Don't just get mad, do something

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6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I rode with the Club in Central Park last night, Wednesday, and was furious that there were cars in the Park after 8 pm. We saw a police cruiser just parked, but the officers did nothing about stopping or ticketing the traffic. I called 311 this morning and lodged a complaint. I left my name and phone number and asked that someone get back to me. I was given a tracking number so I could follow up on my complaint. This afternoon I received a phone call from the Parks Department explaining, of course, that it wasn't their fault, the drivers move the barriers, etc., etc., which, of course we all know is not true. But the important thing is that my complaint was registered and the Parks Department was forced to answer. The City keeps track of these complaints and uses them to measure how well the various City departments are doing, so each department takes it very seriously when a complaint is lodged. Also the individual Park manager responsible for closing the Park has a lot of pressure put on him or her if the Department receives a complaint. So, if each of us will call 311 EVERY time the Park is not closed on time and tell all our runner friends to do the same, the Parks Department will respond to the pressure by making sure that the barriers are in place when they are supposed to be. Things will change if we all keep on calling.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Shut the Gates! (nm)
Anonymous's picture
ted (not verified)

When I run, I always stop and move the gate across when I enter the park after 7pm. I can probably get yelled at, but it hasn't happend yet. On the bike in cleats, it is harder to do. I don't get why more people don't just close the gates themselves. Last week I moved the gate just before east 72nd street on the main loop road, and the taxis did U-turns on the entrance road to keep going up the park, because they saw the east 72nd gate was still open. Amazing.
And this new 25 mph limit is a joke. The taxis still easily travel at 40+. If just a few of them got tickets, word would spread VERY quickly.

You are correct, Wednesday was terrible. There was a cruiser parked on the east side at 102th street, and they just sat there talking on cell phones as cars drove by at 7:40. How about some revenue generation my fine men?
311 and e-mail to eva moscowitz seem to be about all we can do. Other than close the gates ourselves!

Anonymous's picture
jeff (not verified)

I was also in the park Wed., running and noticed the cars obviously still entering the park at 7:20. I closed the gate at Tavern on the Green, frustrated that that was all I could do at the time. But last night, the park was free of cars, right at 7:00. I suspect the calls may have awakened those responsible from their usual torpor.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
The other issue here is the non-enfrorcement by the NYPD

I know, I know: at this point I'm regarded as just an old, unregenerate, chronic cop basher. ...but as you circle the park lap after lap after lap, IF you see a policeman, and that's always a big IF, see if they aren't chatting among themselves, turned inward, away from traffic, or coming on to young women. And see if they aren't similarly indisposed towards patrolling 20 mins. later as you pass them again in the same spot.

Question for all of you: in all the years you've been cycling in the park, in all the times you've circled it, have you ever once--once--seen a driver ticketed for speeding or for being in the park when it is closed to cars? In 25 years I haven't.

So back to the original question: What to do about it? The Parks Dept. declines authority. Historically, the CP precinct has shown it doesn't care.

The BIG question: How can you motivate a police officer to do his job when his salary, oath, duty, and sense of responsibility are insufficient and when his supervisors decline to supervise?

Anonymous's picture
Sonny (not verified)
You Sue

I was in the park on Wendesday also, and there were cars in the park until I left at 7:30. I actually considered contacting Transportation Alternatives to see if they would commence a suit against the City to compel the City to enforce the traffic ordinance.

As someone mentioned above, keep lodging those complaints with 311 about the park not being closed to traffic. Unfortunately, cars in the park after 7:00 is a lawsuit waiting to happen and it's on a claim that the City may finally be responsive. If I was an enterprising lawyer and represented someone who was hit by a car after 7:00 p.m., I would also sue the City claiming that they were negligent in enforcing their own ordinances, had notice that there are cars in the park after 7:00 and that the injured runner/cyclist had a reasonable expectation of use of the Park without vehicle interference.

Any chance that a member of the club is with Corporation Counsel?

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Here is the deal.
The responsibility for the closures is the Central Park Conservancy. They are responsible to close or open entrances for events or based on the law as this is the case.

Now what I was informed by a very gracious person named David was that there may be some slack perahps 10-15 minutes until all entrances are closed. Yes, I agree this should not be the case, remember the last time you were 5 minutes late on alternate side parking.

The Key person in charge and to contact is the Central Park Administrator, Mr. Adam Kaufman.
I do have his pager # as it was suggested I use it when I saw this happen again, however I rather not post and perhaps have this trust abused. However, if there is a SIG leader or Board person who would e-mail me
I will gladly supply it.

Mr. Kaufman is generally at the park and would react quickly if he was informed when this situation re-occurs.

It seems that he is unaware that this is occuring and I was there Wednesday PM.

Hope this helps. Anyone looking to video the road traffic?


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