WCBS Special Report at 11 PM 9/26

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Anonymous's picture

CBS will have a 'report' on Cyclists in the park.

Anonymous's picture
Rick Isham (not verified)
News special on Channel 2

"WCBS is promoting a special report for the 11 PM news on Channel 2 titled ""Speed Demons."" The promo shows a cyclist almost hitting a pedestrian and an ambulance in Central Park. If you ride in Central Park, you may want to watch this tonight."

Anonymous's picture
Zoetemelk (not verified)
What we should do is find out why (if) they have ever done

"a story about cars speeding through central park 24/7 - and never have I seen a ticket given out.

Does anyone know where one ""responds"" to a news story? Is there and emaila address at CBS? Do we Fax them?


Anonymous's picture
Robert (not verified)
News Special

I wonder if the pedestrian is
a. Walking against a light
b. Talking on a cell phone and crossing the street
without looking.
c. Or is it a runner making a 90 degree turn without
even glancing for on coming traffic.
d. Or is the pedestrian staring right at you but
continuing to walk directly at you anyway.

We must admit that there are some riders that are reckless but I think the major problem is that since people are in a park they let their guard down and pretty much walk wherever they wany without looking.

Maybe CBS should investigate why half of the street lights never work in the park or why we almost see 5 people a day almost get run over by cars because they are on their cell phones.

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
25 mph

"I was in the park last Wednesday when the reporter badgered (""interviewed"") several bikers. For example, he badgered a woman named Gay (NYYC member) as follows:

Tony A: ""Do you know that the speed limit in the park for bikes is 15 mph?""
Gay: ""no""
TA: ""Well it is. Is it hard to reach 15 mph?""
Gay: ""no""

I later asked him off camera why he thought the speed limit is 15 mph. He assured me it is so, even though he ""can't quote chapter and verse"". I said I'd been riding for 3 years and never heard of such a law. He suggested I was ignorant and irresponsible for riding without knowing the laws.

I am researching this and according to the DOT, the Parks Department, and one person at the NYPD, there is no speed limit for bikes on roads other than the speed limit that applies to cars.

However, the speed limit for cars in Central Park is 25 mph. It seems to me that the speed demons in Central Park are the ones with internal combustion engines.

As soon as I get guidance from the DOT regarding attribution, I will call CBS news and tell them that their reporter erred about the 15 mph speed limit. That should prevent them from airing at least that piece of misinformation (15 mph speed limit for bikes).

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)
You might want to check that 25mph figure.

"From the TA website:

""In August 1991, the Parks Department instituted a 15 mph speed limit for bicycles in Central Park. Transportation Alternatives acknowledges the discomfort caused by cyclists who train and race at high speeds on the park drives, but believes that any mandatory speed limit should also apply to motor vehicles, which move faster and cause greater danger to other park users.""


I know these guys (CBS that is not TA) make us all look like gits, but lets face it cyclist saves kitten from burning tree doesn't quite do the same thing for your ratings. Perhaps we should call Fox and get them to do a COPS special on NYC cyclists.

As an aside, I saw the police giving out tickets to people for riding on the paths so watch it."

Anonymous's picture
Dan Rather (not verified)
Let me see if I've got this right--

You are going to tell CBS News that they are about to report some incorrect information, and you think they'll change their story?

Anonymous's picture
Joe (not verified)
Give it a rest.

"This is ""real"" news? CBS news...Bah!

Anonymous's picture
af (not verified)
what makes you think you were off camera

"You were included in the ""report"" with your profession of ignorance; however the report wasn't as bad as it might have been. The following comments come to mind:

The 15 mph limit has been mentioned many times on this message board during the past 3 years (it's also noted on a CP web site).

The subject victim in the report said something like:""I just stepped out and whoosh, I was hit."" Apparently, she didn't look first. She also didn't say whether she was in a crosswalk with the light. Nor did the speed of the cyclist have anything to do with it. At 15 mph, the result would likely have been the same.

The report from the hospital didn't note that many of the ""victims"" taken there by ambulance are cyclists. It was noted on this board earlier this year that several cyclists were injured by the bump that rose up in the west 90s, plus I saw the aftermath of a bike collision a few months ago which resulted in an ambulance ride for one cyclist.

Rollerbladers go more than 15 mph much of the time and many wear earphones in both ears (neither of which is apparently prohibited by law). They have caused several crashes which I have observed over the past 3 years.

