What to Know
- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that Central Park will go car-free in June
- The ban will kick off in June but will not apply to the cross-town transverses that drivers and buses use to get across town
- This comes months after Prospect Park permanently went car-free at the start of the year
Drivers will soon need to find another way to travel around Central Park now that New York City will put a stop to cars traveling through certain roads within the iconic greenspace.
Mayor de Blasio announced Friday via social media plans to make Central Park car-free all year round "because parks are for people not cars."
“Our parks are for people, not cars. For more than a century, cars have turned parts of the world’s most iconic park into a highway. Today we take it back. We are prioritizing the safety and the health of the millions of parents, children and visitors who flock to Central Park,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Central Park goes car free in June. 24/7, 365 days a year — because parks are for people, not cars. pic.twitter.com/kvRUgIudx1— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 20, 2018
Beginning on June 27, the day after the conclusion of public school classes and the first day outdoor pools are open across the city, the remaining sections of the park’s loop drives that are open to cars will permanently close to them, city officials said in a press release.
The ban targets a number of roads below 72nd Street where motorists are allowed to drive alongside pedestrians and cyclists during certain hours of the day.
The ban will kick off in June but will not apply to the cross-town transverses that drivers and buses use to get across town.
Cars have used Central Park’s scenic loop drive for more than a century. Reductions in the hours during which cars are permitted began in the 1960s. In 2015, de Blasio announced that all park drives north of 72nd Street would be car-free.
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Northbound traffic continued to be permitted although there were rules in place to limit the time of day traffic is allowed, what types of vehicles are permitted and a ban on cars within the park above 72nd Street at all times.
Current regulations allow cars on Center Drive from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. during weekdays only; on West Drive from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays for high-occupancy vehicles only; and on 72nd Cross Street Drive from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays. Traffic on East Drive is no longer allowed.
This announcement comes months after Prospect Park permanently went car-free at the start of the year.