Just two weeks after the speed limit for New York City was reduced from 30 MPH to 25 MPH, officials have announced that Central Park’s speed limit will go down to 20 MPH from 25 MPH. It will apply to both motorists and cyclists.
Additionally, barricades will be set up to separate people from cars and bikes, the New York Post reports, and “the city will further reduce the limits to 10 mph at four busy pedestrian crossings along East and West drives.”
The measure is not exactly surprising. Historically, the park’s speed limit has been less than the city’s, and the move is in line with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which aims to reduce traffic-related deaths in the city to zero. Though it’s a rare occurrence (in 2013, there were 0 bike-related pedestrian deaths in Manhattan), the announcement comes a few months after two pedestrians died after they were hit by cyclists in the park, in unrelated incidents.
The reduced speed limit will also take effect in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, but there’s no word yet on when it will take effect.
Bike-related pedestrian accidents are already on the decline, but Doug Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy, for one, is convinced the measure will have a positive impact. Blonsky told the New York Daily News, “There is no question; slower traffic will mean a safer park.”
(Photo: Ed Yourdon)