central park enforcement

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Anonymous's picture

I just submitted the following note to the parks commissioner. I'm hoping others will write as well - perhaps we can inundate him with letters and ideas that might be considered if they are respectful and non-confrontational.
Go to www.nyc.gov - parks commissioner and send a note of 150 words or less.
My message was:
I received Bicyclist Information handout and appreciate your efforts to improve safety in Central Park, however you must know that 15MPH speed limit is virtually impossible for cyclists.
Please also consider a handout for pedestrians and runners:
Welcome to Central Park. Please enjoy all the pathways and roads in the park but also please remember that the main drives always have moving traffic in the form of cyclists and rollerbladers. Before crossing, turning or stopping in the road always look both ways, make your intentions known and proceed with caution.

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
email sent to Parks Commissioner

I am a runner and cyclist who uses Central Park. The current 15 mph speed limit does not allow users like me to achieve heart rates needed to train at recreational levels.

The cycling community I am part of it the New York Cycle Club, comprised mainly of middle aged professionals.

A collective anger is growing in the cycling community in our realization that the NYPD & DOT does not care about our safety. This speed limit further fuels this anger.

Please read the threads on the NYCC Message Board at:

Hank Schiffman, NYCC Ride Librarian

Anonymous's picture
Karol (not verified)
my letter

Dear Parks Commissioner:

I recently learned about the 15mph speed limit for cyclists in Central Park. I am a runner and cyclist and have trained regularly in Central Park since the mid 1990's. Strong cyclists will only be staying within the speed limit on Cat Hill and Harlem Hill. And elite cyclists will climb even faster. I grew up in the New York City suburbs and remember when the Central Park jogger was attacked and left for dead. She was running after dark at a time when people felt fear in the park, even during the broadest daylight. Look at the park now. It has become a sports arena, day and night. Do we really want to restrict this new freedom?


Karol Nielsen

You can go directly to the parks page and click on send a message to the parks commissioner. It's incredibly easy.


Anonymous's picture
chris (not verified)
thanks fro the link


Thanks for the link!! Great, I sent my note similar to the above in...

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Rosenthal weighs (and I do mean weighs) in on the 15MPH limit.

If does seem a bit daffy to have a speed limit that requires you to be on your brake to maintain it...yet, I suspect, that is the case coming down the Harlem Hill.

It would be interesting to learn how fast you would be going at the end of the downhill if you started down it from standing (0 MPH); but, surely, if you crested the hill at, say, 10 MPH, you would have to be on your brakes to stay within the speed limit.

Also daffy is imposing a 15MPH speed limit on bikes while cars are permitted to go 30MPH at the same time (and are just as close to the many runners who (wrongly, but frequently) run in the so-called dedicated bike/skate lane).

If the reason to impose the 15MPH speed limit on cyclists is their proximity to runners and walkers, then runners/walkers should be liable to ticketing when they are wrongly in the cycling-skating lane and whenever they are in the main roadway where they should never be unless crossing it to get to the running lane.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Idea for arresting driver speed--not the driver--in Central Park

I've sought to learn from the NYPD over a period of three years how many tickets have been written for drivers speeding in the park and for being in the park when it is closed to cars. In each instance I've called the Park precinct, been referred to the PD's Public Information/Press Information bureau, called, asked for whom I was writing, mentioned several cycling publications, and was told there are no such statistics.

I'll state this flat out: I don't believe it.

Since there is virtually no enforcement against drivers of the Central Park speed limit (actually, in my experience, none at all), and since one seldom sees the park patrolled by uniformed officers, and since even more seldom does one see them dispersed in the park (as opposed to congregated in a social moment or twenty), here's an idea that will require no personnel:

You know those HUGE, electronic signs by the side of roads that read out your speed as you approach it? Presumably they have some effect on slowing drivers. Cars chronically speed in the park, and there are spots where they really wind it up. Put those signs at two or three such places.

At the very least what we say is true: cars speed. A just maybe if a superior officer does venture forth, it might catch his or her attention. Maybe.

cycling trips