Pedestrians and cyclists, rejoice! As anticipated following hot rumors that bubbled-over yesterday, Mayor de Blasio has announced that cars will no longer be permitted in Central Park north of 72nd Street or in Prospect Park along West Drive between Grand Army Plaza and Park Circle. Currently, West Drive is open to cars from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, but "extensive traffic analyses" of both parks' loop drives and surrounding streets conducted by the Department of Transportation proved that the changes will not impact travel times or traffic congestion. The limitations, which are being referred to as "permanent," will go into effect on June 29 in Central Park and on July 6 in Prospect Park.
According to a celebratory press release sent out by Transportation Alternatives, the new rule means that about 70-percent of the roads in the parks will be off limits to cars. The limitations will not hold to emergency service and park maintenance vehicles, which will have access to the loop in Central Park "as necessary." Central Park's transverse roads will remain open to the public.
· Central Park, Prospect Park To Be Closed to Traffic on Weekdays [7online]
· Prospect and Central parks May Further Limit Car Traffic [Curbed]
· All Prospect Park coverage [Curbed]
· All Central Park coverage [Curbed]