cars in central park

The mayor’s new rule banning cars from the loop road in Central Park above 72nd street begins Monday. The transverse roads cutting through the park remain open, but only emergency and parks vehicles will be able to travel on the road above 72nd. Some continue to push for cars to be banned from the entire park.

While some expect the car ban to make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, the vast majority of injuries in the park do not involve automobiles, according to a recent Times story.

“There were 29 injuries to bikers and pedestrians from cars in the park from 2012 to 2014, according to the Department of Transportation. (There were 377 injuries involving bikes and/or pedestrians in the same period.)”

NEWS | 29 comments | permalink
    1. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      Good. The park should be a refuge from traffic, not a shortcut for cabs. I hope that the traffic ban is extended to all of Central Park.

      • Kate says:

        The transverses should stay open. It’d be ludicrous to make people circle around the park just to get from the UWS to the UES.

        • Zulu says:

          Kate – the transverses will remain open at all times. The transverses also do not conflict with pedestrian use of the park. In fact unless you know where they are most people are oblivious to where and how they dissect the park. Mostly thanks to the genius of Olmsted and Vaux.

    2. Erica says:

      In theory this is nice. In practice we’ve now made a crosstown rush hour commute even longer with the addition of all of those cars to the traverses. Why does the city insist on penalizing working people at every turn?

      • Zulu says:

        Hi Erica,

        I don’t see how closing the loop is going to make the crosstown trip any worse. Drivers using the loop simply used it as shortcut to either go up or down not across. Also, the amount of drivers using the loop was rather limited.

        • lisa says:

          The crosstown buses use the transverse.
          Many people use the bus.

          It is possible the concern is that more vehicles moving to the transverse will slow buses – public transportation.

          • Zulu says:

            I still don’t see the logic. Closing the loop does not force more cars on the transverses. The loop was used for “shortcuts” either going south or going north, not for going cross town. There is no vehicular access to the transverses from the park loop.

      • Joel says:

        That’s amusing, the idea of a just regular old “working person” taking a daily car (or taxi) drive cross-town to commute. Walk or bike or take the bus.

        • Jeremy says:

          Joel – if you think the UWS demo that reads this blog also thinks that cabs are an unattainable luxury, you don’t know your neighbors very well.

          • Joel says:

            Heh, I’m aware–they just need a wake-up call. Whine about this change if they want (my heart, it bleeds for them), but spare us the temerity to make yourself seem like a working stiff when you can afford to keep a car here to take cross-town daily commutes.

            • Jeremy says:

              Actually, you don’t have to “keep” a car if you use a vehicular taxicab. You can have your man put his arm out, and they will very likely stop and provide transport. This applies to the leisure class, as well as those who work themselves stiff.

              I daresay that you should try a yellowcab taxicab car sometime – think of the stories you can tell at the club!

            • lisa says:

              The crosstown bus – public transportation – uses the transverse. Many people use the crosstown buses.
              Respectfully, cannot assume that people are referring to cars or cabs.

    3. michael says:

      It’s the Conservancy vehicles I’m most concerned about. They are far more disrespectful to visitors/users, driving WAY too fast on paths (including the bridle) – and now they will have almost full reign with still no accountability. Hopefully someone will still be keeping accident statistics.

    4. UWSider says:

      Not aware of any park pedestrian fatalities from cars as there have been FROM BIKES! Keep it up oh clueless mayor………

      • Zulu says:

        You’re right, the cars should’ve been banned from all the city streets and not the park.

      • Daub says:

        It’s not the accidents, it’s more the unpleasantry of inhaling exhaust fumes as you exercise, or even just stroll, through the park. The park should be a serene escape, not a place you have to wear a mask to breathe fresher air.

    5. Cyrus says:

      How timely, WSR! I ran in the park today and was curious why there was no vehicular traffic. It was delightful!

    6. JD says:

      I don’t mind the park closing off traffic, but why do we need a bike lane on Columbus Ave. It’s going to cause even more traffic on Columbus Ave. You can bike in Central park and Riverside. No need for bike lanes.

    7. Cato says:

      Look, here’s the solution. It’s really very simple.

      Close the park to people on foot. No walking, no picnicking, no concerts. Close the Carousel, close the Zoo. Float your toy boats in the Hudson — we’ve already got a great marina just waiting for you.

      Just cars and (ZOOM!!!!) bicyclists in between Central Park West and Fifth Avenue. The rest are just a nuisance anyway, and besides they get themselves mugged when they persist in going into the park after dark.

      The whole idea of a park is antiquated and has no place in this developers paradise in which we now live. Imagine all the needle condos that could be built for the all-powerful wealthy in between the park drives and transverses!

      Just close the whole thing and get on with your lives. And enjoy your cab ride!

    8. Justina says:

      Maybe Mayor DeBlabbio should worry less about cars and worry more about violent crime, which the latest statistics show has risen in recent months.

    9. Benjamin says:

      They should also ban bikes.

    10. Chris says:

      Why not all of the park? The cars are obscene in the park.