By Carol Tannenhauser
A bicyclist and a jogger collided Tuesday morning at 7:05 a.m. inside Central Park around West 74th Street. The NYPD released the following statement:
On Tuesday, June 2nd, at 7:05 am, police responded to a 911 call about a collision between a bicyclist and a pedestrian inside Central Park in the vicinity of CPW and West 74th Street. When officers arrived they encountered a female approximately 40-50 years old with trauma. When EMS arrived they transported her to New York Presbyterian Weil Cornell Medical Center, in critical but stable condition. The male bicyclist remained on the scene. A preliminary investigation determined that the bicyclist was traveling south on West Drive when he struck the female, who was jogging. An investigation by the NYPD collision squad is ongoing. NYPD is awaiting a description of trauma.
“It was very upsetting. I hope she is okay. She appeared to be seriously injured,” said Susan Schwartz, who was entering Central Park to go birding and witnessed the collision. “The biker remained at the scene and was questioned by the NYPD. Even while the ambulances and police were in the road, very few bikers stopped for the red light,” Schwartz added. “This may or may not have contributed to this incident, but is a common problem that poses a serious risk to pedestrians.”
Schwartz, a member of Community Board 7, said the board will be voting on a resolution proposing enforcement of biking laws in Central Park (staying off pedestrian paths, observing red lights, and complying with the posted speed limits) tonight at the Full Board meeting.
Update: The jogger, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, is now listed in critical condition, according to an NYPD spokesperson. Later, it was reported that she is 49 years old. Streetopia, an organization that advocates for cyclist and pedestrian issues on the UWS, also said in a statement that police should be focused on failure to yield more than red light violations. “Also, now is not the time to encourage more policing of relatively minor offences. Instead, let’s work together to create the park that we want.”