Car-Free Central Park

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

New York City Officially Bans Cars From Central Park

June 27, 2018 - 10:28 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Central Park is shutting its gates to automobiles on Wednesday morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is fulfilling a promise made on Earth Day in April when he vowed to return the park to its original purpose as a safe, recreational space for runners, walkers and cyclists.

“This was not the purpose of this park to be a place for automobiles, literally it was built before there were automobiles,” the Mayor said during his April speech.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, many taxi drivers would utilize the routes through the park to avoid traffic on the surrounding avenues. However, NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg assures that drivers will adjust and the traffic impact will be minimal.

“It takes a few weeks, but people find new routes and blend into the grip,” Trottenberg explained.

While cars and cabs will be banned from the roads, horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs will still be permitted.

A commemorative run around the park’s newly-closed lower loop was planned by the New York Road Runners beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Central Park Zoo gate. NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said he would be participating to celebrate the landmark road closure.

“I’m so delighted that I can now run without smelling the exhaust and worrying about a car veering off course,” Silver said.