If you’ve visited the Central Park loop lately, you might of noticed a few automated traffic counters along the loop near Tavern on the Green. After much controversy over the Central Park car ban, Manhattan DOT Commissioner Margaret Forgione confirmed earlier this week traffic counters were set up along the route to collect data in an effort to review the effects of a possible car ban in Central Park. It’s about time!
“We recently received and reviewed your resolution to implement a pilot program to establish a car-free summer on Central Park’s Drives,” said Commissioner Forgione in a letter to Community Board 7 Chair Mel Wymore. “While there are no changes planned at this time, we will be collecting data this summer on the volume and speeds of vehicles using both the Park Drives and the surrounding streets. This data can inform any future plans for reducing the amount of time that the Park Drives are open to vehicular traffic.”
Surrounding community boards have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the car ban, despite Mayor Bloomberg’s resistance to the idea. The bill to implement the ban was introduced by Councilwoman Gale Brewer of Community Board 7, and would have also included a similar ban on cars in Prospect Park.
Although community boards continue to push for the ban to take effect, the Mayor has rejected any plans for this summer. New Yorkers and environmentalists can rejoice however, at the fact that city is now taking steps towards a more greener, and car free Central Park. Perhaps by next summer, we’ll actually see the car ban.