Are Central Park's cyclists getting more reckless? According to the NYPD, cops have issued 810 summonses as of Sunday for a spread of violations, including failure to yield, running red lights and wearing headphones while riding, the Post reports. Additionally, 38 pedestrians have reported being struck by cyclists, versus 25 over the same period last year.
The inflated numbers come on the heels of increased enforcement following the deaths of two pedestrians killed by cyclists riding along the park's path. In August, 75-year-old jogger Irving Schachter was struck by a 17-year-old cyclist who was attempting to avoid a pedicab. And last month, 59-year-old Jill Tarlov died after being struck by cyclist Jason Marshall, prompting activists to call for a lowering of the speed limit from 25 to 20 miles per hour.
The Post notes that some New Yorkers have heralded the spike in summonses. "I’ve had bikes almost hitting me because they go so fast, especially around corners when I don’t always see them coming," one parkgoer told the tabloid. "They’re like cars, only worse."
But DNAinfo reports that others agree that even with stepped-up enforcement, a car-free Central Park would make things safer for cyclists and pedestrians, offering both groups more room on the road. Councilmembers Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine have introduced legislation that would ban cars from the park for a trial period this summer.
With Lauren Evans