatal flaw in your opinion is that the type of street being targeted for this 20 MPH limit is the type of street that typically would NOT have a traffic signal on/along it.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2013, 02:11:46 PM »

Carl:  the fatal flaw in your opinion is that the type of street being targeted for this 20 MPH limit is the type of street that typically would NOT have a traffic signal on/along it.

Adam, I have no problem with 20 MPH on such streets.  But what I hate are unsigned speed limits.  So 20 MPH is fine, but sign those streets.
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mrsman

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2013, 09:57:09 AM »

Is there a requirement to sign every street?  If it's widely known that single lane residential streets are 20 mph or 25 mph, wouldn't a few signs to that effect be enough?

As part of driver education, I learned that a residential street should be treated as 25 and a rural road should be treated as 55, unless otherwise posted.
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Duke87

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 11:58:34 AM »

The problem with "it's widely known" is that the laws about this stuff are different in every state. In Connecticut, every road is 30 unless otherwise posted. In New York (state) every road is 55 unless otherwise posted or unless a city or village declares otherwise within their boundaries (New York City is 30 unless otherwise posted under current rules). Considering the large number of people in New York City who learned to drive elsewhere, such a policy doesn't really work.

Furthermore, you create an enforceability problem this way since you then can have arguments over whether a particular street counts as a "single lane residential street". You can only have one default limit in any given jurisdiction, and then anything not that default needs to be signed.

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mc78andrew

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 04:15:02 PM »

I have seen the "unless otherwise posted" sign in NJ on route 46 east just past the Portland PA bridge.  I haven't been there in years, but it clearly said 50 for rural and 25 for urban unless otherwise posted.  I vaguely recall seeing this at other NJ border crossings.  As far as I know, most states don't have signs like that when you enter, which takes us back the original question:  how the hell am I supposed to know the speed limit if it isn't posted? 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 08:20:03 PM by mc78andrew »
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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 05:24:53 PM »

I believe Massachusetts is 40 unless otherwise posted.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 08:22:00 AM »

I have seen the "unless otherwise posted" sign in NJ on route 46 east just past the Portland PA bridge.  I haven't been there in years, but it clearly said 50 for rural and 25 for urban unless otherwise posted.  I vaguely recall seeing this at other NJ border crossings.  As far as I know, most states don't have signs like that when you enter, which takes us back the original question:  how the hell am I supposed to know the speed limit if it isn't posted? 

I recall those signs as well, and I haven't seen them in ages as well either.
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PHLBOS

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 09:13:43 AM »

I believe Massachusetts is 40 unless otherwise posted.
IIRC, Massachusetts had the following implied speed limits (unless otherwise posted) for non-posted roads:

20 for school zones (these are usually signed)

30 for thickly-settled* districts.

40 for non-divided roads in non-thickly-settled districts.

50 for divided highways (highways w/higher posted speed limits are always signed as such).

*Thickly-settled district is defined by an area where buildings are less than 200 feet apart for a distance of a 1/4 mile and greater.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 09:16:05 AM by PHLBOS »
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SidS1045

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 03:25:17 PM »

I believe Massachusetts is 40 unless otherwise posted.
IIRC, Massachusetts had the following implied speed limits (unless otherwise posted) for non-posted roads:

20 for school zones (these are usually signed)

30 for thickly-settled* districts.

40 for non-divided roads in non-thickly-settled districts.

50 for divided highways (highways w/higher posted speed limits are always signed as such).

*Thickly-settled district is defined by an area where buildings are less than 200 feet apart for a distance of a 1/4 mile and greater.

Still correct.  http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/dmanual/chapter_4.pdf , page 2.
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mrsman

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 01:34:42 PM »

The problem with "it's widely known" is that the laws about this stuff are different in every state. In Connecticut, every road is 30 unless otherwise posted. In New York (state) every road is 55 unless otherwise posted or unless a city or village declares otherwise within their boundaries (New York City is 30 unless otherwise posted under current rules). Considering the large number of people in New York City who learned to drive elsewhere, such a policy doesn't really work.

Furthermore, you create an enforceability problem this way since you then can have arguments over whether a particular street counts as a "single lane residential street". You can only have one default limit in any given jurisdiction, and then anything not that default needs to be signed.