The best thing about the report was that it included a TA spokesperson who made the point that they should close the park to motor vehicles and separate the road for cyclists and others."

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Very Good Summation

Though not as egregious as I feared, CBS still did a very poor job of presenting a balanced report, as you accurately summarized. While I agree with the TA spokesperson who made the point that the park should be closed to motor vehicles and separate the road for cyclists and others, I wonder if this will ever happen and I cannot understand the stranglehold the pro-automobile lobby has on this city. This would have made a much better story…

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
And another thing...

No cars and a divided roadway for cyclists and runners will not solve the problem of wreckless behavior. A failure of education and/or personality lies at the heart of this. The most important thing you can do as a park athlete is to be defensive at all times. People never fail to do stupid things. Jeff's past observation that rare is the accident where both parties had no complicity, even if it was not being defensive enough.

Anonymous's picture
Greg Faber (not verified)
call the cbs ombudsman

WCBS must have an ombudsman. Everyone should give him a call and complain about what will surely be a retarded biased report. (although, maybe it'll be very balanced...)

It's funny someone posted this thread because I saw the ad on TV yesterday and was thinking about it all day.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Or message them through their website


Re: ""Speed Demons""

Unfortunate case of blaming the victim. I bicycle-commute and regularly experience the following:

* Taxis who cut in front to pick up a fare.

* Taxi passengers who open doors on the road side without looking.

* Bicycle lanes that are too narrow to use without getting ""doored"".

* Trucks who don't look or signal when turning right.

* Jay-walking pedestrians.

The list goes on but try putting a video cam on bike for a few days and look at the footage you come up with. Think of a action video-game --except there's no reboot.

And imagine the price of a gallon of gas if everyone who bicycled drove cars instead.

Like other major cities such as Portland and Denver, bicycles need to integrated into the fabric of this city's transportation system -- not derided as expensive, dangerous playthings."

Anonymous's picture
Arty (not verified)
Speed Demons

Not sure who originated the idea of bikes going too fast in Central Park. As other people have said, the cars go much faster than the bikers. I believe this is Central Parks way of shirking their responsibilities in Central Park. It seems fairly obvious to me that allowing Bladers, Joggers, and Bikers to go both directions, at all times, sometimes all sharing the same narrow bike lane is negligence. Add on the Pedicabs, who also go both directions, and block 3 lanes across. This should be a no brainer, and it is the Parks Dept. responsibility to show more common sense and enforce it.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
The 15MPH speed limit was instituted by...Betsy Gotbaum!

"All you who enjoyed belittling Norm Siegel (and Carol Wood for her support of him) have little reason to balk at adhering to the 15MPH speed limit on bikes in the park: it was instituted by, then, Parks Commissioner and newly re-nominated Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum.

The NYCC was a co-plaintiff to the suit against her for imposing this without following the requirements (hearings, impact study) for changing the code.

Here was her research: she was driven around the park once in a car and came away from that studious analysis with the belief 15MPH would be appropriate.

Oh, the law suit? We lost.

As for cars speeding in the park or simply being in the park when they are not supposed to be: this year, for the third year, the NYPD balked at providing me with statistics of how many cars have been ticketed for both. I've biked in the park for 25 years. I've yet to see a car ticketed for speeding or being in the park when it is closed to cars.

I did ask a cop why he didn't ticket a car that went right by him as it exited the park at Fifth and 90th as he sat right there on his scooter with the car right alongside him waiting for the light. His explanation: ""Aw, he knew what he was doing was wrong.""

There you have it: if you're ever stopped for doing anything wrong--a bank heist, a murder, whatever--just explain to the cop you know what you were doing is wrong. He'll let you go."

Anonymous's picture
el jefe (not verified)

"One day last week, Tuesday I think, the police had a line of cars, taxis and limos pulled over in the Park for violating the HOV rules. In that one day more cars ticketed than I've ever seen or heard of bikes ticketed in the park.

But to get back on topic, the subject of this thread is the news story that's going to air in a few hours. While it's unfortunate that cyclists are going to be shown in a bad light, there are plenty of cyclists that do not respect other park users' rights. They can't use the excuse that cars are worse. Two wrongs don't make a right. If I kill my wife, you think I'll be able to get away with it by saying ""OJ killed his wife and didn't go to jail""?"

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