Recently, I heard through the grapevine that two Manhattan council members, Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine, are suggesting to close off the Central Park loop to traffic for three months in the Summer of 2015 (between June 24th - September 25th) for a study.
Of course, there will be exceptions for the police, fire department, emergency, and park department vehicles. A cyclist's initial response may be - this sounds pretty amazing - right?
Eh. Don't hope for this experiment to result in any immediate benefit.
Throughout the summer weekends, automobiles are already prohibited in the Central Park loop. Between all the joggers, pedicabs, pedestrians, horse carriages, tourists, and other people on bicycles, it's still an absolute battle for space especially in the lower half section of the park during peak hours.
The information for this study could have easily been gathered this past summer, unless they're trying to get the data under more controlled conditions. It doesn't surprise me this idea comes after the unfortunate fatal accident earlier this month.
Under this bill, bike riders can certainly expect to be under heavy surveillance. A car-free Central Park sure sounds nice, but it means congested traffic will go else where. It's something NYC already has enough.
Source: AM NY