New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning on banning cars from Central Park, the New York Daily News reported Friday. "Central Park is not just one of New York's favorite parks - it's one of the most-beloved, most-recognized parks in the entire world", Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said.
About 1,000 people walk, jog, or bike through the park on weekday mornings, and about 300 vehicles use it during the same period, according to the city's transportation department.
As of June 27, the final loop drives in the park that are now open to vehicle traffic will close to cars for good.
More than 42 million visitors a year are drawn to Central Park, which encompasses more than 800 acres in the heart of Manhattan.
The move comes months after Prospect Park, a public park in New York City borough of Brooklyn, went auto free from Jan 1. It impacts West Drive, Center and East Drive and Terrace Drive.
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The ban de Blasio announced Friday expands a partial prohibition imposed in 2015, when de Blasio barred traffic in the park north of 72nd Street.
The ban will not apply to the transverse roads that run crosstown at 66th, 72nd, 86th and 96th streets.
So, to say that a different way, New York City's Central Park will - as of June 27th and through the summer - be returned to an entirely pedestrian and bicyclists oriented park.
"Progress comes in fits and starts - a weekend trial here, a seasonal trial there -- and often without any assurance that meaningful reform is coming", he continued.