Ken Coughlin, Leading Car-Free Park Activist, Suffers Heart Attack

Ken Coughlin, occasional Streetsblog contributor, long-time coordinator of Transportation Alternatives’ Car-Free Central Park campaign and all-around mensch suffered a heart attack on Saturday. T.A. board member Jeff Prant and executive director Paul Steely White visited Ken at St. Lukes Roosevelt on the Upper West Side on Sunday. They say he’s in relatively good spirits and will undergo triple bypass surgery tomorrow.

Over the last ten years or so, Coughlin has personally overseen the collection of more than 100,000 signatures in support of a car-free Central Park. When I spoke with Ken a few weeks ago he was optimistic that we would see a three-month car-free trial in Central Park this summer. But with Memorial Day approaching, there has been no word from DOT, Parks or City Hall as to whether that will be the case.

Here at Streetsblog we’re thinking of him, wishing him luck and looking forward to seeing him back out in the park this summer (hopefully not collecting signatures).

  • Clarence


    You are the man. Hang in!

  • Heffron

    I know Ken from the Astoria Park rest stop for the Century Ride, he runs it every year. A good guy, I hope he makes a full recovery.

  • Paul

    We are all rooting for you Ken!

    S’Blog readers: this is a great piece of advocacy that Ken penned a few years back

  • Good luck, Ken. Michele and I are rooting for you, too.

  • Ken. You better get better by the Century bike tour! You’re the only person to run the Astoria rest stop!

    We’re pullin’ for you here at T.A. and can’t wait to see you back in the park/office.

  • ddartley

    Bless ‘im. A great New Yorker. Get well and feel well soon.

  • Wiley

    Ken, we’re all thinking of you, and pulling for a quick recovery. Construction will begin shortly on a Craftmatic Adjustable Bed (TM) bike trailer, so T.A. staff and volunteers can take you for leisurely, restorative rides around Central Park.

  • graham

    Ken is an advocate among advocates.

  • DV

    Get well soon Ken!

    I just called the DOT and asked them to give you a present – 3 months of car-free parks- starting as soon as you are out of the hospital. No confirmation yet but in the meantime perhaps we can get in contact with your 100,000+ friends and coordinate a victory lap along the Central Park loop.

  • All the best in getting better Ken. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  • vnm

    Get better soon Ken. We need you back in action.

  • Carol Wood

    Where do I sign the “Get Well Soon Ken!” petition? I want to add my name to the thousands of others.

  • Albert Ahronheim

    Thanks to Ken for all he’s done and thanks to StreetsBlog for notifying us all. What a shock! Ken, I hope your recovery is gentle, fast and full.

  • Mark Taylor

    Hang in there Ken. Your good work and personal warmth make the world a better place. I hope you are back in the saddle before too long.

  • Brendy

    many central park loops and philly rides await!

  • Adele A.

    Ken – You’ve been an inspiration not only to my bro but to thousands of others in this city, and you will continue to be. For now, relax, recover, and then sit back and let your protegees do the stressful work for a while. All my best–

  • Judy A.

    Hi, Ken. Get well quick and come to our house for dinner! We’ll have something healthy and I’ll do the dishes.
    Albert’s sis Judy

  • galvo

    any updates on this good man?

  • Bob

    I visited Ken on Tuesday, and he got out of the hospital that afternoon. He is resting and recuperating comfortably at his sister’s house. He said in an email that he went for his first walk and enjoyed it immensely. So he’s on the mend…..good news!


Two-Way Bike Lane Will Cross Central Park Along 72nd Street

This summer, cyclists will have a second path to safely cross Central Park. At a meeting of CB 7’s Parks Committee last night, Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky announced that the Department of Transportation will paint a new two-way bike lane along 72nd Street all the way between Central Park West and Fifth Avenue, […]