Saturday, July 9, 2011

NY's Teething Problems

Bicyclists trying to get legally from one side of Central Park to the other have long faced a challenge: because the park’s pedestrian paths are closed to cyclists, they have to either ride the looping vehicular drive south and then head north again. Now, in an experiment hatched by the Central Park Conservancy and the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation cyclists will be permitted to share with amblers and dog walkers one of two crosstown paths as long as they ride slowly. Really slowly. Like five miles an hour. Given the state of New York City’s bike wars, the announcement of the plan has stirred fierce debate. It is being hailed by bicyclists and pro-cycling organizations and denounced by anti-bike forces, particularly on the Upper East Side, where some residents fear collisions. The Upper West Side may indeed be more bike friendly, with several members of the pro-biking group Transportation Alternatives also being on the community board. By contrast a leader of the Defenders of the Historic Upper East Side, said, “We have an older population in Community Board 8 and they complain they’re already terrified by the population of bicyclists going in the opposite direction on one-way streets.” Read more in NYT.

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