Starting Monday, July 8th (Today) Central Park, above 72nd Street will be closed to cars until Labor Day. Definitely an issue both advocacy groups have been battling for decades.
Here is a press release from the office of City Council Candidate Mel Wymore, celebrating Central Park’s first car-free summer.
City Council candidate Mel Wymore, who spearheaded the latest push for a car-free Central Park as the Chair of Community Board, applauded the New York City Department of Transportation’s decision to make Central Park’s drives north of 72nd Street car-free this summer, July 8 through September 3.
“I am thrilled that the Department of Transportation is responding to overwhelming support for making Central Park a car-free zone,” Wymore said. “By taking this latest major step, Central Park will once again be an oasis for pedestrians, bicyclists and park-goers, unencumbered by automobile traffic and exhaust.”
“Before Mel Wymore, no one had succeeded in getting community boards to support a car-free park,” said Ken Coughlin, longtime Chair of the Car-Free Central Park Campaign.
Wymore initiated a borough-wide resolution calling for an extended closure of Central Park’s loop road to traffic, for which he successfully rallied the support of all six community boards surrounding the park, and unanimous approval by the Manhattan Borough Board.
“In addition to the more than 100,000 petition signatures our campaign collected, being able to demonstrate this further level of community backing was crucial. There is no doubt that Wymore’s efforts were key to achieving this significant advance towards a completely car-free park,” said Coughlin.
“I am excited by the prospect of representing District 6 in New York City Council, which now includes Central Park,” Wymore said. “Central Park is a sanctuary from the surrounding city and accessible to both visitors and residents for recreation as well as quiet enjoyment. Our City’s parks and outdoor spaces are essential to our quality of urban life. We must work together to protect our parks from traffic and over-commercialization. I remain dedicated to continuing this important work as the District 6 choice for City Council.”
And an article in the New York Times:
City to Close 2 Drives in Central Park Through Labor Day
By: Matt Flegenheimer
July 3rd, 2013
The Bloomberg administration will close Central Park’s East and West Drives to car traffic north of 72nd Street through Labor Day, officials said on Wednesday, effectively creating a car-free refuge for cyclists and pedestrians in most of the park. Citing “decreasing car volumes in recent years” on both the park drives and neighboring roadways, the city’s Transportation Department said that the ban, which will begin on Monday, would be the first long-term closing that the city has tried on the park’s streets. The park’s transverse roads, and park drives south of 72nd Street, will remain open.
If successful, the prohibition could become a recurring feature, officials said.
“This is the start of what we expect to be a seasonal tradition,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said in a statement, adding that the plan “balances the way the drives are already being used all summer long.”
Read more: here.
Hey, Maybe they’ll stop ticketing cyclists too…NAH.