iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One of the nation’s most iconic urban spaces is kicking out cars.
For a trial period that starts in June, vehicles will no longer be allowed to drive through New York’s Central Park, save for cross-town transverses at 97th, 86th, 79th and 65th Streets.
“This park was not built for automobiles. It was built before there were automobiles,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.
Cars have been allowed on a loop drive shared with pedestrians and cyclists south of 72nd Street during certain hours. Loop drives above 72nd Street were closed to vehicular traffic permanently in 2015.
“For more than a century, cars have turned parts of the world’s most iconic park into a highway. Today we take it back,” de Blasio said.
Central Park without cars, the Parks Department said, would be cleaner and safer.
“Central Park is not just one of New York’s favorite parks – it’s one of the most-beloved, most-recognized parks in the entire world,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “Now, we’re making history by demonstrating just how clean, accessible, and safe an urban park can be.”
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