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Central Park Will Be Car-Free This Summer

Central Park Will Be Car-Free This Summer

No cars in Central Park means more room for walking and biking!

Following on the heels of Brooklyn's Prospect Park (which went permanently car free earlier this year), it was announced that Manhattan's Central Park will be free of cars as of this summer. Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that cars will be banned on the roads below 72nd Street in New York's famed park.

While cars and buses can still drive crosstown through the four thoroughfares at 66th, 72nd, 86th, 96th streets, all other cars will be prohibited. De Blasio banned cars on the roads north of 72nd Street in 2015.

This new ban will give wait to more space for pedestrians and bikes. “Our parks are for people, not cars,” De Blasio said in a statement. “For more than a century, cars have turned parts of the world’s most iconic park into a highway. Today we take it back. We are prioritizing the safety and the health of the millions of parents, children and visitors who flock to Central Park.”

The ban takes places one day after the last day of New York City public schools, making it perfect timing for kids and families to enjoy the beloved park. The Mayor's office reports that over 42 million people visit the park each year and I can speak from experience that the cars driving on Center Drive, West Drive, Terrace Drive, are a bit worrisome to parents of young kids.

This announcement comes after years of advocating for a car-free Central Park by organizations such as Transportation Alternatives who, in 2005, gained over 100,000 signatures to ban cars in the park. "We’re thrilled to finally witness a positive conclusion to the four decade-long campaign to rid Central Park of vehicular traffic, and we’re grateful to Mayor de Blasio and Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for returning Central Park to what it was always meant to be: a place for people, not for cars,” TransAlt executive director Paul Steely White said in a statement. 


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