Car Ban Proposed for Central, Prospect Parks

By Victoria Cavaliere
|  Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011  |  Updated 1:35 PM EDT
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Car Ban Proposed for Central, Prospect Parks

Central Park could be car free.

The City Council will consider new legislation that would ban cars from Central Park and Prospect Park in a move to free up space and keep walkers, joggers and bikers safe.

The legislation, introduced Wednesday by Councilwoman Gale Brewer, would ban traffic from the six-mile loop in Central Park and the inside loop of Prospect Park.

Currently motor vehicle traffic is only allowed in Prospect Park from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"There is always a challenge of safety in the park, even in the off hours," Brewer said. "It's like Grand Central station in terms of joggers, bikers, skateboarders, online skaters and cars."

Brewer's proposal cites a recent study performed by the transportation advocacy group Transportation Alternatives that found that traffic volume in Central Park is at an all-time low while recreational demands are on the rise.

The new legislation comes as police in Central Park have been ticketing cyclists who don't stop at traffic lights.

Brewer's legislation calls for a traffic study in both parks to determine the "effects, if any, of the closing of the respective loop drives."

Results of that study will be available no later than Dec. 31, 2011, Brewer said.

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