Sunday, December 7, 2014


New items include park-wide speed limit reduction from 25mph to 20mph, barricades further separating pedestrians from cyclists and enhancements to key crosswalks
                     By Geoffrey Croft  New York City Park Advocates Nov 18, 2014

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, NYPD, and the Central Park Conservancy today announced immediate safety enhancements along the Central Park Drives. In addition to a reduction of the speed limit inside Central Park from 25 to 20 MPH for all modes of transportation, four key crossings across the park will receive substantial enhancements, including highly prominent “Pedestrian Crossing” warning signs at the intersections, advisory 10 MPH speed signs, and advance pedestrian crossing signs before each intersection.  The advance signs will be reinforced with roadway markings near the sign locations, refurbished crosswalks and clearer lane use markings.
Barricades will also be installed to shorten pedestrian crossing distance on the West Drive at two crossings (at Sheep Meadow, near W. 68th Street, and at Heckscher Ballfields, near E. 63rd Street) where the drive is significantly wider than typical. The barricades will be placed in the west-most motor vehicle lane during car-free hours. At Delacorte Theater (near W. 81st Street), a barricade will be installed between the pedestrian and bicycle lanes to better guide pedestrians to the crosswalk and to improve their sightlines to cyclists.
The Central Park Precinct will continue its public awareness campaign in the park to inform every one of the rules and regulations as it relates to traffic and pedestrian safety.  Individuals found in violation of the rules will be cited accordingly. 
        “Central Park is for all to enjoy in a safe and enjoyable manner, no matter how you choose to experience it,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These immediate safety enhancements, worked out in partnership with our sister agencies, augments that experience by calming traffic, improving crosswalks and further reinforcing the appropriate lane assignments for all users.”
“Public safety is our highest priority and the new safety enhancement measures being implemented in Central Park will surely provide its millions of visitors with a safer experience,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.  “I commend the NYC Department of Transportation, the NYPD, and the Central Park Conservancy for partnering with us to ensure enhanced safety conditions for all of the park's pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.”
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said, “The New York City Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of all those who use Central Park as a means of transportation and recreation.  We will continue to collaborate with our partners from the Central Park Conservancy, NYC Department of Transportation and the Parks Department to make our streets safer for all New Yorkers and visitors alike.” 
“There’s no question; slower traffic will mean a safer park” said Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of Central Park Conservancy. “We applaud the DOT’s leadership role in lowering speed limits and adding signs and barricades, and we urge all  park users to know the new rules of the road.”
The four locations to receive these treatments include:
•       West Drive at Delacorte Theater (near W. 81st Street)
•       West Drive at Sheep Meadow (near W. 68th Street)
•       West Drive at Heckscher Ballfields Crossing (near E. 63rd Street)
•       East Drive at Terrace Drive (near E. 72nd Street)

The agencies will follow up the enhancements with stakeholder outreach and will be distributing DOT’s Bike Smart Brochures and Central Park-specific brochure geared toward cyclists and pedestrians.

Read/View More:

 New York Daily News  - November 19, 2014 -  BY Erin Durkin

CBS - November 18, 2014 - By Dave Carlin 

New York Daily News  - November 18, 2014 -  BY Erin Durkin

WCBS 880 -  November 18, 2014 -  by  Alex Silverman

New York Post  - November 19, 2014 - By Amber Sutherland and Yoav Gonen 

gothamist -  November 18, 2014 - Christopher Robbins

Central Park Speed Limit To Be Lowered

The speed limit in Central Park will be reduced to 20 miles per hour and new barricades will be installed in four areas.  (photo: NYC Park Advocates) click on image to enlarge

By Geoffrey Croft
The De Blasio administration will lower the speed limit in Central Park as part of the Vision Zero plan NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The speed limit will be reduced by 5 miles per hour to 20mph.
The move comes after two people were killed and three suffered fractured skulls this year alone as a result of being struck by cyclists in the park. 

Police in the park have dramatically increased bike enforcement and education.
The Central Park Pct. has so far issued 865 tickets to cyclists this year compared to 212 over the same period last year as of November 12th.  
The top four categories for tickets issued: 386 for Failure To Yield To Pedestrians,  164 wearing head phones,  117  biking on pathways, and 94 summons for running red lights. 
Some people were stopped for multiple infractions but given only on summons according to police.

Last week two off-leash dogs were run over and killed in the park by motor vehicles.  
Starting on November 7th the speed limit on all New York City streets was lowered to 25 MPH unless otherwise posted as part of Mayor De blasio's Vision Zero plan in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries in the city.  
In the early 90's police briefly enforced a separate speed limit for cyclists in Central Park under then parks commissioner Betsy Gotbaum, who instituted a 15 m.p.h. limit.  Issues involving speeding go back to when the park first opened in the 19th Century as horse-drawn carriages accidents were prevalent.

Husband begs city to stop speeding cyclists after wife dies

November 27, 2014 | 10:59pm
The bike with which Jason Marshall fatally struck Jill Tarlov.

The heartbroken husband of the Connecticut mom fatally struck by a speeding bicyclist in Central Park is calling on the city to crack down on cyclists who have turned the urban oasis into a dangerous racetrack.
Calling the situation a “time bomb,” Michael Wittman said it’s not a matter of if, but when someone else gets hit by a speeding biker.
“It’s too little, too late,” a still-grieving Wittman told The Post, referring to the city’s plan to reduce the speed limit from 25 to 20 mph for cars and bikes.
“You can certainly ride your bike through Central Park — you just can’t weave in and out of mothers and strollers at 30 mph. It’s pretty clear that these guys race each other through the park every day,” the CBS exec said.
His wife, Jill Tarlov, a 58-year-old mother of two, was in the crosswalk at West Drive and 63rd Street on Sept. 18 and about to step onto the curb when cyclist Jason Marshall plowed into her.
Tarlov, who was out shopping for her daughter Anna’s birthday, was left brain dead. She died three days later.
“I suspect she was hit from behind and thrown a good distance and hit with pretty good force,” said Wittman, who has reviewed the accident report but can’t bear to see the autopsy findings. “Doctors told me they’ve never seen an accident that bad from a bike.”
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Jason MarshallPhoto: Facebook
Witnesses told cops that Marshall, 31, was speeding the wrong way down West Drive, yelled at Tarlov to get out of the way, and then tried to swerve around her instead of braking.
I assume if he were driving a car, he’d be arrested on the spot,” Wittman said.
So far, investigators haven’t been able to determine how fast Marshall was traveling, even though the avid cyclist obsessively tracked his more than 700 rides this year online — and clocked a top speed of 35.6 mph in Central Park hours before he hit Tarlov.
He told cops at the time he was going only 8 or 9 mph, sources said.
“His statement that he hit her at 8 or 9 mph is highly questionable to me,” Wittman said. “I just don’t see how that could’ve happened. He never applied the brakes.”
Marshall hasn’t been criminally charged, but the Manhattan DA’s Office is still investigating.
At the time of the incident, the biker, a studio jazz saxophonist, dismissed it as “an unavoidable accident,” and stopped just short of apologizing.
“Since the day of the accident, I and my family have been in constant prayer for her and her family. This is the deepest of pain. It is the deepest of tragedies,” Marshall said in a statement.