It’s official. As of this week, Central Park below 72nd Street is now a car free zone.
In April, Mayor de Blasio’s office announed that the city would be “prioritizing people over cars,” and we are beginning to see these changes coming. On June 27th, city officials along with members of the group, Transportation Alternatives hosted a bike ride that followed behind the last car to drive through the park.
“For more than a century, we had turned parts of the world’s most iconic park into a highway—and starting tonight, we have officially taken it back for good,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. The ban follows the city’s decision from January to also ban cars in Prospect Park.
Vehicular transportation won’t be completely cut off however. The change applies only to the West, Center, East, and Terrace drives in the park below 72nd Street, with the transverse roads at 66th and 79th streets remaining unaffected.
In April when the announcement first became official, the city’s Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs Daniel Zarrilli said,
“Making Central Park car-free will ensure that everyone who enjoys the park will enjoy cleaner air and improved safety in support of the City’s sustainability and climate goals. We are prioritizing the safety and the health of the millions of parents, children and visitors who flock to Central Park.”
This is just one of the many changes the city is making in its greater plan to go green, including promoting the use of bikes and ride alternatives.
Featured image: newyork.cbslocal.com