Right of Way, the advocacy group that has installed memorials for cyclists and pedestrians killed across the city, put up ten "20 is plenty" speed limit signs in Central Park last night on the Central Park Drives. Last week, pedestrian Jill Tarlov was fatally injured by a cyclist at West 63rd and West Drive. “No matter what vehicle you are operating, you should operate it in such a way that you are prepared to react to any foreseeable interaction with a more vulnerable road user without injuring or killing anyone," Right of Way organizer Keegan Stephan said in a release.
Since Tarlov's death, and the death of 75-year-old Irving Schachter, who was killed after being struck by a teenage cyclist in Central Park last month, the city's tabloids have seized on the issue of "dangerous Central Park cyclists" with a tenacity that eluded them when tens of thousands of New York City residents were injured or killed by motor vehicles over the last several years.
“We would like our action installing the signs to shift the discussion around this crash from vilification of one person to safety for all,” Charles Komanoff, another organizer with Right of Way, said in the release.
Right of Way, which began installing the 20 MPH signs after Samuel Cohen-Eckstein's death last year, defines its credo as, "The fundamental human right to move about in public space without being intimidated, injured, or worse."
“In the case of the crash that killed Jill Tarlov, the court of public opinion seems to agree with our interpretation of the public right of way,” Stephan said. “We…applaud the NYPD for stepping up their enforcement on the specific crime that led to this tragedy—speeding in Central Park. Now we need them to do the same after every fatal crash, the vast majority of which are caused by drivers speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians."