Petition Calling for Car-Free Central Park
Car-Free Central Park Committee has collected the signatures, names and
addresses of more than 50,000 New Yorkers who want cars out of Central Park.
The all-volunteer petition drive has enlisted sweaty joggers, celebrity
cyclists and park-loving pedestrians who all agree on one thing:
|The dedicated Car-Free
Central Park Committee has gathered over 50,000 signatures in support of a
car-free Central Park.
"I support making the Central Park drives permanently car-free. Central
Park was painstakingly designed to be a green oasis in the city, not a
thoroughfare for motor vehicles."
But the petition drive is not
over and we need your help to get more signatures. Sign the petition online at
and then tell all your friends and family!
How big is 50,000? It is:
- 2,000 pieces of paper,
each with 25 signatures stacked in two very big boxes
- 15,000 more than the
35,000 motorists who drive through the park everyday
- Almost twice the average
of 26,000 votes received by the city councilmembers whose districts
surround the park
Three Myths about Car-Free
|Though they are too young
to vote or sign a petition, kids want and need car-free parks. The looks of
fear on these two girls' faces as they try to bicycle in Prospect Park near
speeding cars shows that frustration with cars in parks is learned early.
Where can they play if not a park?
There are numerous myths about car-free parks. Here are three.
"Closing the park to cars will increase congestion on surrounding
Reality: A massive British government
study of 50 locations around the world conclusively found that closing roads
reduces overall traffic. History shows the same to be true in NYC. In 1958,
Fifth Avenue was closed to create Washington Square Park and traffic in the
surrounding area declined. In 1973, the elevated West Side Highway was torn
down and traffic in southern Manhattan and adjoining streets declined.
"Cars make the park safer."
Reality: Speeding cars, which crowd park
users together and periodically hit them, make Central Park more, not less,
dangerous. Crime? The police and other experts agree that the presence of
other walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists are what make Central Park safe.
More people use the park when it is free of cars.
"Motorists are park users too."
Reality: Motorists are not "park
users." They use the physical space of the park, but they do not use it
as a park; they use it as a highway. Half of the land in NYC is already
dedicated to moving and storing motor vehicles, and less than 10% to parks.
Why should that 10% be compromised by dangerous and loud motor vehicle
Four Good Reasons for
There are numerous reasons for car-free parks. Here are four.
and quiet. New Yorkers endure stressful noise and unhealthy
pollution, much of it produced by motor vehicles. Central Park was created to
be a haven from these assaults on the senses.
Save lives and prevent injuries. A crowded
multi-use lane next to a de facto expressway is a recipe for disaster. Cars
average nearly 40 mph when in the park. Each year, cars hit more than a dozen
pedestrians and cyclists on the drive and create crowding that causes numerous
Decrease traffic near the park. The park
drive is a magnet for cabs traveling between Midtown and the Upper East and
Upper West Sides. Cabs are 85% of the vehicles using the park drive, and when
the park is closed to them, they spread out on the street grid to find the
fastest alternative route.
Reduce conflicts between runners, cyclists and
skaters. Once cars are out, park users will have more space and
time on the park drive, which can be clearly marked to separate users of
different types and speeds.
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Car-Free Central Park