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Cops Crackdown on Speeding Cyclists after Second Pedestrian Death in Central Park

For the second time in as many months, a cyclist crashed into a pedestrian in Manhattan's Central Park with fatal consequences to the pedestrian. On September 18, Jill Tarlov, 58, was hit by Jason W. Marshall, 31, riding a racing, brakeless bike.
September 25, 2014, 6am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Tarlov, the wife of Mike Wittman, an executive for CBS Television Stations, died September 22. She "was walking across West Drive near West 63rd Street in the park on Thursday [Sept. 18] afternoon when she was hit by a cyclist and struck her head on the road," writes Marc Santora of The New York Times.

"Accidents are not uncommon on the busy park roadways, frequented by bicyclists, tourists, joggers, pedicabs, skateboarders and in-line skaters," wrote Benjamin Mueller and Kia Gregory earlier, also in The New York Times. "In August, a 75-year-old man was fatally struck by a teenage bicyclist trying to avoid a pedicab driver in the park."

The city has recently sought to clamp down on reckless cycling. So far this year, the authorities have issued 468 moving summonses for bicycle violations in Central Park, more than triple the 151 summonses issued in the same period last year, the police said. Half of the summonses issued this year penalized riders who failed to yield to pedestrians.

Similar to the August crash, the mix of traffic modes lay at the heart of Marshall's collision with Wittman, who "swerved to avoid one group of pedestrians but struck Ms. Tarlov, causing her to hit her head", wrote Mueller and Greggory.

The incident was recorded more graphically earlier by New York Post writers Larry CelonaErin CalabreseKirstan Conley and Bruce Golding.

[Marshall] was pedaling a $4,000 racing bike at high speed through Central Park along West Drive at around 4:30 p.m. and yelled for [Tarlov] to get out of his way, law enforcement sources said.

According to one bystander, "Marshall was hunched over the brakeless, triathlon-style 'aerobars' attached to the handlebars of his high-performance, yellow and black ride," the writers add.

"Marshall, 31, said on Monday that the collision was accidental and unavoidable," writes Santora. "Mr. Marshall, a professional baritone saxophone player who lives in Harlem, remained at the scene. He has not been charged with any crime," adds Santora.

After the crash, "the police increased their efforts to crack down on bikers violating traffic laws in the park," writes Santora. "They fanned out across the park, measuring bikers’ speeds with radar guns and issuing tickets to scores of people for violations."

Sarah Goodyear of CityLab writes that the "bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group Transportation Alternatives issued a statement citing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, saying, 'As the most vulnerable users of our streets, pedestrians must be safe from reckless cycling, just as they need to be protected from reckless driving. This is particularly true in our parks.'”

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Published on Thursday, September 18, 2014 in New York Times
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