By Emma Whitford
June 29, 2015
A few weeks ago, Mayor de Blasio announced that large swaths of Central Park and Prospect Park would soon be closed to car traffic on weekdays all year long. The ban—instated none too soon for joggers, bikers, walkers, and their advocates—went into effect this morning along the Central Park loop north of 72nd Street. Prospect Park's West Drive between Grand Army Plaza and Park Circle will follow suit on July 6th.
Councilmember Mark Levine, who chairs the Parks Committee and oversees a district abutting Central Park, was pleased this morning—with an asterisk. Last year, he introduced a bill that would have banned cars entirely from Central Park for the summer. "We've been pushing this on the legislative front for some time," he said. "And we consider this a major step forward. It's going to cover about two thirds of the park, and cuts into rush hour, when the greatest number of people are out jogging and running."