Authorizes the city of New York to establish speed limits throughout the city at not less than twenty-five miles per hour and not less than twenty miles per hour on or along certain designated highways.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to speed limits
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would protect pedestrians by reducing the speed limit in New York City.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends the NYC Administrative Code by changing the speed limit in New York City from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour (bill section 3). The bill also amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) to permit the reduction of the NYC speed limit. Specifically, the bill amends VTL section 1643 to permit the NYC speed limit to be not less than 25 miles per hour, and on designated highways under certain circumstances, not less than 20 miles per hour. The bill also amends VTL section 1642(a)(26) by deleting reporting requirements relating to traffic calming measures.
The B-print seeks to accomplish the same goal - pedestrian safety - as the A-print, but it does so in a different manner, and the bill has been substantially rewritten. It now amends section 1643 of the VTL as well as section 1642; it amends VTL section 1642 in a different manner than the A-print did; and it amends NYC Administrative Code section 19-177 in a different manner than the A-print did. The B- print also changes the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: In New York City in 2013, nearly as many people died in traffic accidents as were murdered. The speed at which a motorist is driving correlates strongly with the likelihood that an accident with a pedestrian will be fatal.
Early numbers from this year demonstrated the critical need for this legislation. When this bill was first introduced in mid-January 2014, there had been seven pedestrian fatalities in NYC from traffic accidents involving motor vehicles over the course of just 14 days. On one day alone, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, there were two such fatalities one child and one senior citizen, both crossing streets in crosswalks. This bill, by reducing the speed limit on city streets, will protect all of New York City's pedestrians.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6496--B IN SENATE January 29, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sens. DILAN, DIAZ, HOYLMAN, ESPAILLAT, GIANARIS, KRUEGER, LATIMER, MONTGOMERY, PARKER, PERKINS, RIVERA, SERRANO, SQUADRON, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to speed limits THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1643 of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 412 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: S 1643. Speed limits on highways in cities and villages. The legisla- tive body of any city or village with respect to highways (which term for the purposes of this section shall include private roads open to public motor vehicle traffic) in such city or village, other than state highways maintained by the state on which the department of transporta- tion shall have established higher or lower speed limits than the statu- tory fifty-five miles per hour speed limit as provided in section sixteen hundred twenty of this title, or on which the department of transportation shall have designated that such city or village shall not establish any maximum speed limit as provided in section sixteen hundred twenty-four of this title, subject to the limitations imposed by section sixteen hundred eighty-four of this title may by local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation establish maximum speed limits at which vehi- cles may proceed within such city or village, within designated areas of such city or village or on or along designated highways within such city or village higher or lower than the fifty-five miles per hour maximum statutory limit. No such speed limit applicable throughout such city or village or within designated areas of such city or village shall be established at less than thirty miles per hour; except that in the city of Long Beach, in the county of Nassau, speed limits may be established at not less than fifteen miles per hour on any portion of the followingEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13595-07-4 S. 6496--B 2
highways in such city: Cleveland avenue, Harding avenue, Mitchell avenue, Belmont avenue, Atlantic avenue, Coolidge avenue, Wilson avenue and Taft avenue; AND EXCEPT THAT IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK THE SPEED LIMIT APPLICABLE THROUGHOUT SUCH CITY MAY BE ESTABLISHED AT NOT LESS THAN TWENTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR. No such speed limit applicable on or along designated highways within such city or village shall be established at less than twenty-five miles per hour, except that school speed limits may be established at not less than fifteen miles per hour, for a distance not to exceed one thousand three hundred twenty feet, on a highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school abutting on the highway and except that within the cities of Buffalo and Roches- ter speed limits may be established at not less than fifteen miles per hour for any portion of a highway within a city park, AND EXCEPT THAT WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK SPEED LIMITS MAY BE ESTABLISHED AT NOT LESS THAN TWENTY MILES PER HOUR ON OR ALONG DESIGNATED HIGHWAYS WITHIN SUCH CITY IF SUCH CITY HAS DETERMINED THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SECTION SIXTEEN HUNDRED FORTY-TWO OF THIS TITLE IS NOT FEASIBLE ON SUCH HIGHWAYS. S 2. Paragraph 26 of subdivision (a) of section 1642 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 499 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 26.
[(a)]Establishment of maximum speed limits below twenty-five miles per hour at which motor vehicles may proceed on or along desig- nated highways within such city for the explicit purpose of implementing traffic calming measures as such term is defined herein; provided, however, that no SUCH speed limit shall be set below fifteen miles per hour nor shall such speed limit be established where the traffic calming measure to be implemented consists solely of a traffic control sign. Establishment of such a speed limit shall, where applicable, be in compliance with the provisions of sections sixteen hundred twenty-four and sixteen hundred eighty-four of this chapter. Nothing contained here- in shall be deemed to alter or affect the establishment of school speed limits pursuant to the provisions of section sixteen hundred forty-three of this article. For the purposes of this paragraph, "traffic calming measures" shall mean any physical engineering measure or measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users such as pedestri- ans and bicyclists. [(b) Any city establishing maximum speed limits below twenty-five miles per hour pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph shall submit a report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly on or before March first, two thousand two on the results of using traffic calming measures and speed limits lower than twenty-five miles per hour as authorized by this paragraph. Such report shall include, but not be limited to the following: (i) a description of the designated highways where traffic calming measures and a lower speed limit were established and (ii) a description of the specific traffic calming measures used and the maximum speed limit established.]S 3. Subdivision a of section 19-177 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by Local law number 6 of the city of New York for the year 1996, is amended to read as follows: a. The official speed limit for a vehicle in the city of New York shall be [thirty]TWENTY-FIVE miles per hour except where an official sign indicates that a different speed limit is in effect. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.