Originally Posted by CB HI
With NYPD, it is likely more cyclists will be ticketed than motorist. I could see 25 or 30 mph, but I suspect the average speed on the streets being considered really is 20 mph or less.
Outsiders have a highly distorted vision of NYC, because what's exported is mainly images of Manhattan and, maybe, some parts of downtown Brooklyn. However, those represent only 2 of the five boroughs, and life in the outer three is very different. Except for some rush hour snarls, mainly along highways leading downtown, The outer boroughs have traffic patterns more like a dense suburb than that of lower Manhattan.
Traffic flows well on outer borough streets, and it's not rare at all to have cars cruising side streets at well above 40mph. Major avenues, like the Grand Concourse, Queens Blvd, Hillside Avenue, and many others are like the large multi-lane arterials you see surround mid sized cities, with heavy but moving traffic.
I don't know the details of the city council's plan, but if they're thinking of a broad based lowering of limits, it just isn't going to work.
As for the police using the law to target bicyclists, that just won't happen. If the limit is 20mph, the enforcement limit will be 25, which is well above the cruising speed of the vast majority of bicyclists, including messengers. The reality is that despite the reporting on bike forums, it's actually fairly hard to get a ticket riding a bicycle in NYC. It's a busy city and the police have enough to do, and can't be bothered. There are periodic crackdowns, but those are more about PR then code enforcement.