Cars will be banned from interior Central Park roads starting June 27, Mayor de Blasio said on Friday.
De Blasio closed the park above 72nd street to cars starting in 2015, but this new move will close the rest of the park too with the exception of the transverse roadways at 97th, 86th, 79th and 65th Streets.
“FINALLY,” Upper West Sider Mirjam Lablans wrote to us after the announcement. “No more breathing in exhaust or dodging cars that veer into the run and bike lanes — strolling, running, blading or biking through a car-free park is going to be a wonderful experience. It’s about time!”
Elected officials, some of whom have pushed for this change for years, also weighed in.
“This is a victory for every New Yorker and our environment,” said City Council Member Helen Rosenthal in a statement.
“New York City’s precious green spaces should be a refuge,” said Council Member Mark Levine, who previously chaired the Parks Committee and represents the Manhattan Valley neighborhood adjacent to Central Park’s northern border.
The city will monitor streets near the park to see if they start to get an influx of cars once vehicles are banned from driving through the park.
“DOT analysis shows that traffic increases on surrounding areas will be minimal. To help enforce this change, the NYPD will make additional Traffic Enforcement Agents available at local intersections. As the car-free hours take effect, DOT will closely monitor traffic to better accommodate traffic pattern changes, as well as implement additional changes if necessary.”