Cars Out Of Central Park
has started a new effort to ban cars from Central Park between 10 pm and 7 am.
The safer overnight hours will be a boon to late night bicycle commuters, and
joggers, and the extra morning hour will provide early birds with time to
People, Not Cars
Gaining car-free overnight hours is an important step for the Auto-Free
Central Park movement, because it will firmly establish the philosophy that
cars, not people, must justify their presence in the Park. Perversely, the
Departments of Transportation and Parks act as though the people the Park was
intended to serve are a nuisance, while motorists are assumed to have the
right to use the Park.
Park, Not Motorway
Echoing this misguided and motorheaded logic, a City Council member's
spokesperson quipped to T.A. "Banning cars at night, what a curious idea.
What for?" What for? Central Park is a park, not a motorway. why should
cars be in the Park at night or any other time?
In addition to formally
requesting overnight hours from the Department of Transportation, Parks
Department and Manhattan Borough President T.A. has polled local elected
officials about their positions on banning cars from Central Park.
Walking In A Winter
In January, Central Park
users enjoyed five car-free days of weekday, winter wonderland fun, as cars
were banned from the Park by the police because of icy roads. Because of the
winter conditions, many motorists discarded their cars in favor of the more
reliable subway. Unscheduled closing days like these prove that the City's
well-being does not depend on allowing cars in the Parks.
The Auto-Free Central Park
Committee Elected Officials Poll
Supports An Auto-Free
Central Park Now Or At A Future Date:
Assem. Scott Stringer (Upper W. Side) - New to issue, but very
supportive of AFCP
Assem. Pete Grannis (Upper E. Side) - Get the cars out.
Assem. John Ravitz (Upper E. Side) - Supports 6 month trial closing.
Manhattan BP Ruth Messinger Early and strong supporter. Helping make it
More Car-Free Hours, But
Not A Total Car-Ban.
Council member Ronnie Eldridge (Upper W. Side) - Gradual reduction OK,
Uninformed or Opposed
State Senator Manfred Ohrenstein Citing CB 7 opposition, says he has no
position. His district contains the Park, and most of downtown.
State Sen. Franz Leichter (Upper W. Side) Cites CB 7 and traffic
Assembly member Richard Gottfried Worried about traffic spillover, and
CB opposition (south of park).
Assembly member Ed Sullivan (Upper W. Side) Cites lack of use on a
"rainy day in February."
Not Responding To
Council members Millard and Eristoff
Why let cars intrude on
Central Park's Nights, and early mornings?
Write: Elliot Sander,
Commissioner NYC DoT, 40 Worth St. NYC 10013
Henry Stern, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks, The Arsenal 830 Fifth
Ave., NYC 10021
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