Anna Colletti, the Cental Park Conservancy (CPC) Government Affairs Director, met with a group of recreational users of Central Park on February 25th to discuss issues in the park. Mike Green and Greg Ventresca represented CRCA at the meeting. The conversation was dominated by an issue that is integral for cyclists in the park – the road surface.
The big news from CPC going into the spring is a large repaving project which will commence as soon as the weather warms enough (possibly April) for paving. The first step is to check the roadway from 79th St to 72nd St on the West Side–a stretch of road that was paved at the end of last year, but that CPC and DOT acknowledge was poorly executed. Once that surface is fixed, the DOT will move on to repaving the East Side. Over the course of the summer, the DOT will pave the East Side from 66th St to 109th St and will follow the same schedule followed previous years with road scraping happening on Mondays and Tuesdays, paving on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the roads covered for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Beyond paving, the CPC is addressing the issue of dangerous sewer grates which are havoc for bicycle wheels. The CPC plans to replace every sewer grate in the park in a phased approach with the first 15 being replaced in the spring. The CPC has agreed to start with the grates that pose particular hazards to cyclists: the right side of the road at the bottom of the hill north of 72nd St before the boathouse on the East Side, the right side of the road approaching the top of Harlem Hill, and the right side of the road on the right-hand curve headed north on the East Side near 65th St.
The CPC remains committed to improving the overall park experience as well as the experience of cyclists and CRCA members and have been responsive to our requests regarding the road surface and other issues. Of course, we have a responsibility to reciprocate by being respectful of other cyclists and other park users. Please ride safely and be aware of your surroundings.