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NYCC Member Alert

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NYCC Past President Ellen Jaffe  


June 8, 2011


Dear Fellow NYCC Member,

You know that the Club has put a great deal of effort into advocacy and public policy work in recent months. The leadership of the cycling community, including NYCC, TA, and CRCA have met with elected leaders and Department of Transportation staff, as well as representatives of the New York Police Department, to hammer out a reasonable cyclist enforcement policy in Central Park. 

However, there is immediate cause for alarm that this hard-won policy could be reversed due to the bad behavior of a few.

While we're sure most of you have taken to heart all the admonitions to be safe and respectful of others, always yielding to pedestrians, there continue to be instances of cyclists doing laps in the Park at high speed, ignoring the rights and safety of others. 

It's easy to point fingers at other groups, like racing teams, but the NYCC Board wants to be certain that we've gotten the message out clearly to our own members:   

We will lose our privilege to cycle unimpeded in the Park if there are many more instances of reckless, rude and inappropriate behavior on the part of cyclists.

Please make sure you personally follow these guidelines while cycling in Central Park:

1. When approaching a crosswalk, particularly if there is a red light, slow to a speed that will permit you to maneuver; look both ways for pedestrians; always yield to pedestrians who are in or about to enter the crosswalk. Park use is extremely heavy now, even in the very early morning hours. Be alert; be conscientious. Your actions will determine our future use of this precious resource.

2. Although you may be comfortable passing within six inches of a runner or walker, they will not be comfortable with that clearance. Give them at least 3 or 4 feet. Whenever possible and practical, cross behind the pedestrian. “Yielding” does not mean racing through because you're confident you won't actually hit the pedestrian. 

3. When passing a slower cyclist, give sufficient clearance. 

4. Don't ride in packs. Keep the groups small and ride in a single paceline.

5. Get a bell. It is the law and is a useful tool in a densely packed park if used judiciously.

6. Above all be courteous. Creating goodwill here will go a long way towards helping our cause.
  

We are making a concerted effort to get this message out to all cyclists who train in the Park. 

If you know of non-members who cycle in the Park, please pass this on to them and spread the word however you can. 

Thanks for your cooperation. We're in this together.
 

Ellen