And yet at the same time, NYC expects me to remember not to turn right on a red light, a rule that is vastly different than anywhere else in the country.  There are signs about the no turn on red at the major crossings into the city (like the crossings from New Jersey), but in the rest of the country there is a "No Turn on Red" sign at EVERY INTERSECTION where it applies.  (E.g. Center City Philadelphia)

So, if I can remember no turn on red, I should be able to remember:

20 MPH limit on one lane city streets
30 MPH limit on other city streets
50 MPH limit on expressways and parkways
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vdeane

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 03:10:26 PM »

NY banned right on red in any city that has more than 1 million people (roundabout way of saying "NYC").  30mph is a state standard for cities and villages, and from what I've seen, the 50 limit for freeways is fairly well signed.

Montreal also bans right on red, but they sign it on the major entrances.  Anywhere else in North America without right on red?
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jeffandnicole

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2013, 03:27:04 PM »

The problem with "it's widely known" is that the laws about this stuff are different in every state. In Connecticut, every road is 30 unless otherwise posted. In New York (state) every road is 55 unless otherwise posted or unless a city or village declares otherwise within their boundaries (New York City is 30 unless otherwise posted under current rules). Considering the large number of people in New York City who learned to drive elsewhere, such a policy doesn't really work.

Furthermore, you create an enforceability problem this way since you then can have arguments over whether a particular street counts as a "single lane residential street". You can only have one default limit in any given jurisdiction, and then anything not that default needs to be signed.


And yet at the same time, NYC expects me to remember not to turn right on a red light, a rule that is vastly different than anywhere else in the country.  There are signs about the no turn on red at the major crossings into the city (like the crossings from New Jersey), but in the rest of the country there is a "No Turn on Red" sign at EVERY INTERSECTION where it applies.  (E.g. Center City Philadelphia)

That's because turning right on red is legal in Philly, unless otherwise signed.  Whereas in NYC, it's illegal to turn right on red, anywhere.
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Brandon

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 03:51:10 PM »

NY banned right on red in any city that has more than 1 million people (roundabout way of saying "NYC").  30mph is a state standard for cities and villages, and from what I've seen, the 50 limit for freeways is fairly well signed.

Interesting.  Sounds like the New York Legislature does the same thing for laws that the Illinois General Assembly does.  Here, a lot of limits are put on what size city can do X or can't do X.  The limit is usually a population of one million.  Guess what city that pertains to?  :-D
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SidS1045

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2013, 10:43:27 PM »

in NYC, it's illegal to turn right on red, unless permitted by a sign.

Fixed.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2013, 11:00:30 PM »

NY banned right on red in any city that has more than 1 million people (roundabout way of saying "NYC").

The District of Columbia tried to ban it citywide by putting up NO TURN ON RED signs at every leg of every signalized intersection in the early 1980's. 

But because Congress has the last word on such matters, it was made clear to city leaders that Congress was considering a bill that would compel the legalization of right turn on red after stop at all D.C. intersections, so the city removed some of the NO TURN ON RED signs  and many more were replaced by NO TURN ON RED 7 A.M. - 7 P.M.
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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2013, 11:26:29 PM »

Interesting.  Sounds like the New York Legislature does the same thing for laws that the Illinois General Assembly does.  Here, a lot of limits are put on what size city can do X or can't do X.  The limit is usually a population of one million.  Guess what city that pertains to?  :-D
I've seen this in many laws - something like "this law applies to counties with a population between 115000 and 118000 in the 1950 census". It's probably done to get around something in the state constitution that prohibits laws with narrow application.
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PHLBOS

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2013, 10:10:21 AM »

The District of Columbia tried to ban it citywide by putting up NO TURN ON RED signs at every leg of every signalized intersection in the early 1980's.
When Massachusetts finally allowed Right on Red as a likely fuel-saving measure in the early 80s late 70s; tons of NO TURN ON RED signs were erected just before the new (& current) law took effect.

Over time, many of those eventually came down when many realized that allowing (mostly right) turns on red didn't increase accidents.

