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City Council Considers Ban On Cars In Central, Prospect Parks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The City Council met Wednesday to look at a complete ban on cars in Central and Prospect parks, in part, to make things easier on cyclists who have been the target of a ticketing blitz lately

A new measure would replace the standard traffic signals with flashing yellow lights, if vehicular traffic is banned, to allow for an unbroken ride for cyclists.

Bikers came to the meeting with 1,800 signatures on a petition supporting the legislation. They claim the NYPD has been unfairly targeting them in Central Park – burying them in tickets for going through red lights or speeding.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: Riding Into Trouble

Allie Corliss says it happened to her at 6:45 a.m.

“Well, I was riding through the park. I went through one time. It was a green light. It was very dark. The police officer was in the way, and I went through the green light, assuming 25 [miles per hour]. I came around again, and I said ‘Okay. It’s a green light. I’m going to just keep going.’ And then I was pulled over,” Corliss said.

Cops gave her a $140 ticket for speeding which was later withdrawn.

Rider Anthony O’Malley said he saw police “issuing tickets, ambushing and harassing cyclists”‘ in 20 degree weather when there were no other people around.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Bicyclists say a police crackdown has stolen Central Park from them

Rider Greg Laudermilk said he was heading heading south on the west side of Central Park near 77th Street when he ran into the police.

“They had their speed trap set up” Laudermilk said. “They jumped out in front of me, said ‘Pull over.’ I said, ‘What for?’ They said, ‘That you were speeding.”

Laudermilk said he was going the posted speed limit of 25 mph while police claimed the limit is 15 mph. That ticket was later voided.

The Department of Parks and Recreation disavowed a bike riding speed limit Wednesday of 15 mph that was posted on signs by the Central Park Conservancy two decades ago. The department said cyclists must follow the 25 mph speed limit that the Transportation Department issued for the roads and will remove the outdated signs.

Which speed limit do you think bike riders should follow? Do you think parks should be closed off to vehicular traffic? Sound off below

More from Rich Lamb
  • Michael

    Ban the BIKES… not the cars! When i am walking in the park with my kids I can assure you there is a much bigger chance of one of us getting run over by a bike than a car. The bike riders are rude, arrogant, and have absolutely no respect for the traffic laws or for any pedestrians that are trying to walk through and enjoy the park. I wish the police would step up the frequency of ticket writing for bike riders.

  • Auburn Dale

    If Prospect Park is restricted to pedestrians and bikes, why do we still need the wonderful bike lanes on Prospect Park West??

  • Connor

    Wow, Anthony Omaile has moved from being an Editorialist for the Irish Voice to being a commentator for CBS 880. What’s next? Sky News?

  • 1608

    Now entering Manhattan $10.00 please!

  • TheRogueTrader

    1. There is no reason for a car to be in Central Park, the end.
    2. Cyclists should be able to ride at their own pace, respectful of pedestrians and other foot traffic.

    This whole thing is ridiculous.

  • UptownGuy

    When I was growing up in Manhattan many, many years ago, there were few, if any bicycle incidents. Why? Few bicycles. Now it seems bicyclists are causing many of the problems we all now enjoy. Bicyclists are everywhere. I thnk bicyles need to be registered, display a license plated and the bicyclist needs to have a bicycle license, seperate from their driver’s license. A bicycle is a vehicle and requires the same treatment as other vehicles. Traffic infractions need the same fines and points as any other vehicle. Bicyclists do not pay the same taxes as the owners of other vehicles do and need to carry their own weight; and stop with this nonpoluting nonsense.

    • TheRogueTrader

      UptownGuy…are you serious? What is wrong with you? U are OuterSpaceGuy. It’s mostly a hobby/sport for the peeps in the park…get a life. Did you register your walking shoes?

    • badman


  • dottie

    Bad idea. Opening the park for a couple of hours helps the traffic, that’s what you get when the Mayor DICTATES closing major streets for stupid pedestrian recreation spots…IT DOESN’T WORK

    • TheRogueTrader

      Really? Does this really help alleviate gridlock in the city? Driving from 57th to 110th (or N to S) in the middle of the city?

    • badman

      if you don’t like this idea, you’re fat

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