Owing to the aim of reducing air pollution and local auto accidents, cars will be banned this summer from New York City’s Central Park — after more than a century of free use — the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio has announced.
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.
The plan, reportedly, is for this to become a yearly policy from here on out. Commenting on the news, de Blasio stated: “This was not the purpose of this park, to be built for automobiles. Literally, it was built before there were automobiles. It was built for people. … There’s gonna be a kind of peace and sense of security that wasn’t there before.”
Reuters provides some more information: “More than 42 million visitors a year are drawn to Central Park, which encompasses more than 800 acres (325 hectares) in the borough of Manhattan. The park, which includes a zoo, reservoir, boating lakes, and event spaces, has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1962.
“Motorists have been banned since 2015 from the loop drives in the northern part of the park, de Blasio said. The new ban will cover the whole park, except for 4 transverse roadways that were built into the park’s original design to accommodate traffic.”
So, you’ll notice with that last bit there that the ban isn’t as total as some people might have otherwise wanted … but banning traffic from those roads doesn’t seem likely to ever be politically feasible (not anytime soon anyways).