Two days after cars were officially banned from Central Park, a cyclist was injured in an early-morning collision with a garbage truck driver. A witness took the above photo from the scene this morning around 6 a.m., showing the truck stopped on West Drive. A bicycle can be seen in the trunk of an NYPD cruiser.
The witness, who was passing by the scene on his bike but did not witness the crash, said he believed the cyclist "tried to avoid the truck by heading to the outside part of the roadway but went down."
An NYPD spokesperson said the cyclist was biking south on West Drive when he "observed a waste management truck pulling onto West Drive. The bicyclist tried to stop but skidded into the truck causing a laceration to his right arm." The driver remained at the scene and was not charged.
An FDNY spokesperson said they responded to a 911 call at approximately 5:45 a.m., reporting a person struck by a driver on West Drive near 80th Street. The spokesperson said the cyclist was transported to NY Presbyterian Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
A Parks Department spokesperson said they are looking into the incident.
Advocates have been calling for cars to be banned from Central Park for years. In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented full-time ban on cars on the Central Park Loop north of 72nd Street, and this week the park was completely closed to motor vehicles with great fanfare. On Tuesday night, de Blasio, NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, and other officials participated in a ceremonial bike ride behind the "last car" to drive through the park.
A press release touting the photo-op declared that Central Park "will be entirely and permanently car-free, restored to its original use as an urban refuge and recreation space."
Official city vehicles, which this truck presumably is, are still permitted to use park roads for sanitation and maintenance.