New bill would ban cars from two NYC parks

March 23, 2011 2:33:35 PM PDT
Two of New York's most popular parks could someday by car-free. A council member has introduced a bill that would ban vehicles from Prospect Park and Central Park.

The idea is to get rid of all the cars and make the parks like they used to be: quiet, clean and peaceful.

"The cars abuse the park like crazy. They use it as a miniature grand prix. I've seen motorcycles come in zooming down the block. Sports cars - They don't even pay attention to people in the park. I would love to have them out," said car ban advocate Keith Sales.

But of course drivers who used the park, especially cabbies, fear what'll happen if the ban takes effect.

"I think it's going to make it worse to drive in the city, not a good idea," said one cab driver.

The city council has looked at banning all cars in Central and Prospect Parks before, but it's never gotten anywhere. This time it might be different.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed for bike lanes and closed off much of Times Square in his battle with congestion. Many see him as an advocate of what Gale Brewer introduced at the city council meeting this afternoon.

"I think there's a great deal of interest, particularly in the warm weather, having the park safe and available to those who walk or bike," said Brewer.

Brewer's bill calls for a traffic study and hearings, but before the end of the year a ban could be approved.