On Tuesday morning, police officers aimed a radar gun at West Drive in Central Park, hoping to catch bicyclists going too fast. Instead they exposed a city bureaucracy bungling the enforcement of one of the simplest of laws: the speed limit.
It was not enough that the Police Department sent officers on Tuesday night to the homes of most of the 10 cyclists given tickets to revoke the citations and apologize, a rarity, to be sure. On Wednesday, the Department of Parks and Recreation disavowed the 15 mile-per-hour speed limit for cyclists that it announced two decades ago and which is posted in small print on signs found in Central Park.
Officials with the parks department said the inclusion of the 15 m.p.h. limit on the signs, which enumerate many park rules, down to the ban on picking flowers, was an oversight.
Vickie Karp, a parks department spokeswoman, said the signs were outdated and placed there in the 1990s by the Central Park Conservancy, the private nonprofit group that helps manage the park. The signs would be removed, Ms. Karp said. The parks department’s position, she said, was that cyclists must follow the same speed limit, 25 m.p.h., that the Transportation Department set for the roadways. That limit was set by the city’s Transportation Department, she said.