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Is Central Park in NYC Safe at Dawn?

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Is Central Park in NYC Safe at Dawn?

Old 10-22-21, 04:57 AM
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Attilio
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Is Central Park in NYC Safe at Dawn?

My kids have another upcoming tournament in New Jersey but we will be hosted by some family in midtown Manhattan. They are letting us use their place because they will be out of town for that same weekend so I was, like always, thinking of bringing my bike as I take the boys to their competition.

One idea I had was to ride Central Park on the early side before taking them to the complex in NJ as having walked there a few times in past year I know it can be really pretty. The last time I visited NYC was in 2016 and it seemed mostly safe then but things do change. As all cities over the last 10 or so years I have heard many stories of incompetent administration and a death spiral of many things, economics, demographics and with it, safety. I lived there for a while in the 80's and it was a total dump, it seems the nice effect of the 90's, 2000's was already wearing off a little the last time I visited NYC in 2015 as things were looking a little rougher than I remember it previously and the homeless people getting rowdy in your face had made somewhat a comeback. Nothing like the 80's wow half the city was burned down and in ruin, we were in fear of our lives almost constantly but I wanted to make sure that Central Park is still safe. Back in the day only the zoo area in the Southeast was and I was thinking of riding it counterclockwise like the online map recommends.

So calling all NYC residents: would you feel safe riding Central Park including the segments that go uptown?
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Old 10-22-21, 06:50 AM
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Be careful of white women walking their dog. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/16/96837...rges-dismissed
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Old 10-22-21, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
Be careful of white women walking their dog. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/16/96837...rges-dismissed
Reason why I ask is when I used to live there NYC was a crap-hole and I have heard things have gotten that way again. Not looking for snide remarks that demonstrate their poster doesn't know what they are talking about like the above especially from people who don't live in NYC.
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Old 10-22-21, 09:24 AM
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I understand your concern but asking people their feeling about safety is almost impossible. There was an earlier thread where poster asked about how to tell if a neighborhood was safe during his bicycle tour. Lots of misleading answers based upon peoples personal prejudices. I am not saying you are prejudice. I know nothing about you.

I spent plenty of time in NYC (commuting by train) from 2011-2015 walking, biking and public transport as a tourist. Never felt unsafe in Harlem, Brooklyn or wherever. Not sure where your friends get their data but you might want to take a look a this link of the September data compared to a year ago. Also look at the total number of crimes as it compares to the total number of people in NYC at any time. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/news/...september-2021

My issue is we have an unfortunate view of danger in our communities. Kids pictures on milk cartons makes us think a kidnapper lives next door. A friend in the rural town I live in now commented how parents pick up their kids in a car after the bus drops them off. The quarter mile walk in a low crime area is perceived as dangerous. I think we have gone overboard on safety and your post did not bring out the best in me.
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Old 10-22-21, 11:07 AM
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After 6am there are a lot of bikers in the park, every kind of rider. Quite a few before that, but I'd suggest you wait for sunrise (well after 7am now), just to see where you're going. Slower riders stay right, some of these cats are flying.
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Old 10-23-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
After 6am there are a lot of bikers in the park, every kind of rider. Quite a few before that, but I'd suggest you wait for sunrise (well after 7am now), just to see where you're going. Slower riders stay right, some of these cats are flying.
Technically the park is closed from 1am to 6am, but you'll see lots of people trainiing even before 6. Be aware that if you're looking at doing it on a weekend you might also run into lane closures if there is any kind of event going on (bike race, running race, charity walk, etc). The most annoying part of biking in the paths and parks in the city now are the vast number of tourists on rental bikes who are usually found in large packs veering all over the place, and motorized vehicles on the paths.
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Old 10-23-21, 12:18 PM
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What about calling over to the local prescient and seeing if one of the Bicycle Patrol Officers will give you some details on that AO...
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Old 10-23-21, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post
So calling all NYC residents: would you feel safe riding Central Park including the segments that go uptown?
Offered from the perspective of a New Yorker who regularly rides "uptown" and has lived to tell about it: overall you should be fine; unless you're an owl or a mouse. (Check recent news....)

Keep in mind: dawn tomorrow in NYC is 7:17am and (for a while) getting later so "... on the early side ..." is dark. Central Park's drives are lighted, but night critters (e.g.: the park's many raccoons and bats) will be on patrol. It's their turf; you're the visitor.

You didn't mention the neighborhood where you'll be staying and your proposed route to / from Central Park. Depending on those variables, you might consider adding the pedpath along the Hudson River to your route. At any hour of the day or night, it's spectacular.
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Old 10-23-21, 09:00 PM
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I live near Central Park at the boundary between the Upper East Side and Harlem. Never had a problem. FWIW, I rode the full Central Park loop around midnight multiple times, no problem.

As dendawg said, the park is closed from 1am to 6am and you can get a ticket for disorderly conduct.
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Old 10-24-21, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
What about calling over to the local prescient and seeing if one of the Bicycle Patrol Officers will give you some details on that AO...
You must be from that fantasy part of NYC where the cops actually give a damn.

And to answer in general, I ride EVERYWHERE in NYC. There is no place that is unsafe to ride, except for the traffic. I ride from Brooklyn to The Bronx to Queens and Manhattan. All neighborhoods uptown, downtown, east side west side. That includes the notorious south Bronx. I never give it a thought. Don't listen to the exaggerated reports on the news.

During the BLM protests in NYC we got a call from some relatives in Texas asking if we were safe. My wife's responses was "what the hell are you talking about?" as we drank wine on our porch.

