Spring 2001, p.12

Mayoral Contenders Endorse Car-Free Parks
Hevesi, Vallone & Ferrer Support 3-Month
Car-Free Tests In Central and Prospect Parks

The car-free central park campaign received a huge boost this spring when mayoral candidates Alan Hevesi, Fernando Ferrer, and Peter Vallone declared their support for three-month tests of closing both Central and Prospect Parks to traffic.

Hevesi and Vallone announced their backing of the car-free periods at separate Mayoral Brunches hosted by the Sierra Club. They were responding to questions posed by campaign members Frank Todisco and Ken Coughlin. Ferrer announced his support for a car-free trial in response to a query from T.A. As we went to press, Mark Green was formulating a position on the car-free issue.

Meanwhile, the Car-Free Central Park Campaign continues to push hard for a car-free park in meetings with elected officials and agency staff. Unfortunately, many officials still seem reluctant to take the lead in the fight for a car-free park, despite the 10,000 petition signatures that the campaign gathered. T.A. is hoping that additional signatures from this summer's petition drive will help to convince elected officials and the new mayor - whoever that may be - of the tremendous support for a car-free park.

Campaign members recently met with the Central Park police precinct regarding speeding and dangerous driving in the park and the timely closing of park entrances during car-free hours. The precinct commander pledged to work with T.A. to ensure that entrances are closed on time, and to crack down on speeding and aggressive driving in the park. T.A. will be working this spring to identify speeding 'hot spots' to pass on to the precinct.

If you've ever thought about helping to make a car-free Central Park a reality, now is the time. Contact the T.A. office at (212) 629-8080, by email at CentralPark@transalt.org, or visit www.Car-FreeCentralPark.org. If you'd like to sign up for the Car-Free Central Park e-mail listserve send an e-mail to centralpark-subscribe@topica.com.

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