We got a couple of e-mails this week about a new directive from the Parks Department ordering cyclists to dismount on the Riverside Park path that connects the Hudson River Greenway and Riverside Drive at W. 72nd Street. On his Flickr page, BicyclesOnly says he learned of the restriction from parks enforcement:
[An] officer rode his SUV up the path behind me and issued a "warning bleep" and ordered me to dismount. I pointed out to him that the dismount instruction was first announced ahead of me and it was the first time I had ever seen the sign (which was true), so why did I have dismount? He told me that they would be getting more signs so that the entire pathway would be a dismount zone, and directed me to dismount.
Following his instructions, I dismounted, took out my camera, and a took this picture. He then asked why I was taking a picture. I told him there was no reason for me to tell him. He then told me it was a violation of park rules to take a picture of any official Parks Department signage. I told him I didn’t believe there was any such rule and that I’d like him to go ahead and issue me a summons for taking a picture in the park. He got upset and scolded me for being sarcastic (I wasn’t being sarcastic), but he didn’t write me the summons.
Another tipster told us that a parks officer said cyclists would be issued summonses for ignoring the new rule, which, he points out, exponentially increases the commute time from Riverside Drive to the greenway. "The rule change and signage are symbolic of Parks’ vague approach to dealing with the growing volume of cyclists on the greenway," he said, adding that the dismount order has not been accompanied by suggestions for alternate connections.
We have a message in with the Parks Department for details on the new dismount rule, including what’s behind it.