Central Park Defense Action!

Park Supporters Rally to Draw Attention to Epidemic of Speeding in Park

Radar study: 90% of motorists in Park speed. 23% by 10mph or more. [view study results]

Wednesday, July 2, 7am to 8am

66th Street and Park Drive West, Just South of Tavern on the Green.

Members of Transportation Alternatives' Car-Free Central Park Committee will gather and hold signs telling motorists to slow down and to bring attention to the ongoing epidemic of speeding on Central Park’s loop drive. Participants will be joined by Jesus Martinez, a promising amateur bicycle racer, who was hit by a speeding car in 1998 while training in the park and had part of one foot severed.

An extensive radar study of traffic on Central Park’s loop drive by Transportation Alternatives (T.A) found 90% of motorists there exceed the 30mph speed limit. Of those, 23% speed at 10mph or more over the 30mph legal speed limit. The average speed in the park is 36mph.

“Cars and Central Park do not mix. Cab drivers and other motorists treat the park drive like a Grand Prix course. Putting thousands of joggers, cyclists and skaters in a recreation lane inches away from these speeding cars is a recipe for disaster.”

Said Ken Coughlin, Chair of Transportation Alternatives’ Car-Free Central Park Committee.

Coughlin noted that speeding has been a problem in the Park for decades and that despite years of complaints, police speed enforcement is limited and ineffective. “Of course the police should enforce the speed limit in Central Park. But they have their hands full and there will never be enough cops to permanently stop speeding in Central Park. The clear answer to this ongoing safety crisis is to make Central Park car-free.”

Radar Speed Study
Using the same kind of radar gun as many police departments, and standard traffic engineering sampling methods, Transportation Alternatives measured the speeds of 850 vehicles on Central Parks loop drive on five weekdays in June. (For the full speed study, click here).

Findings
The posted speed limit in Central Park is 30mph. The average speed is 36mph.

90% of motorists drive exceed the legal speed limit
67% exceed the speed limit by 5mph or more.
22.5% exceed the speed limit by 10mph or more.