senate Bill S7892

Authorizes the city of New York to establish reduced speed limits throughout the city and on certain designated highways

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1657
  • 19 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A10144

Summary

Authorizes the city of New York to establish reduced speed limits throughout the city and on certain designated highways.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10144
Versions:
S7892
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Vehicle and Traffic Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1642, V & T L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7892

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation
to speed limits

PURPOSE: This legislation would allow a city with over one million
residents to establish speed limits of 25 MPH after a period of public
comment,.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 1642 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to give a
city over one million residents the ability to set a speed limit of 25
MPH on streets that are not part of the State highway system. The city
must provide local community boards with the opportunity to comment.

Section 2 amends section 1642 of the vehicle and traffic law to estab-
lish that starting in 2015 and then biannually thereafter the City must
produce a public report to the Governor, the leaders of the Legislature
which it would post online reporting on what street calming measures and
lower speed limits were implemented and the effects these measures have
had on the number and severity of accidents on those streets.

Section 3 establishes an effective date of 90 days.

JUSTIFICATION: Mayor de Blasio recently released a detailed report
outlining the City's "Vision Zero" action plan, which calls for the
implementation of several traffic safety initiatives to reduce preventa-
ble pedestrian and motorist fatalities. This report highlights an unfor-
tunate reality - each year in New York City over 250 people are killed
and nearly 4,000 are seriously injured in traffic crashes. Crashes
often have multiple contributing factors including speeding, driver
inattention, and failure to yield to pedestrians.

A multi-faceted approach is needed to address these dangerous driving
habits, especially excessive speeding. That is why the City has commit-
ted to pursuing several safety enhancements such as rapidly implementing
engineering improvements at intersections, increasing speed enforcement
on arterial streets and establishing new neighborhood slow zones. While
these actions represent meaningful progress, the City needs additional
tools that are impactful enough to significantly reduce the number of
serious' injuries and fatalities on City streets. One particularly
powerful tool is the ability to establish a 25 mph speed limit in the
City, which can be the catalyst in curbing dangerous driver behavior.

Studies have shown that lowering the speed limit, even by five mph, can
have a serious impact in reducing the number of traffic-related injuries
and deaths. Traveling at lower speeds can greatly reduce crashes because
both motorists and other street users have more time to see each other
and react safely to avoid potential accidents. And, if a crash does
occur, the severity of injuries is greatly reduced at lower speeds.

To illustrate this point, one needs to consider the following facts: if
a pedestrian is hit at 40 mph there is about a 7 in 10 chance of being
killed. At 35 mph, there is a 5 in 10 chance of being killed. At 30
mph, there is a 1 in 5 chance of being killed. If the speed limit were
lowered to 25 mph, the chance of an accident resulting in death drops
significantly to 1 in 10. Another benefit to having a speed limit of 25
mph is the marked improvement in vehicle stopping distance. At 25 mph,
stopping distance is improved by 45 feet (23%), which will allow many
crashes to be avoided altogether.

City streets must meet the demands of vehicles, buses, cyclists and
pedestrians simultaneously. Being able to lower the speed limit to 25
mph would help ensure a harmonious relationship among all who traverse
City streets and greatly increase the City's ability to keep everyone
safe. In order to ensure this harmonious relation, this legislation
would also give community boards a say when the city chooses to lower
speed limits by more than 5 miles per hour by establishing a public
comment period. Establishing a requirement for community board involve-
ment would enable communities to have a say about such an important
policy change in the City's transportation policy. Only by building
consensus at the community level can we assure the long term effective-
ness of these policies.

