De Blasio Limits Traffic in Central Park, But Horseless Carriages Have Free Rein

June 19, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

As expected, Mayor Bill de Blasio has closed off traffic in Central Park, north of 72nd Street on the East and West Drives, the Observer reports. There’s one type of vehicle, however, that will be allowed: the horseless carriage.

One of de Blasio’s first campaign pledges was to ban horse-drawn carriages, a controversial proposal that is still being heavily debated. The mayor made it clear, however, that electronic carriages designed to replace the traditional ones will have unfettered access to Central Park’s roads:

“They’re very different things. What we’re talking about is vehicular traffic, which has a much higher rate of speed, and we have a lot more of them currently,” he said. “That would be a negligible impact because of the number of vehicles and because they would be going very slowly, on purpose, so that people can see. You know, that’s what they come here to do.”

Horse or no horse, it makes sense to allow carriages on these pathways. The point of a carriage isn’t to cruise through to get from point A to point B really fast, it’s to enjoy the sights and sounds of the park. Central Park is a destination for tourists and a refuge for city dwellers, and carriage rides fit right into that.

(Photo: Aymann Ismail)