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.