Bicyclists have hit at least 35 pedestrians in Central Park this year; two of the pedestrians died and three have sustained skull fractures, according to the Central Park NYPD precinct commander, who spoke at a community board meeting on Monday.
The Post reports that NYPD Inspector Jessica Corey said 38 people have been hit by bikes, while DNAinfo reported it was 35. The collisions occurred throughout the day, including the early morning hours around 6 a.m. when some cyclists practice race training.
“The hot spots for cyclist-pedestrian crashes include West Drive in the West 70s and near East 72nd Street along East Drive, she noted.”
Collisions have jumped 52% this year over last year, according to the Post. Police have also been giving out more summonses — 810 this year versus 195 last year, according to the Post.
“Officers have given out 810 summonses this year as of Sunday for violations including failure to yield, running red lights and wearing headphones while riding.”
So far, the main proposal being floated to deal with conflicts in the park is to eliminate cars from the loop road next summer; one pedestrian has been hit by a car so far this year. Councilman Mark Levine has also discussed potentially lowering the speed limit. Other proposals that were discussed informally at a meeting on Monday include installing push-to-cross buttons at intersections.
John McEnroe told a news station this week that he’s stopped bicycling in Central Park because there are too many “lunatics” riding around like it’s the Tour de France.
“I know this is hard to believe, but I’m a pretty competitive person,” he joked. “I used to go out and ride around Central Park and see how quickly I could get around, and how many times I could [do a loop] in an hour.
“It’s gotten completely out of hand. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole bicycle thing. While I love the bicycle lanes, it seems it’s an accident waiting to happen.”