Of course the city should do all it can to reduce traffic deaths, and of course it should have the right to reduce speed limits where advisable. The state has now granted it the power to do that.
But the planned 25 mph limit, a reduction from the standard 30, should not be applied everywhere. On narrow side streets, especially in residential districts, and in some hyper-congested commercial areas, yes. But not on major thoroughfares such as Queens, Northern or Woodhaven boulevards, Hillside Avenue or the Conduit.
Supporters note that pedestrians have a much lower chance of being killed by a car going 25 than by one going 30. No doubt that’s true. No doubt their chances are even better if the car is going 10, but that doesn’t mean it should be the limit. Safety is paramount but so is ease of travel, the whole point of driving. Jaywalking also is often a factor.
It would be much better to enforce existing speed limits and other laws more strictly, which the city is doing, but not enough for our taste, than to set unrealistic limits everywhere. Queens Boulevard is not a narrow residential lane, and should not have the same speed limit as one of those.