Fall 2000, p.7

Car-Free Central Park Campaign Blasts Off

This summer, T.A.'s car-free central Park campaign collected more than 10,000 signatures for the campaign's petition for a car-free park. Attesting to the popularity of the cause, this mammoth number of signatures was collected solely by a few volunteers petitioning for a few hours once or twice a week in the park.

The petition is for the next mayor, and T.A. hopes to have 50,000 signatures by the time he comes to office, so that the support for a car-free park will be inarguable. The petition states: "Central Park, our nation's foremost urban park, was created as a refuge from the surrounding city. The presence of automobile traffic on Central Park's loop drive is undermining the park's status as a refuge and creating a grave safety hazard for recreational users. For these reasons, we the undersigned support the elimination of all regular automotive traffic from the loop drive and the return of the drive to recreational use only."

Ken Coughlin, chair of the Car-Free Central Park campaign, stated: "This is one of the most rewarding things that I've done. I love talking to park users and hearing how much they support the cause, and the number of people who wanted to sign the petition was overwhelming. This summer solidified in my mind that we will have a car-free park sooner, rather than later."

Park users will be able to sign the petition electronically on T.A.'s web site www.transalt.org in the coming months. In the meantime, if you'd like to sign, send a postcard to 115 West 30th St. Suite 1207, NY, NY, 10001. You don't need to be a NYC resident, just a lover of Central Park. If you can help the Car-Free Central Park campaign reach its goal of 50,000 signatures by the time the next mayor arrives, contact Neel Scott at (212) 629-8080, or by email at ped@transalt.org.

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