Central Park Cyclists and Cops Call Truce in Ticket Tiff

05/18/2011 3:36 PM |

Since January, the NYPDs enforcement of traffic laws for cyclists on the Central Park loop had been... roofless.

  • Since January, the NYPD’s enforcement of traffic laws for cyclists on the Central Park loop had been… roofless.

Remember how the NYPD pissed off all the city’s most powerful cyclists when it started enforcing a strict zero tolerance policy at red lights on along the Central Park loop, even early on chilly winter morning’s when there were no other people around? (And then briefly ticketed them for going below the speed limit?) Well, some sort of agreement has finally been reached between riders and ticket-writers.

In a meeting late last month, DNAinfo reports, the NYPD’s Central Park Precinct Commander Captain Philip Wishnia promised that his officers would no longer issue summonses and tickets of up to $270 for cyclists riding through red lights when there are no pedestrians in the intersection. When walkers are present, though, they have the right of way and cyclists will be expected to stop, and could be ticketed if they fail to do so.

“The way it was characterized by Wishnia is that they’re refocusing the ticketing,” said Tila Duhaime, a Community Board 7 member who was at the meeting. “They’re going to continue to ticket cyclists, but their focus is going to be on ticketing cyclists who are failing to yield to pedestrians who have the light.”

It’s a happy end to a ridiculous story, but it sets an interesting precedent for cyclists beyond Central Park, many of whom already practice this “keep going unless there’s a pedestrian” policy. Will officers in the rest of the city start to be so lenient with riders who roll through deserted intersections?