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.
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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Cops gave her a $140 ticket for speeding which was later withdrawn.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.
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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cyclists must follow the 25 mph speed limit that the Transportation Department issued for the roads and will remove the outdated signs.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