Central Park safety improvements for cyclists, pedestrians

On a beautiful, sunny day in New York, it can be hard to resist a bike ride, a jog, or a carriage tour through Central Park. But cyclist Pierre Guibert warns you should do it at your own risk.

"It's very crowded and people sometimes do not respect the signals," Guibert said. "So, just be careful."

The past few years, several bicycle-related incidents and even deaths have happened in Central Park. In response, the city's DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said her agency is taking action.

"We're now in the process of redoing all the lighting and signals in the park. It's a long-term project because the infrastructure in Central Park is quite old," Trottenberg said. "But that's going to be able to let us do more sophisticated signaling and, again, keep that traffic separated."

The NYPD is also cracking down on safety in the park. Since January, cops have given out nearly 100 tickets in Central Park for violations including failing to yield to pedestrians, blowing through red lights, and wearing headphones.

A pedicab cyclist and a pedestrian told Fox 5 that if you stay alert then you have nothing to worry about.

"I always feel safe," Andrew, the pedestrian, said. "As long as you obey the crossing signals and look for traffic you're fine."

"You have to use the rules, you have to stop at red lights," pedicab driver Ali said. "You cannot stop [just] anywhere."

The first phase of the Central Park project, covering the area south of 72nd Street, is almost finished, according to DOT. The department expects upgrades in the remainder of the park to be completed over the next four years.