More Cyclists Being Ticketed in Central Park

For cyclists across the spectrum, casual to competitive, making a trip around Central Park could prove costly if they ride dangerously.

The number of summonses issued to cyclists at Central Park has risen dramatically over the last year. From Jan. 1 to Sept. 21 of 2013, there were 287 summonses issued to cyclists in Central Park. During the same time period this year, tickets have more than doubled, to 671.

"It means people are taking this more seriously," said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.

He added, "People have been calling for this for a long time and it means that the city, at least in Central Park, is starting to take notice."

Croft, who also examined the summonses issued, says a fraction of the 671 tickets issued so far this year were written in the days after a cyclist fatally struck Jill Tarlov in the park last week, near 63rd Street near West Drive.

"The NYPD is out there and it definitely makes me feel safer," said Croft.

The crackdown on rogue cyclists isn't just happening in Central Park. So far this year, the NYPD issued a total of 21,085 tickets to cyclists across the boroughs -- 4,000 more than the 17,440 issued citywide through the same period last year.

Roger Parmelee, an elite cyclist and the public relations director for the Century Road Club Association, says it's also up to cyclists to make sure they're riding safely.

"We need to really make sure the park is safe for everybody," he said.

Parmelee's cycling group not only supports enforcement but polices their own members when it comes to riding in the park.

Parmelee says the vast majority of riders follow the rules and that when it comes to safety in the park, everyone -- cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians -- has a role to play.

"There's a lot of dangers in the city," he said. "Everyone needs to be aware of what they're doing."

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