New York City's Central Park will kick out cars this summer after more than a century, returning its roads to walkers, runners and cyclists, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.
West Drive is now open to cars from 8 to 10 a.m., Center Drive/East Drive from 7 a.m.to 7 p.m. and Terrace Drive, or 72nd Street Cross, from 8 to 10 a.m. Mr.de Blasio moved past year to ban vehicles from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and said the change has been well-received.
According the plan, cars will not be allowed on a handful of roads below 72nd St.in Central Park, where motorists are now allowed to drive alongside pedestrians and cyclists during certain hours of the day.
"Today we take it back".
The ban will not apply to the transverse roads that run crosstown at 66th, 72nd, 86th and 96th streets.
"Central Park is one of New York City's most iconic open spaces and is used by millions of New Yorkers and visitors", said Daniel Zarrilli, the city's Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs.
The plan will go into effect at the end of June, banning cars on several park drives below 72nd Street.
Advocates have been urging for a car-free Central Park for decades.
"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.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the Mayor said he and others had worked to prohibit cars in Prospect Park since his days as a New York City councilman.