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Thinking about safety in Central Park

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Sep 29, 2014 11:53:41 AM

Central Park is one of New York’s greatest assets. In the middle of the concrete jungle, Central Park represents an oasis from the unyielding hustle and bustle of the rest of the city. As a result, it is of little wonder that individuals flock to Central Park in order to walk, run, bike, play and generally enjoy the atmosphere. However, it has become increasingly apparent that many features of Central Park are ultimately unsafe.

For example, earlier this month a pedestrian was walking a popular loop road within the park when she was struck by a cyclist. She later died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. We often talk about the risk of pedestrian accidents that New Yorkers face any time they cross a busy street. However, New York crosswalk culture is not the only hazard that pedestrians face. Even on park loops, travelers on foot must contend with cyclists, precarious tree branches, improperly maintained pathways and each other.

Two things can be learned from the tragic pedestrian death in Central Park earlier this month. First, safety cannot be taken for granted in New York. It is important to remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Although cellphones and head phones are appealing for any number of reasons, every time you are distracted while walking you risk an accident, as your response time will slow if you cannot adequately perceive hazards in your surroundings.

Second, travelers of all kinds must respect each other and each other’s space. On sidewalks, on roadways and in parks, New York is undeniably crowded. As a result, you cannot safely just push and prod your way into whatever space you are vying for. You need to respect the presence and needs of others as well as your own. Without this awareness and cooperation, more deadly accidents are simply waiting to occur.

Source: New York Times, “In Central Park, Cyclists Still Compete With Pedestrians,” Lisa W. Foderaro, Sep. 23, 2014

Topics: car accidents

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