Central Park is Now Car-Free
Good news for clean air advocates in the New York City area. As of this week, much of Central Park is officially a car-free zone below 72nd Street.
It’s a significant achievement for the city after nearly 50 years of hard work on the behalf of residents, city officials and members of the Transportation Alternatives organization to push through the necessary legislation. The massive overhaul required gathering signatures, winning new members, and holding rallies to help promote the clean air agenda.
Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on the momentous occasion. “For more than a century, we had turned parts of the world’s most iconic park into a highway — and starting tonight, we have officially taken it back for good. We are prioritizing the safety and the health of the millions of people who flock to Central Park.”
Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, also expressed excitement on behalf of his group. “Our city is full of cars. They clog up the streets, they line practically every block. Central Park was meant to be a different kind of place — a place for people.”
Cyclists, runners, and pedestrians have been reveling in the news that’s been a long time in coming. Cars will be one less potential safety hazard to visitors who can now enjoy less congestion on paths both within and nearby the boundaries of Central Park.
On Tuesday night, the park hosted a public celebration of the park’s new car-free policy. As part of the festivities, White had the honor of driving the last car out of the park. We commend the park for initiating a new era of cleaner air and safer streets for those who flock to this green space to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.