Save Lives

Central Park has been called New York’s backyard. It’s an apt comparison. On average, 70% of the park’s daily visitors live in the area. Yet in recent years, our backyard is becoming increasingly dangerous. Between 2012 and 2013 collisions between bicycles and pedestrians increased more than 25%. As Central Park’s roadways exist now, bicycle collisions are increasing and there have been several recent pedestrian injuries and deaths.

Bike Collision Map

The map above shows areas in Central Park with the greatest number of pedestrian-cyclist collisions according to a 2014 NYC Department of Transportation study. While the statistics aren’t conclusive (bicycle crash data is notoriously underreported), they do give a general idea of where collisions are occurring. It’s not surprising that the most crash-heavy locations are often at or near the park’s busiest intersections and crosswalks, 89% of fatal bike crashes in NYC occur at or within 25 feet of intersections,

Central Park Arch Project shares the ideals of New York City as presented in Mayor De Blasio’s Vision Zero program, its goal being to use “every tool at its disposal to improve the safety of [New York City] streets.”  New York City has certainly made an effort to improve the safety of Central Park. In 2014, moving violations issued to bicyclists tripled from 2013.  However, policing dangerous intersections will never have the same effect as fixing them. That’s why advocating for the use of arches in the park to correct areas with dangerous traffic patterns.

Central Park's crosswalks are too busy

Central Park’s crosswalks are too busy

Central Park roads and pathways were originally designed to be completely safe for vehicle and pedestrian traffic alike.  That park’s arches were built to create elevated or sunken pathways which separated vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Over time, this critical part of Central Park’s safety infrastructure was all but forgotten then impaired in the zeitgeist of automobile expansion. Arches and elevated crossings must be rebuilt so as to ensure that pedestrian and bicycle traffic does not overlap at the park’s most congested intersections. It is only in this way that we can ensure an collision-free Central Park. Separating traffic flows, especially in these most congested and dangerous areas of Central Park, was then and remains now an infallible way to create safer streets.

2014 saw two deaths and countless injuries from collisions between pedestrians and bicyclists.  It’s time we put this trend to a stop. Please help the Central Park Arch Project reduce pedestrian and cyclist injury and death.  Sign our petition, follow us on Facebook, and write to the individuals below to say that you support Central Park arches.

Speak up for a safer Central Park where bicyclists and pedestrians don’t have to compete for the street. Sign our petition to make Central Park arches, separating pedestrian and bicyclist traffic at its busiest intersections, a reality.

Mitchell J. Silver
New York City Parks Department
830 Fifth Ave
New York, NY, 10065

Bill de Blasio
Mayor of New York City
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

Melissa Mark-Viverito
City Council Speaker
105 East 116th Street
New York, NY 10029

Douglas Blonsky
Central Park Conservancy
14 E. 60th St
New York, NY, 10022

Mark Levine
New York City Council Parks Committee Chair
500 West 141st Street
New York, NY 10031

Darlene Mealy
New York City Council Parks Committee Member
1757 Union Street
2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11213

Fernando Cabrera
New York City Council Parks Committee Member
107 East Burnside Ave
Bronx, NY 10453

James G. Van Bramer
New York City Council Parks Committee Member
47-01 Queens Boulevard
Suite 205
Sunnyside, NY 11104

Andrew Cohen
New York City Council Parks Committee Member
277 West 231st Street
Bronx, NY 10463

Alan N. Maisel
New York City Council Parks Committee Member
2424 Ralph Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11234

Mark Treyger
New York City Council Parks Committee Member
445 Neptune Avenue
Community Room 2C
Brooklyn, New York 11224