Manhattan Borough Board Unanimously Endorses Car-Free Central Park Trial

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer rallied for a car-free summer in Central Park five years ago, and voted in favor of a similar proposal yesterday. Photo: ##http://www.transalt.org/files/newsroom/streetbeat/e-bulletin/2006/March/0316.html##Transportation Alternatives##

Though Mayor Bloomberg has ruled out the possibility of implementing a car-free Central Park trial this year, opting for further data collection instead, public support for the proposal continues to grow. At a meeting of the Manhattan Borough Board yesterday, the car-free trial picked up support from still more community boards and new City Council members.

The Borough Board consists of every City Council member and representatives from every community board in Manhattan, as well as the borough president. The board was unanimous in its support for a car-free trial. (The full roll call, provided to Streetsblog by car-free park activist Ken Coughlin, is available at the bottom of this post.)

Of Manhattan’s 12 community boards, 11 have now voted in support of the plan. The only exception is CB 12, which was absent from yesterday’s meeting and had not voted on the proposal previously.

Elected officials, too, voted in favor of the trial. Borough President Scott Stringer, a long-time supporter of such a plan, voted yes. So did Council Members Gale Brewer, who has sponsored legislation to take cars out of both Central and Prospect Parks permanently, and Dan Garodnick, who supported a car-free trial in 2006. Rosie Mendez was the only other council member to vote; she too was in support. As is her practice, Christine Quinn abstained in deference to her citywide duties as council speaker.

No council member has publicly opposed a car-free trial this year.

Here’s the full Borough Board roll call:

  • CB 1 – Yes
  • CB 2 – Yes
  • CB 3 – Yes
  • CB 4 – Yes
  • CB 5 – Yes
  • CB 6 – Yes
  • CB 7 – Yes
  • CB 8 – Yes
  • CB 9 – Absent
  • CB 10 – Yes
  • CB 11 – Absent
  • CB 12 – Absent
  • Brewer – Yes
  • Chin – Absent
  • Jackson – Absent
  • Mendez – Yes
  • Rodriguez – Absent
  • Lappin – Absent
  • Garodnick – Yes
  • Dickens – Absent
  • Quinn – Abstain
  • Mark-Viverito – Absent
  • BP Stringer – Yes
  • Why is CM Mark-Viverito MIA on this issue? She’s head of the Parks Committee!  Has she ever taken a stand on this?

  • Josef

    To be fair there were a large number of absentees: 9 of 23 or 39% of the Board. It’s still a very positive sign and I hope this happens very soon.  

  • Anonymous

    Several years ago she and Councilmember Robert Jackson signed a letter in support of a summer closing.  I think she’s just been letting Gale take the lead on this.  

  • Anonymous

    Several years ago she and Councilmember Robert Jackson signed a letter in support of a summer closing.  I think she’s just been letting Gale take the lead on this.  

  • We’re curious to see how the car-free Central Park trial period will go. Since it was a unanimous decision, there must have been a great plan of action for relieving traffic stresses introduced. This is certainly a benefit for pedestrians/bicyclists, and maybe this will help push more green initiatives in NYC. 

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