Where an even lower speed limit is warranted, on streets where traffic
calming measures are not feasible, the City can improve this relation-
ship even further by establishing a 20 mph speed limit. The City will
have to report biannually to the Executive, the Legislature, and the
public on the effects of these measures on accidents around the City.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after
it shall have become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7892

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 16, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  KLEIN  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, 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.  Paragraph  26  of  subdivision (a) of section 1642 of the
vehicle and traffic law is renumbered paragraph 27 and a  new  paragraph
26 is added to read as follows:
  26.  (A) WITH RESPECT TO HIGHWAYS (WHICH TERM FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS
PARAGRAPH SHALL INCLUDE PRIVATE ROADS OPEN TO PUBLIC MOTOR VEHICLE TRAF-
FIC) IN SUCH CITY, OTHER THAN STATE HIGHWAYS MAINTAINED BY THE STATE  ON
WHICH  THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL HAVE ESTABLISHED HIGHER OR
LOWER SPEED LIMITS THAN THE STATUTORY 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 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, ESTABLISH-
MENT OF MAXIMUM SPEED LIMITS AT WHICH VEHICLES MAY PROCEED  WITHIN  SUCH
CITY  OR  WITHIN  DESIGNATED AREAS OF SUCH CITY HIGHER OR LOWER THAN THE
FIFTY-FIVE MILES PER HOUR MAXIMUM STATUTORY LIMIT.  NO SUCH SPEED  LIMIT
APPLICABLE  THROUGHOUT SUCH CITY OR WITHIN DESIGNATED AREAS OF SUCH CITY
SHALL BE ESTABLISHED AT LESS THAN TWENTY-FIVE  MILES  PER  HOUR,  EXCEPT
THAT  SCHOOL  SPEED  LIMITS  MAY  BE ESTABLISHED AT NO LESS THAN FIFTEEN
MILES PER HOUR PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS  OF  SECTION  SIXTEEN  HUNDRED
FORTY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE.
  (B)  A  CITY SHALL NOT LOWER A SPEED LIMIT BY MORE THAN FIVE MILES PER
HOUR PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH UNLESS SUCH CITY PROVIDES WRITTEN NOTICE
AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT TO THE COMMUNITY BOARD OR COMMUNITY BOARDS
ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED  OF  THE  NEW  YORK
CITY  CHARTER  WITH  JURISDICTION OVER THE AREA IN WHICH THE LOWER SPEED
LIMIT SHALL APPLY. SUCH NOTICE MAY BE PROVIDED BY  ELECTRONIC  MAIL  AND
SHALL  BE  PROVIDED  SIXTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH LOWER
SPEED LIMIT.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15573-03-4

S. 7892                             2

  S 2. Paragraph 27 of subdivision (a) of section 1642  of  the  vehicle
and  traffic  law,  as  added  by chapter 499 of the laws of 1999 and as
renumbered by section one of this act, is amended to read as follows:
  27.  (a) Establishment of maximum speed limits below twenty-five miles
per hour at which motor vehicles may  proceed  on  or  along  designated
highways within such city for the explicit purpose of implementing traf-
fic  calming measures as such term is defined herein; provided, however,
that no 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 herein 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 condi-
tions for non-motorized street users such as pedestrians 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]
FIFTEEN  AND BIANNUALLY THEREAFTER on the results of using traffic calm-
ing measures and speed limits lower than twenty-five miles per  hour  as
authorized  by  this paragraph. THIS REPORT SHALL ALSO BE MADE AVAILABLE
TO THE PUBLIC BY SUCH CITY ON ITS WEBSITE. 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[.] AND
  (III)  A  COMPARISON  OF  THE  AGGREGATE TYPE, NUMBER, AND SEVERITY OF
ACCIDENTS REPORTED ON STREETS ON WHICH STREET CALMING MEASURES AND LOWER
SPEED LIMITS WERE IMPLEMENTED IN THE YEAR PRECEDING  THE  IMPLEMENTATION
OF  SUCH MEASURES AND POLICIES AND THE YEAR FOLLOWING THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF SUCH MEASURES AND POLICIES, TO THE EXTENT THIS INFORMATION  IS  MAIN-
TAINED BY ANY AGENCY OF THE STATE OR THE CITY.
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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