Well, this is a first: On Tuesday, New York City-dwelling cyclists who were ticketed for speeding in Central Park got their tickets retracted and personal apology visits from the police. But the police were only apologizing because of a trivial breach of protocol, when in fact the tickets were apparently unfair from start to finish.
The New York Times profiles one cyclist who received an apology. He was going 25 miles per hour down a hill — which is the speed limit for cars, but supposedly above the unposted limit for bicycles. “[P]arks department regulations dating from 1991 limit bike riders to 15 m.p.h, though even the police say this lower limit could be better posted inside the park,” reports the Times. Wait, why do bikes have a separate, secret speed limit?
Well, they don’t. The Central Park Conservancy website says “a maximum speed of 25 mph,” and the New York parks department website says nothing about speed limits at all. The only place the speed limit appears is in fine print on some signs inside the park — but as far as the parks department is concerned, the speed limit for bikes is 25.
But the police know about it, so who else needs to, right? They didn’t withdraw the tickets because there was no reasonable way for cyclists to know the purported limit; they withdrew them because “all but one of the 10 citations ordered the defendants to appear in traffic court” instead of Criminal Court. Perhaps the next part of the apology is forthcoming. And perhaps monkeys might cycle out of my butt.
- Parks Dept. Disavows a Speed Limit for Bicycles , The New York Times
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