Last edited by zacster; 10-24-21 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 10-26-21, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Slower riders stay right, some of these cats are flying.
Actually, for some inexplicable reason the slower riders in Central Park are encouraged to stay to the left, and faster riders pass on the right. Makes no sense to me, but it's apparently how they've done things there for years.
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Old 10-27-21, 03:54 AM
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lol, the OP better just stay home
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Old 10-30-21, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
lol, the OP better just stay home
100% agreed but I am going to be there regardless for my kids' athletic competition so trying to make the most of it. I would rather not just sit there on my phone like most parents do. A lot of hurry up and wait really. I like to stay in shape and see stuff. Thanks for the Hudson river suggestions as well. That was another armpit back in the day, now have visited places like the Guggenheim and the esplanade or what is that rehabbed railroad track that has become a path? Very interesting especially for a country mouse like me!

There's a reason why my parents fled the city back in the day. My father worked at Bronx Lebannon at the height of the AIDS/crack epidemic and that was enough to scare the crap out of my folks that as soon as their visa duties were done and they had two dimes to rub together they fled far away to the woods as if the city was on fire. Just lots of bad memories. The 90's and 2000's brought better leadership to the city with attendant order but it seems to a certain degree the clock has rolled back on those improvements. Maybe not to the degree things were in the 80's with half the city burned down looking like a war zone but even our last visit of say 5 years ago definitely showed an increased amount of trash, homeless people, graffitti, disorderly behavior and unwanted ugliness. We have family there we do visit from time to time and for sure it was "cleaner" say 10,15 or 20 years ago.

One good sign is people biking and jogging. Then yes it's safe. Always up for a pretty bike route, just something different.

Thank you for the thoughtful replies.
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Old 10-31-21, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post
going to be there regardless
ok wishing you a good trip. everyone has a different perspective & set of experiences with Manhattan. yours are definitely different than mine. my better half is there right now, upper West side. parked on the street last night, went out to check on the car, why, I'm not sure, discovered a $150. ticket due to parking not far enough away from a hydrant. someone pulled out from another spot so she moved it. Son & his girlfriend are visiting friends on the East side this weekend as well. I have no memories of ever seeing 1/2 the city burned down. except of course for 9/11 & that was due to "outsiders". I still remember the smell the acrid burning & cement dust. it took 3 days for that to leave my nasal cavities & I only visited the city for 8hrs, 14 days after it happened. stay off the transverse roadways thru Central Park, they aren't safe for cyclists. about 30 yrs a go brought a girlfriend (from up here) down to the city & to see a play, while we visited friends & family North of the island. the whole time we drove thru the city she ducked under the level of her passenger window. she was just terrified. now that's a country mouse ... hehe. good luck my friend, stay positive
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Old 10-31-21, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post
Thank you for the thoughtful replies.
one more tip, cuz Wifey just got home & reminded me. bring your vaccination card
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Old 10-31-21, 07:49 PM
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The city is safe now, get over it. Stop overthinking this.
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Old 10-31-21, 08:39 PM
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All good suggestions. It's strange thinking about having to prove vaccination status. In my field it's mandatory to get the shot but being self employed no one has yet asked proof so it hasn't occurred to me!

Looking forward to exploring the city by bike... 35 years later without any destination. Like that old song said "with no particular place to go".
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Old 11-01-21, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Attilio View Post

Looking forward to exploring the city by bike... 35 years later without any destination. Like that old song said "with no particular place to go".
If you have never been the High Line Park is worth a look if you don't mind riding there and locking your bike. (Riding through it is not permitted.)
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Old 11-01-21, 07:04 PM
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Funny, I just reread my original post and I see I didn't mention Staten Island. That is one place I don't ride, but not because it isn't safe. It just isn't accessible. I did try to go there in 2020 with the intent of riding both the Bayonne Bridge and the Goethals Bridge. I started in Jersey City but it was such a hot day that by the time I hit the peak of the Bayonne Bridge I'd had enough and turned around. Otherwise the only time I've biked there is on the 5 boro bike tour between the bridge and the ferry.
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Old 11-03-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Funny, I just reread my original post and I see I didn't mention Staten Island. That is one place I don't ride, but not because it isn't safe. It just isn't accessible. I did try to go there in 2020 with the intent of riding both the Bayonne Bridge and the Goethals Bridge. I started in Jersey City but it was such a hot day that by the time I hit the peak of the Bayonne Bridge I'd had enough and turned around. Otherwise the only time I've biked there is on the 5 boro bike tour between the bridge and the ferry.
It's easily accessible from Manhattan by ferry
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Old 11-05-21, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dendawg View Post
It's easily accessible from Manhattan by ferry
just gotta watch out for them swords & faulty valves, right?
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Old 11-06-21, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Funny, I just reread my original post and I see I didn't mention Staten Island.
Considering the OP's query was about safety, I think it's worth noting: apart from Flatlands/Midwood in Bkln and Far Rockaway in Queens, Staten Island is a questionable destination for anyone concerned about COVID. Central Park is vastly safer at any hour.

As @dendawg notes, in the before-times, Staten Island was easily accessible from Manhattan by ferry. IMHO, the ferry ride itself was worth it. It's free.

More about safety: for anyone unfamiliar with Staten Island, if you visit by bicycle, be warned: storm drains adjacent to the curb are either perilous or lethal.
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Old 11-06-21, 07:26 PM
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I simply wouldn't live in NYC if i was that worried....
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Old 11-06-21, 07:48 PM
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Whatever you’re looking for, you will find it. Half the dirty burned down? Zero recollection of that. Bring your bike, hop on and let us know how it goes. But if you do, I hope your kids are safe in New Jersey while you’re out looking for trouble or whatever.
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Old 11-07-21, 07:58 AM
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Totally safe, especially in early AM with all the runners and joggers. Hope you have a great visit!
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