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STREETSBLOG GETS ACTION: NYPD Ends Frozen Zone on Central Park West

12:01 AM EST on November 11, 2020

It’s not perfect, but cyclists can now access Central Park West again. Photo: Lisa Orman

We asked and he answered.

Hours after Streetsblog questioned Mayor de Blasio about why he had allowed the NYPD to seal off a key protected bike lane on the Upper West Side, the NYPD pulled back from its complete ban on vehicles and cyclists.

Neither City Hall nor the NYPD press office responded to a request for comment, but it is clear that Streetsblog had put the issue on the mayoral radar screen. In response to our question at around 11 a.m., de Blasio had said, "That's something we should reassess right away. I'll have that conversation today with the NYPD."

He wasn't lying, because within a few hours, the NYPD had repositioned their barricades so that cyclists were again able to access the Central Park West protected bike lane. The NYPD didn't completely clear the area, leaving a double-row of barricades blocking part of the bike lane, but cyclists saw it as a victory:

It's not certain that de Blasio acted because little ol' us had a question, but he no doubt was aware that he was taking heat on social media for the latest example of him deferring to the NYPD over a matter of basic public space. Previously, the mayor has consistently deferred to the NYPD when it claims to need to seize public space for "security" purposes.

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