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Parks Dept. Settles Confusion Over Central Park Cycling Speed Limit

By Amy Zimmer | March 24, 2011 6:23pm | Updated on March 25, 2011 6:04am
Cyclists in Central Park.
Cyclists in Central Park.
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Flickr/Heather Harvey

By Amy Zimmer

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — After the NYPD ticketed — and later apologized to — Central Park cyclists on the West Drive exceeding 15 mph on Tuesday morning, confusion abounded over the roadway's speed limit.

The police department had said on Wednesday that a speed limit of 15 mph applies whenever the park is closed to automotive traffic, as it was at 6 a.m. when the cops began issuing tickets. Old signs also say that the speed limit is 15 mph. But the Central Park Conservancy's website says the limit is 25 mph.

Now, the Parks Department has confirmed that the speed limit is 25 mph, and they plan to have the signs stating 15 mph removed.

"Any vehicle using the roadways, including cyclists, is supposed to observe speed limits for those roadways," a Parks Department spokesperson said. "The standard speed limit in both Prospect Park and Central Park is 25 miles per hour, as designated by the Department of Transportation, which is in charge of setting speed limits for the city."

NYPD officials said they rescinded the tickets they gave to nine of 10 cyclists going over 15 mph, saying were erroneously issued as moving violations when they should have been summonses for violating park rules. The 10th cyclist, clocked at 28 mph, was correctly issued a moving violation, they said.

But the Parks Department said those rules were out-of-date.

"It is true that there are old signs outside of Central Park, placed there by the Central Park Conservancy in 1991 that says 15 miles per hour," the spokesperson said. "We have asked [the Central Park Conservancy] to remove it."