THE INVESTIGATORS: THE DANGER OF SPEEDING BICYCLISTS IN CENTRAL PARK

The problem has led to pedestrian injuries and even some fatalities, and the NYPD is out to slow people down. Police have beefed up patrols ever since the death of pedestrian Jill Tarlov, who was struck and killed by cyclist Jason Marshall.

After that incident, in September, the Investigators set out to test the speeds of cyclists in the park. And despite an almost daily crackdown by the NYPD, we found many bikers routinely surpassing the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit.

We clocked them with a radar gun all over the park during busy times of the day. One of those we tagged speeding is Jason Colon. We asked if he thought he needed to slow down.

“If you’re aware of your surroundings, go for it,” he said. “Something pops up, like a kid, it is time to dial back.”

Collisions are up 52 percent, according to the Central Park precinct. Authorities say 35 people have been struck by bikes in the park so far this year, while only one person has been hit by a car.

The death toll in the bike-pedestrian accidents is two, and three suffered head fractures.

Yet all throughout the park, on different weekdays at different times, our radar gun clocked bicyclists speeding, some topping 30 miles per hour.

From the west side to the east side, we found dozens of cyclist zipping by joggers, walkers and baby carriages and doing it above the speed limit.

It’s a worry for many people who like to walk in the park.

“They go so fast,” pedestrian Martha Diprete said. “They go so fast.”

There are others, though, mostly cyclists, who blame distracted pedestrians.

“You’ve got pedestrians on their cell phones, you’ve got people walking with baby strollers and babies right into the street,” cyclist Terra Cardwell said. “I’ve almost nicked a few.”

The chaotic mix of Central Park is what makes it unique, and this year, it provides another distinction, the only place in the city where bikes pose a greater danger to people than cars.

As to who is more to blame when bikes and walkers collide, cyclist James Rosa thinks he knows.

“Often in these situations, both sides are wrong,” he said.

We caught up with Jason Marshall, asking him what can be done to minimize these collisions and if he had any thoughts. He just shook his head. He responded to a follow-up question with a polite “Good day, sir,” ending the interview.

We also spoke on the phone with the surviving spouses of the two victims killed by Central Park cyclists. One says giving more safe space to people walking and biking will bring down the accidents. Meanwhile, the husband of the woman killed in September takes a much harder line, saying his wife was killed in a senseless accident while in a crosswalk in broad daylight, adding that the park is no place to combine speeding cyclists and pedestrians.

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