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Special Tour of Central Park’s Arches

Arch Walk

Join our conversation about the future we’d like to see for Central Park’s pathways and arches on September 25th as we visit every arch in Central Park and the sites of those that no longer exist. You’ll learn about the park’s rich history and experience its masterful architecture while talking to members of the community about creating a safer infastructure that benefits all of the park’s visitors.

Click here for the latest updates about tour meeting points and to reserve your spot on the Arch Walk.

Restoring Tranquility – Our Latest Proposal

Pinebank Arch - Cousin to Oval Arch

After numerous meetings with city officials, community members, and other stakeholders, Central Park Arch Project and Transportation Alternatives have authored an updated proposal to improve Central Park for all of its many visitors. Today, it is our pleasure to share it with you.

Central Park arches earmarked as a priority by Conservancy and New York City

Last week The Central Park Conservancy unveiled Forever Green, their new $300 million plan to restore Central Park. The New York Times notes that while the park appears in good condition, behind the scenes, its infrastructure needs improvement. Part of this $300 million dollar initiative includes restorations to arches.

Early this year, Central Park Arch Project and Transportation Alternatives formed a coalition to advocate for the restoration of some of these arches and the reconstruction of others. We’ve had several thoughtful conversations with Central Park Conservancy and New York City’s Department of Parks since that time and we’re pleased to see that Forever Green signals a commitment to utilizing arches for improved transportation circulation and safety.

The park has also shown other signs that they’ve taken our message to heart. Work was just completed in Central Park to alleviate the flooding conditions that have plagued Greyshot Arch near Columbus Circle and made it an undesirable crossing location. In the future, we hope to see pathway improvements that will encourage access to the arch and improved lighting.

After continued conversations with members of the community and park officials, our coalition recently shared our most current recommendations with Central Park Conservancy and the Department of Parks. We will be publishing this report on our website on July 26th for the general public to read. We hope that the city and conservancy will continue to be thoughtful and cooperative partners as we strive to achieve a safer more beautiful park.

Lastly, we’d like to thank the efforts and talents of Transportation Alternatives, SLO Architecture, Stephanie Houle, Councilman Corey Johnson, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. We couldn’t be where we are without all of you. We’d also like to thank our fiscal sponsor, The Municipal Arts Society of New York for hosting our arch fund. As always, we look to the community for feedback and financial support. Central Park Arch Project has an all-volunteer staff so any donation that you make will go directly to improving and restoring the park’s arches. All donations are tax-deductible. Please consider giving to our cause.

Fewer Cars in Central Park

On Thursday, Mayor de Blasio declared that roads within Central Park will soon be closed to cars above 72nd Street.

Mr. de Blasio stated that the city is “returning our parks to the people,” rightfully recognizing that Central Park is meant to serve as a refuge from the city that surrounds it.

Central Park Arch Project applauds the efforts of the mayor and the many organizations who’ve supported car-free Central Park over the years including our friends at Transportation Alternatives. We believe this will be a very positive change within the park.

As we congratulate New York City, we ask them to remember that some of the momentum that led to the removal of these cars was due to two separate incidents that occurred within the park in 2014 when pedestrians were struck and killed by bicycles on the park loop. This car removal measure will ultimately make the roads less congested but while we applaud the legislation, we encourage the city to remember that it must improve the infrastructure in the park as bicycle use continues to grow. The CitiBike program alone is due to double the amount of bicycles within its network from 6,000 to 12,000 this year. Further, bicycle and pedestrian collisions continue to rise.

Still, we join those who applaud Mr. de Blasio’s decision. Thank you for making Central Park safer.

Calling All Volunteers

Do you love Central Park? Want to learn more about your community? Central Park Arch project is looking for a few great volunteers. You’ll get to see the democratic process in action as we interface with decision makers, influencers, and concerned New Yorkers.

In the past several years, our city has embraced alternative forms of transformation including the bicycle. This important decision is good for the environment, the health of our citizens, and will ease congested roads. New types of transportation require upgrades to our existing infrastructure though. Central Park Arch Project aims to reintroduce historic archways to Central Park which were originally used to separate forms of traffic. These arches would eliminate the risk of bicycle and pedestrian collisions such as those that killed two pedestrians in Central Park in 2014. We are also prioritizing changes to existing walking paths that would increase usage of existing arches.

Our work has been heavily publicized and is generally regarded well by those we’ve spoken to in government, the private sector, and the public. Change takes persistence however. That’s where you come in. If you’re good at speaking with people, care about our cause, and interested in learning more about the democratic process, this is a great opportunity for you to make a lasting difference in New York City. The arches will not only add beauty to Central Park but they will save lives and prevent injury for generations to come.

For more information, contact .

Join us for Jane’s Walk

Want to learn more about the arches and their impact on safety in the park? Come spend some time with us as we host a free tour of Central Park’s arches as part of Jane’s Walk NYC on May 3. Not only will it be our first public event, but it will be pretty epic. We’ve decided to visit all of the park’s 39 arches and bridges.

We’ll have some smart people with us who know about history and architecture in the park but in keeping with the spirit of Jane’s Walk, we are inviting you to share your thoughts and observations about everything you see.
We’ll discuss the importance of the arches to pedestrian safety and some of the forgotten lost arches that we will to restore. If you can’t make it, or want to show up along the way, we’ll be live tweeting the event and location on our twitter account @ParkArches.

We want this experience to be fun, enriching and educational and all of our guests are encouraged to contribute their stories, voice their opinions and share with us in our goal of a safer, more beautiful Central Park throughout the walk.

The event takes place on Sunday, May 3 and it’s broken into two parts. Here’s some more specifics:

Start Times and Route:

  • 12:00 PM East 67th and 5th Ave to The Delacorte Theatre
  • 3:00 PM The Delacorte Theatre to 110th St and Central Park West

Municipal Art Society of New York Website for the Event:
http://www.mas.org/janes-walk-walk/united-states/new-york-city-ny/arches-central-park/

We look forward to seeing you there,

Central Park Arch Project
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Donate to our Cause

More Info:
If coming for the entire walk, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and we will be seeing quite a lot of the Park. Food and rest stations are available in the park, but feel free to bring light refreshments.

Can’t make it for the whole event? That’s fine. Just find out where we are on twitter and drop in for the parts of the walk you can make.

Jane’s Walk is a weekend long celebration of the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs that features hundreds of free walking tours throughout our city. Led by a variety of historians, community organizers and activists, the purpose of Jane’s Walk is to help people to truly walk, observe and connect with their communities. To learn more about Jane’s Walk and Jane Jacobs, please visit http://janeswalk.org.