A response to the recent zero-tolerance crackdown on cyclists' use of Central Park Roadways;
A request that the City of New York implement policies that reasonably allow cyclists the same uninterrupted use of Central Park's car-free hours that other Park users already enjoy;
A demand that the City of New York recognize that its cyclists are a responsible group that value safety and deserve respect.
New York City has announced a crackdown on cyclists’ use of Central Park. Tickets are being issued for “running” red lights, regardless of the time or whether pedestrians or cars are present. For decades, thousands of cyclists have chosen to ride in Central Park when it is closed to cars and when pedestrian traffic is minimal for their commute, recreation, or fitness. All Park users – cyclists, runners, dog walkers, skaters, & pedestrians – have traditionally proceeded through traffic signals with general safety, and all have been able to share uninterrupted use of the roads regardless of the time of day. Recently, the City has declared STRICT ENFORCEMENT against ANY traffic violation by a cyclist, regardless of the circumstances. The City has not announced that policy with respect to drivers and pedestrians whose violations endanger cyclists on the City’s streets.
We Do Not Ask For Permission To Break The Law; We Want Reasonable Exceptions On Par With Those Given to Others In Their Use Of The Park. Dog Walkers are given an “off leash” exception from 9PM – 9AM. Runners are not ticketed for jaywalking through intersections.
Sign the petition if you support our solution, or if you simply want to get the discussion rolling.
Update: Please watch this video for an excellent illustration of our situation (via Gothamist): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onfYvPwOdbw
Specifically, we demand that a policy be implemented whereby Central Park traffic signals shall flash yellow at all times and places where its roads are closed to motor vehicle traffic, unless a crosswalk button is pushed by a pedestrian. If a crosswalk button is pushed, the signal will turn solid yellow, then red, and then return to flashing yellow. A standard interval would be in place to ensure that the signal flashes yellow for a minium amount of time in between button presses. When traffic signals are flashing yellow, cyclists are permitted to ride through with caution.
We are grateful for the efforts the City has undertaken to make New York City more friendly to cycling, but we believe that the current enforcement initiative in Central Park is unnecessary. Innumerable cyclists have used the Park without strict enforcement of traffic signals for decades with general safety.
We, the undersigned, believe that this is a fair and reasonable compromise that will balance the interests of all the Park’s users, reward safe cycling, and increase overall safety by making traffic signals more useful. We invite further dialogue on this matter; please contact NYCCyclistPetition@gmail.com at any time to schedule a meeting.