Report on the Central Park Precinct Community Council Meeting 11/8/2017

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CGuzzetta's picture
CGuzzetta
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I've been a busy guy. . . . what am I thinking?  I'm running "unopposed" for office in 2018 -  I can just sit back and collect my salary.  I better stop drinking whiskey - it's making my brain soft . . . 

Went to the Central Park Precinct Community Council Meeting last night – really great experience!

Captain Peter Andrea, the Commander of the Central Park Police Precinct, he is sincerely pro cyclists.  He made it a point to stress the police in the Central Park precinct have been instructed to use their discretion when issuing summons to cyclists who are in violation of the rules/laws.  Furthermore, he has made it clear his preference is to NOT ticket cyclists as long as they understand what they are doing wrong, fix it, and do it with good manners.  Of course, he said, all bets are off when it comes to reckless cyclists – those people are in big big big trouble.   He made it a point the police will bend over backwards not to give summons to tourists as long as they fit the above.  He is well aware that tourists and out of towners are not familiar with the rules of the road in Central Park.  Roger Thomas, the President of the Central Park Community Council, told me he is distributing flyers to bicycle rental shops in and around the park that detail the rules of the road in the park. “We are trying”, he said, “it’s hard”.  Richard Rosenthal's been talking about this idea for years. It's about time the CP Conservancy listened to Richard.     

Captain Andrea was so pleased about our morning lap rides, proud of us, our resourcefulness to come out that early, and our consideration of other park users that is so evident by the hour we ride. “That’s so great!”, he said.  “No pedestrians at that time, not much activity, no cars, no tourists.  I’m so happy”, he said “that you all can come out and ride hard at that hour”.  Wow!

He is also incredibly proud of the 132 strong police force in this precinct – crime is down 35% in the past 5 years!  So great!  He reported on the individual incidents of crime in the past 30 days.  All but one have an arrest attached to it.  There is a new unit consisting of 11 bicycle police patrolling the Park during daylight hours.  He urged all park users – particularly us – to approach these bicycle police, let them know if you have a concern, greet them, and how nice it would be to thank them for doing such a great job protecting the Park.  Additionally, they have increased the use of scooters, small cars (“Smart Cars”), in some cases even horseback, in order to have better access and can better patrol the paths in the park.

BIG GOOD NEWS !   The Department of Transportation has begun to repave the north end of the park.  For those of us who have been out in the park these past few days, we know Harlem Hill – up and down -  has been milled and is awaiting new pavement.  This is scheduled to be repaved on Thursday evening, 11/9.  Carolyn Greenleaf, Director, Community & Government Relations at the Conservancy, expressed concern that with the new smooth pavement on the downside of Harlem Hill, cyclists will take to bombing down at dangerous speeds.  Let’s be careful!!

Also, more good news, Ms. Greenleaf acknowledged the crevice in the middle of the roadway on the West Side.  Yes, she knows it is dangerous for cyclists, almost hazardous.   Well, after much hard work, the Central Park Conservancy was able to convince the DOT to repave the entire West Side.  This is scheduled to begin when the weather breaks this spring and will include the west side from West 90th Street (where the current repaving will stop) all the way down to West 72nd.  How great will that be!

One person expressed great dismay about cyclists riding on the bridal paths in the park – bicycles are not allowed on these paths.  Ms. Greenleaf mentioned they would be improving the signage and the police may change their minds about redirecting bicycles who are riding on the bridal paths – they may indeed issue summons to this group.  If you are or know of anyone riding on the bridal paths – I don’t anyone in this group – tell them they are looking for trouble if they continue to ride there. 

It was a positive, constructive gathering.  The objective is making the Park a great experience for all users.  So so so nice.

Christy

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Excellent report. But what's

Excellent report. But what's the deal with the bridle paths? No stables in Manhattan--

CGuzzetta's picture
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What do you know - there is

What do you know - there is an active stable in Manhattan - somewhere in the 30's I think. They bring horses to Central Park from time to time - not often - but once in a while. Regardless, the bridal path is saved for pedestrians and runners and walkers. No bikes allowed. Sorry.

Christy

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Horses on the Bridle Path

I don't think there are any private people riding horses in the park anymore, but there are definitely still horses. In fact, just yesterday my friends and I ran into these beauties (I think they are Parks Department).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbZurxSAu3N/

Christy - Thanks for the complete report and the good news. I just stopped and talked with some bicycle cops a few weeks ago.

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