De Blasio Likely to Close Off More Car Traffic in Central and Prospect Parks

June 17, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

New York’s tall skyscrapers and historic buildings are crammed in city blocks, separated by streets and wide avenues where cars, trucks and bikes fly with reckless abandon. The parks are where we come to get away from all that street noise — and yet, cars pester us even in Central Park. But now, sources tell Capital that Mayor de Blasio may be limiting traffic in Central and Prospect Parks:

De Blasio intends to close the West Drive of Prospect Park permanently to traffic, the sources said. Today, the West Drive of Prospect Park is only open to southbound traffic from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays.

The East Drive will remain open.

The mayor also plans to close a portion of the northern end of Central Park to traffic, according to two of the sources.

Well, good. Still, for some advocates, this doesn’t go far enough, as there have been many efforts to ban cars from the parks altogether.

Last summer, the speed limit in both parks was lowered to 20 MPH and new pedestrian crossing signs installed. They were part of city-wide traffic changes from de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, in which the mayor hopes to eliminate all traffic-related deaths to zero by 2024.

(Photo: Jeffrey Zeldman)