Bike Ticket Blitz Reportedly Underway in Central Park

Heads up if your p.m. bike commute takes you through Central Park, or if you’re planning on an after-work ride. This just in from reliable source (and Streetfilms star) Marcus Woollen:

If you have an encounter in the park this evening, tell us about it in the comments or email

  • Anonymous

    If you dismount you can walk your bike through a cross walk as a pedestrian.

  • Rain

    They should get ticketed for running red lights. It’s dangerous and rude.

  • Guest

    Cops were on Bedford Avenue at McCarren Park, too. They asked me if my bell worked.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like I missed the fun! I had read rumors that a ticketing blitz was imminent, plus this being the end of the month the cops might have an incentive to fulfill their allegedly nonexistent quotas. But I commuted through the park sometime around 5:30 pm today and didn’t see any cops at all, ticketing people or otherwise. I only rode the eastern half of the loop, entering through 6th Ave and exiting at ACP Blvd.

  • It’s the red lights that are dangerous and rude.

  • UWS-biker

     At about 4:30 the part of the drive near the boat-house was full of uniformed parks people (not NYPD) holding up stop signs and trying to make bicyclists stop at the lights (even when no vehicles or pedestrians near-by.  Also nearby were official vehicles with flashing lights (again, not NYPD).   A beautiful day for a peaceful bike ride, but I quickly left the park to find some place else to do it.

    A few weeks ago, in East Harlem I was ticketed on my bike, for stopping at a red light, waiting for the intersection to be clear, and then going through it when the pedestrians did, at pedestrian speed.  That’s going to cost me a couple hundred dollars.

  • Who watches the watchmen?

    This is outrageous. Maybe the NYPD should stop garbage trucks from running over women at Union Square instead. Shame on Ray Kelly.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “A few weeks ago, in East Harlem I was ticketed on my bike, for stopping at a red light, waiting for the intersection to be clear, and then going through it when the pedestrians did, at pedestrian speed.  That’s going to cost me a couple hundred dollars.”
    This is where the police need to use common sense, and focus on putting a stop to behavior that is a threat to oneself or others. That’s the equivalent of a ticket blitz against double parking on a residential side street during alternate side.

    I will say this, however.  The amount of truly dangerous cycling behavior does seem to be down from a couple of years ago.

  • Jeremy

    PEP had been promising to enforce the traffic law in order to cut down on the pretty extraordinary number of pedestrian injuries on the loop.  Looks like they’re really following through.

  • On the count of three…

  • KeNYC2030

    Jeremy, an “extraordinary” number of pedestrians injured on the loop?  At a recent meeting of recreational groups using Central Park, the Parks Dept. said that so far this year there have been 35 accidents involving cyclists and, of those, 16 were bike/ped collisions.  They could not say in how many of those cases the cyclist was at fault.  Given the admittedly extraordinary number of recreational users of a loop road that is demarcated and signalized for motorists, that doesn’t seem like a huge number.  

  • kevd

    That new bell I bought last night to replace the one that broke in the fall may be $10 well spent.

    A cop did give me a “Hey there’s a bike lane over there, they made if for you” on sixth avenue this morning, as I was on the right side about to make a right in 1 1/2 blocks. Of course the delivery cyclist in front of me wasn’t given the same information…. Not exactly a ticket blitz, but that has happened to me exactly zero times in the past 8 years.

  • UWS-biker

     “PEP had been promising to enforce the traffic law in order to cut down
    on the pretty extraordinary number of pedestrian injuries on the loop.”

    From observation there’s also an extraordinary number of bikers getting injured on the loop, and I’ve seen bikers go down as they try and avoid pedestrians doing dangerous (and illegal, not that anyone cares about that in NYC…) things.  I had heard that the end result of last years anti-bike campaign in the park was that NYPD would be doing something sensible, just ticketing bikers not yielding to pedestrians.  Maybe that’s no longer the plan.

    There seem to be many fewer people biking in the park than a few years ago, and a renewed ticketing campaign will reduce that further.  I’m all in favor of steps taken to reduce the dangerous situation caused by people trying to train in the park at racing speeds at busy times, but this kind of campaign to make the loop safe for pedestrians by very expensive fines on bicyclists doing perfectly safe things is just going to make it a place bikers can no longer enjoyably use.  This will reduce pedestrian injuries, of course these could be reduced even further by banning bicycles completely.

  • Anonymous

    @kevdflb:disqus even if you weren’t about to turn right, I have to say that in my experience the sixth-avenue bike lane is one of the worst I’ve tried. It’s more of a dooring lane (in fact, someone was fatally doored there a few years ago), and realistically, to ride on sixth avenue you need to spend much of the time on or close to the *second* traffic lane (counting either from the right or from the left) to get around the long queue of cars waiting to turn every other block.

