Gauging Population Density in Central Park on a Beautiful Warm Day in the midst of COVID-19

A Walk in Central Park on a Beautiful Day – Gauging Population Density

On April 28, we took a long walk through NYC’s Central Park to gauge the people density to be found within and see if folks were adhering to the social distancing guidelines. We did this in light of the mayoral announcement that 40 miles of open space would be created within the city. Also, because of the gorgeous day it happened to be.

With a high of 65 degrees, moderate comfortable breezes and a sun shining bright in the sky we imagined many would be escaping the confines of home life and heading to the parks. Central Park spans 50 blocks in length and is the most visited park in the entire city; thus, what better spot to examine?

Our Route:

We walked from 104th Street and Central Park, up through the park, to the Harlem Meer at 110th Street. From there we headed across the width to 5th Avenue and continued southward walking against pedestrian traffic to Bethesda Terrace at 72nd Street. When I say “against”, one must keep in mind how traffic usually travels counterclockwise. ‘and so, there I was, going against the current for the sake of a better visual measure of what was going on.

From there we cut across the park, traveling through the rambles to the low 80s of Central Park West. At that point, we headed north to where we began at 104th Street, walking along that avenue and observing life along that way.

First of all, I’d say 9 persons out of 10 were wearing some facial covering. That includes individuals running and bicycling. Something which has not been the norm in past weeks from what we’ve seen.

Most open lawn spaces had folks picnicking and laying about, and within a far enough distance of each other. The only locale where this wasn’t the case is at the Harlem Meer section. We were able to spot a group or two sitting near enough to each other on the benches. I’d call these isolated incidents since, for the most part, they were nowhere near the norm of this day’s sightings.

The bulk of individuals, of which there were many, would be along the park’s roadways. Walkers, runners and bicyclists were almost evenly distributed in number. Were there groups running in tandem? Yes, there were. Yet not to the extent that would worry one, especially considering how most had something covering their face. For the record, it’s something which I’ve worried about quite a bit. That is, someone running or biking right behind another person and possibly catching their exhausted spit or spray whilst traveling at a fast enough speed.

Bethesda Terrace, where I really expected there to be crowds, was comparatively empty. Although, I’m thinking the hour of the day might have something to do with that. As we neared the sunset hour we could sense it emptying.

Conclusion:

In the end, I’d say that one has to be very thankful that the Mayor’s finally decided to create open spaces throughout the city. On even warmer days I can see the population of park goers doubling if not tripling in size. But then, those estimates are based upon a time when we had huge numbers of tourists in the city.

What I witnessed warms my heart and gives me hope. People going out and enjoying the park and still adhering to the rules.

Photos:

Here are photos taken and edited so’s to conceal the identities of individuals.