NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Sounding more like he was leading a pep rally than making a policy announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled New York City's plan to ban cars from certain roads in Central Park. Some groups have been lobbying for a car-free Central Park for decades.
The city estimates that 42 million people visit Central Park each year. And up until now, vehicles have been allowed on the loop drive south of 72nd Street during daytime hours. That ends this June.
Runners, cyclists, and pedestrians told us they looking forward to the fresher air and a safer environment.
The city has a template for this. Before permanently closing Prospect Park to cars earlier this year, the Transportation Department studied traffic patterns around the park. The DOT did the same at Central Park and felt it was time to make the move.
The move includes changing signal times to prevent traffic buildups and constant monitoring, which worked in Brooklyn.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the changes in and around Prospect Park have been very successful.
Already facing record congestion, drivers say the change will make traffic congestion around the park even worse.
The transverses through the park that link 5th Avenue to Central Park West will remain open.
The park's lower loop will close to motor vehicles on June 27, 2018.