New York Times: Central Park Cyclists Get Wish to Share Shortcut. But Slowly.

Central Park

Steve Vaccaro praises new Central Park shared bicycle path as it improves transportation options for cyclists and reduces pedestrian conflicts.

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 to 60th Street and then head north again, potentially going miles out of their way, or brave the narrow, crowded transverse roads.

She also dismissed the inconvenience to cyclists of having to cross the park by walking with their bikes or taking the vehicular drive.

“You’re not crossing the Gobi Desert,” she said. “If they’re healthy enough to ride a bike, they’re healthy enough to walk the bike less than half a mile.”

Not surprisingly, Steve Vaccaro, an active member of Transportation Alternatives, sees it differently. On most afternoons, Mr. Vaccaro picks up his 13-year-old son, Clark, at school on West 81st Street and together they ride home across Central Park to the East 90s.

Using the pedestrian paths means enduring what Mr. Vaccaro, 46, described as “an experience of constantly being scolded by strange adults.” Taking a legal route means using the transverse or riding more than two miles extra on the park loop.

That might not be a bad option “when it’s a beautiful day and we want to take a beautiful ride,” he said. “But that’s not really an option for transportation.”

Bicycle riders who were illicitly using the 97th Street pedestrian path just north of the transverse — a path just south of the transverse may be chosen instead as a crosstown bike route — insisted they were careful.

 Click here for the full article.

Our Partners In Advocacy