What does the new legislation establishing 25 mph as the new lowest-allowable area speed limit actually change?

The change allows an area speed limit to be set at 25 mph. Previously an area speed limit had to be at least 30 mph. 25 mph remains the lowest-allowable linear speed limit outside of a school zone.

It does NOT change who has the authority to set a speed limit or the process for requesting a speed limit from the NYSDOT for towns and counties as outlined in the Quick Answer on setting speed limits. https://cals.cornell.edu/nysltap-local-roads/who-set-speed-limits-local-highways.

While cities and villages can now go through the process of lowering the general speed limit, counties and most towns still need to petition the NYSDOT to set the speed limit.

Even if a local government has the power to lower an area speed limit to 25, the new law specifically requires speed limits to be set in accordance with the MUTCD and be certified by a Professional Engineer who specializes in traffic operations.

More information can be found here

 

Resources

Here's a link to the bill text: 

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/A1007

 Please contact Barbara Abrahamer, (Barbara.Abrahamer [at] dot.ny.gov) NYSDOT or the NYS LTAP Center - Cornell Local Roads Program (clrp [at] cornell.edu) if you have any questions.