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Crackdown continues, Central Park and elsewhere

On a side note, I forgot to include this but one of my readers Al Silber sent me this note that he saw abandon bikes in Central Park.

It’s a little late now, because these bikes were seen over the weekend, but maybe it is some insight if you’ve had one of these stolen, at least to know it’s out there. Al saw them unlocked at 85th St. near mariner gate. Thanks for looking out.

Speaking of Central Park, the good news is it might be a source of dumped bicycles, the bad news is the Police are continuing to crack down on cyclists daring to use the park loop as (GASP) a place to ride their bikes.

This all started last year during the NYPD’s famed…”Operation Safecycle” which sounds like a term out of an Orwell novel. Judging by the sting operations and the ticketing we all know the NYPD couldn’t give a crap about safety and it might as well be called “Operation F with the Cyclists to Make Buck.” I mean let’s face it, there is bad cycling behavior out there, especially with more of us on the road but really…you can always find naughty street behavior if you choose to look for it. It just seems to be the cyclists are the flavor of the moment.

It seems especially odd in Central Park. Isn’t this the one place we are supposed to ride our bikes? But now your expecting us to stop at every traffic light? During car free hours? Yes, some of the more competitive types tend to go rather fast, often in groups…it’s called training. It’s why we have one of the largest cycling clubs in North America. (CRCA) Pedestrians and tourists should be advised, look both ways when crossing the bike path in Central Park. Wait for oncoming traffic…then dart across. It’s how NYC works. You also have to watch for the in line skaters, skateboarders, joggers, pedicabs, horse carriages and everyone else flaunting the lights in the park. Are we supposed to tell all New Yorkers to stop jaywalking too while were at it in the Nanny state?

It is really infuriating.

Another of my readers, Dr. Gene Boccialetti, alerted me of the recent crackdown in Central Park. He wrote:

“Mike,

Not sure if you can post. There’s yet another (apparently very selective) crackdown on cycling in Central Park. I learned today that on Monday September 10 at the Central Park Precinct there’s going to be an open meeting with the NYPD for community input.

I spoke briefly with a police officer today who said that cyclists caused eight deaths in the park last year(!!) I was astonished and incredulous. The only deaths I knew of were from falling trees. Apparently, folks are making up facts to justify leaning on recreational cyclists. I also noted this crackdown comes as all the tourists are leaving for the season. I ride 5 (sometimes 6) days per week for three hours each day. While I see a fair number of accidents most are caused by tourists.

Can you help get the word out?

Gene.”

Meanwhile, I see a lot of reports like this on twitter:

Keep alert out there.

2 comments to Crackdown continues, Central Park and elsewhere

  • If NYPD wants to fulfill their ticket targets they should start with the bike messengers. They are far more dangerous than the people wanting to exercise in Central park. I share your opinion – Central park is for the people and enjoying it means lots of things – walking, jogging, picnics, biking, rollerblading e.t.c. In this case NYPD should stay away. We don’t threaten anybody, we want to enjoy it.
    Ticket us for not stopping at a red light where there is nobody around? What about the bike messengers going against the traffic, riding on the sidewalks, shouting and breaking every traffic rule that we know of?

  • Josh

    Hi. I was riding my single speed bike in Central Park last weekend when a cop in a golf cart told me to pull over. I was going south, uphill, when this happened. There were plenty of cyclists wearing their spandex gear, riding racing bikes that cost many times what my bike cost. I was being passed left and right, yet this person who is supposed to represent law and justice thought I was a problem. I was told that I was going too fast. Single speed uphill = fast? That cop’s intelligence = none.