  • This is why for the last few monthis I’ve been stopping at the lights even when there’s no vehicles or pedestrians near-by and wait for the green. Sure, I feel like a doofus and the law makes no sense but 1) it feels like every time I think “this is stupid; I’m going through” a police car materializes and 2) I’m not good enough to edit myself when there’s cops around. The safety nerd switch in my head is either on or off and 3) I’m frankly scared of police. I seek to minimize my interactions with them (though cops do what they want and that’s not always something you can control) and I would never want to interact with them in a situation where I don’t have as much of the law as possible on my side. It’s annoying, but I’ve promised myself that if I can get to the 4th of July without breaking any rules and with no tickets, I will buy myself a super fancy pannier.

  • Vidro3

    @twitter-59780705:disqus Thought you were gonna go with this one

  • Vidro3

  • Jeremy

    @KeNYC2030:disqus I remember that discussion about bike/ped accidents in Central Park.  Captain Corey was pretty clear when she described the times cyclists ran red lights, when one smashed in a child’s face and another rear-ended a police vehicle.

    I get that TA and other cycling advocates are never going to acknowledge the risk to pedestrians from cyclists on the Central Park Loop, and pedestrians are going to have to be more activist in our push for safe streets there.  Quantitatively, the average mile of the loop road during car-free hours is more dangerous for pedestrians than the streets of the UWS.  If you don’t think that’s significant, you certainly have that right.  I wouldn’t recommend expressing it outside of the Gorton/RecRoundtable bubble, tho.

  • UWS-biker

     Jeremy,  You don’t seem very interested at all in injuries to cyclists, why is that? In a story about a collision between a police vehicle and a cyclist, you appear to be worried about the police vehicle, not a human being who may have been injured.

    I agree that cyclists who don’t yield to pedestrians crossing with the light deserve to be ticketed.  The question at issue is whether cyclists must stop at each one of the (dozens) of traffic lights when  the loop road has no traffic and there are no pedestrians in the intersection, or face fines starting in the hundreds of dollars and escalating from there.  Note that no one can even conceive of the idea of ticketing pedestrians for crossing against such lights, or for not yielding to bicyclists who have the right of way.

    I’ve seen no case for this made by anyone whose agenda doesn’t seem to be to get bicyclists completely out of the park.

  • Driver

    SB should have a separate ticket reporting thread so we can see where the cops are focusing their efforts ticketing evil killer cyclists.  Yesterday morning I saw a cyclist getting a ticket at 1st Ave and E. 9 st, and this evening at Delancey and Essex.  I’m not sure, either they coasted through a red light when there was no cross traffic, or they were doing 40 mph while talking on the phone and weaving between lanes.

  • I wonder if Bike N Roll actually informs families of the bike rules in Central Park, that they have to share the drive with runners, horse carriages, and traffic doing 30+ mph,  or do families simply believe they can pedal their way to popular destinations like the Zoo, Carousel, or rink?

    Anyone who rents a bike in NYC, whether its from Bike N Roll or Bike Share should receive a small brochure, or cure sheet attached to the basket, informing where they can bike legally. Otherwise these short term users are likely to become the victims of Bike Crackdowns and Ticket Blitzes by police looking to meet their quota.

  • Ian Turner

    Stacy: I can’t speak to Bike and Roll specifically, but the one time I rented a bike near central park, the only rule they provided was that you shouldn’t bike on the sidewalk.

  • David

    IF they really cared about accidents they’d ticket the jay walking tourists who cross the path against the light as well.  In general I think this effort is f=d up.  I do know there are some real jerk bikers as well.  It would be too hard to be selective I suppose. This shite is ruining NYC.

  • Coming down off the winding hill at 110th street, passed the swimming pool, got off the road took the sidewalk, was heading north toward Riverside drive.
    110th street intersection was full of double parked trucks, so to be safe, I rode on the cobble stone sidewalk which is the North end of Central Park 110th street.
    Cop car at the end of the street beeped me. Gave me a ticket to appear at 346 Broadway Aug 16th.
    I hate NYC!

  • Tiff

    The blitz is extended to Riverside Drive as well.  Just got a $50 ticket today on 114th and Riverside drive for not making a complete stop at a light.  It wasn’t even an intersection. They stopped two other cyclists after they pulled over me and my friend. 

  • Agrias

    I saw 3 separate tickets while doing loops in prospect park on 6/30/12 as well. I have no idea what they were even being ticketed for, nothing seemed out of place to me.

  • BreakinTheLaw

    I got a $50 bike ticket for “running” a red light in the park somewhere around W. 72nd St. I was going very slowly and didn’t want to stop in the middle of a puddle, so stopped right after it. Ridiculous. This is my second day commuting to work on my bike. 

  • Ronjon

    Just got back from court for a Central Park red light ticket in June.  It was a “Dragnet”  operation they had going at 72nd and East Drive on a lovely Saturday morning.  $270 ticket. Pleaded Not Guilty.  Cop showed.  Had my defense all prepared — I actually did stop at the stop sign some park employee was holding up in sync with the light, and proceeded after looking around.  Didn’t know about the sting operation and was very surprised when I got pulled over.  Anyway, cop read his notes (BS boilerplate that had nothing to do with me), and the judge just threw it out.  I didn’t have to say a thing.  Is their whole operation defective?