Central Park Biking

Central Park and the Central park Conservancy which provides daily management under contract with the city of New York is our model for what we consider the optimal management model for the American River Parkway; but even they have problems, fatal problems, with speeding bicyclists, as this article from the New York Times reveals.

An excerpt.

The bicyclists come in rolling waves: speedy exercisers, slow meanderers or 13-deep packs of foreign-tongued tourists, heads craned in search of the Dakota or the towering San Remo.

Beside them in precarious proximity are the runners, streams of pounding feet that seem, on an unseasonably warm fall Sunday, to never let up. Nearby are the pedicabs and the scooters. The father learning to skateboard. Central Park, the beloved backyard for millions of New Yorkers, is a weekly recreational battlefield. “There’s no such thing as personal space here,” a horse-drawn carriage driver sagely warns his out-of-town fare as they trot alongside the bicycles and the bodies.

It is a story as old as the city: the cherished and overloved public space; the small routines transformed into pitched disputes among New Yorkers who take seriously every syllable of the old movie line: “Hey, I’m walking here!”

But the death of a 75-year-old Upper East Side jogger, Irving Schachter, in August, followed recently by that of a Connecticut woman, Jill Tarlov, 58, shocked even some longtime park users. Both were struck along what is, arguably, among the most crowded and contested roadways in the country….

Ms. Tarlov died on Sept. 21, three days after a regular park cyclist, Jason W. Marshall, collided with her as she stepped into the roadway just south of Tavern on the Green.

Mr. Marshall, who stayed at the scene and was not charged with a crime or ticketed, said he had swerved to avoid other pedestrians.

Less than two months earlier, on the afternoon of Aug. 2, a 17-year-old bicyclist dodging a pedicab crashed into Mr. Schachter, 75, on East Drive near 72nd Street, the police said, sending him hard to the pavement; he died of his injuries three days later.

No criminal charges or traffic summonses were filed.

Retrieved September 29, 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/nyregion/deaths-expose-chaos-of-central-parks-loop.html

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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