One intersection in Marblehead (West Shore Drive & Villiage St.) actually modified its NO TURN ON RED signs to read NO TURN ON WALK (signal).

http://goo.gl/maps/jieIE
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 11:20:05 AM by PHLBOS »
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roadman

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2013, 10:31:37 AM »

The District of Columbia tried to ban it citywide by putting up NO TURN ON RED signs at every leg of every signalized intersection in the early 1980's.
When Massachusetts finally allowed Right on Red as a fuel-saving measure in the early 80s; tons of NO TURN ON RED signs were erected just before the new (& current) law took effect.

Over time, many of those eventually came down when many realized that allowing (mostly right) turns on red didn't increase accidents.

One intersection in Marblehead (West Shore Drive & Villiage St.) actually modified its NO TURN ON RED signs to read NO TURN ON WALK (signal).

http://goo.gl/maps/jieIE
Slight clarification is in order.  Massachusetts first allowed RTOR in 1975-1976.  However, they took the NYC approach where RTOR was prohibited unless permitted by a sign.  This lasted about a year, until FHWA forced the state to come into compliance with the Federal standard - RTOR being permitted unless prohibited by a sign.  Massachusetts made the change in 1977-1978, which immediately resulted in a visit by the "No Turn on Red" fairy, as such signs magically appeared almost overnight at virtually every signalized intersection in the state.
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PHLBOS

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2013, 11:27:21 AM »

Massachusetts made the change in 1977-1978
Oops, you're right about the date(s) of the change. 

Now that I think about it further; I was in 6th grade at the Glover School in early 1978 and I do remember those NO TURN ON RED signs being erected for the nearby traffic signal at the intersection of Humphery St./Tedesco St./Maple St/Glendale Rd. in Marblehead.  The signals, at the time, were the older, post-mounted 12-8-8s blinking red and yellow (that would only change if a pedestrian pressed the button for the WALK signal) that were completely replaced with the current R-Y-G signal set-up (w/12" heads all-round) in the summer of 1980.  The NO TURN ON RED signs carried over; except for Glendale Rd. which was no longer signalized (it now has a STOP sign).

My original post has since been updated/corrected to reflect such.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 11:29:48 AM by PHLBOS »
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roadman

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2013, 12:28:28 PM »

I remember those 12-8-8 flashing red and yellow signals very well - when I was growing up in Lynn, Lynn Shore Drive had lots of them.
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PHLBOS

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2013, 12:44:49 PM »

I remember those 12-8-8 flashing red and yellow signals very well - when I was growing up in Lynn, Lynn Shore Drive had lots of them.
From what my older brother told me, those old Glover signals were originally R-Y-G until sometime in either in the late 60s/early 70s.

The blinking yellow signals along Lynn Shore Drive and the portion of the unnumbered Lynnway that was renamed Carroll Parkway that I remember were all erected in the mid-70s and all 12" heads.

The signal at the intersection of Lynn Shore Drive & Nahant St. (this was at one time a portion of MA 129) was converted from flashing yellow (Lynn Shore Dr.) & red (Nahant St.) to R-Y-G about 2 years after the signal was erected.  The ones along Carroll Parkway/Lynnway were changed to a pedestrian-activated R-Y-G about a decade later.

A set of pedestrian-activated R-Y-G w/all 8" heads at the Lynn Shore Drive/Carroll Parkway/Nahant Causeway itself have been there as long as I can remember.

Note to others here: it was not my intention to hijack this NYC speed limit thread into a discussion about the history of North Shore (MA) traffic signals.

My apologies and I'll shut up now.

These signal posts & heads were originally painted dark green but were later re-painted a light grey.
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D-Dey65

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2014, 05:04:26 PM »

 :no: :pan:

So what's next? Are the going to ban cars and trucks completely from the city? Force everyone to ride horse carriages and/or bicycles when they're not using public transit?


 :banghead:

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PHLBOS

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Re: NYC City Council Looks at Lower Speed Limits
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2014, 01:24:16 PM »

:no: :pan:

So what's next? Are the going to ban cars and trucks completely from the city? Force everyone to ride horse carriages and/or bicycles when they're not using public transit?

 :banghead:


Isn't Mayor DeBlasio planning on phasing out those horse-drawn tour carriages?  If so, then those would no longer be an option.  :ded:
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