Transalt: History of the Fight for Car-Free Parks

By Ken Coughlin

June 18, 2015

This is a historic moment. After 116 years of serving double duty as unnecessary traffic arteries, the loop drives of Central and Prospect parks will see a major reduction in vehicle traffic, with 70% of roadway space completely car-free at all times.  The section of Central Park below 72nd Street and the eastern side of Prospect Park will remain open to traffic...

As was the case in 2006, the threat of City Council action prompted this year’s change. In October 2014, Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who succeeded Gale Brewer in representing Manhattan’s Upper West Side, introduced a bill calling for a summer closing of Central Park to cars.  Co-sponsoring the initiative was the chair of the Council’s Parks committee, Mark Levine.

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