NY1 For You: Cyclists Fear For Safety As Motorists Ignore Park Restrictions
By Susan Juhn
With new dedicated bike lanes on the streets, the city is much more bike friendly than it used to be, but some cyclists say that one part of the city that should be the most bike friendly still isn't. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following story.
Aaron Spital has been cycling in Central Park for the last five years, but after a recent experience he had biking on the East Loop he says he might hang up his helmet and call it quits.
"A car came up to me very fast and started blowing the horn at me, which was frightening," said Spital.
It was illegal, too. Spital was riding his bike after 7 p.m., when the East Loop is supposed to be closed to car traffic. Wiley Norvell of Transportation Alternatives says that Spital's experience isn't unique.
"There are drivers who are just persistent, that think they should be allowed to drive on the loop whenever they want and you know they bypass or even move the barricades that are currently there," said Norvell.
NY1 caught two vans and a truck going around the barricades in front of the entrance on Central Park South and Spital spotted a taxi sneaking in during his interview.
"There goes a taxi right past the closed park," he said, pointing at the taxi.
NY1 contacted the Central Park Conservancy and they admitted that cars using the Park during off-hours has been a problem, but that it is up to the police to enforce the law and ticket offenders. The NYPD did not return calls for comment.
That's a pity, said Norvell, who worries that drivers breaking the rules chase people out of the Park.
"It's a safety hazard first and foremost and it's a disincentive for New Yorkers, you know, at the point of the day when probably everybody wants to get out to relax after work and enjoy the parks as car-free destinations," he said.
Submitted by forrest on July 10, 2008 - 14:04. categories [ ]