Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Car-Free Parks

Making History: 2004 Car-Free Central Park Film Chosen for MCNY Exhibit

4:44 PM EDT on May 3, 2012

In the midst of a 2004 petition drive and campaign, Transportation Alternatives hired me to produce a mini-film called "The Case for a Car-Free Central Park." It featured interviews with many prominent New Yorkers, like Columbia professor Ken Jackson and author Roberta Brandes Gratz, along with dozens of everyday park-goers testifying about how they felt about cars in the park.

The film was the centerpiece of a TA rally attended by nearly 700 people. Just a few weeks after the rally, the city took substantial action. From TA's chronology of cars in Central Park:

2004:  Speed limit on the loop drive reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph. West 90th and East 102nd Street entrances and exits closed to cars. West 77th and East 90th entrances closed to cars. West 72nd street slip-ramp closed to cars. People reclaim overnight and early mornings in the park. Cars get to enter 7 am to 10 am and 3 pm to 7 pm. HOV 2+ rule on West drive during morning rush hours.

It's an absolute honor that "The Case for a Car-Free Central Park" was selected as a featured element for "Activist New York," an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. Beginning May 4, the program will examine social activism from the 17th century to the present. We're glad the curators realized the significance of this video in New York's history.

Make sure to check out what surely should be an excellent exhibit. For now, you can watch the entire 20-minute film, available for the first time ever on Streetfilms!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Community Board Backs DOT Road Diet for Brooklyn’s Deadly Third Av.

“This is just a beginning of what we could do to fix our community,” said one board member. “This is not done, this is not where we finish off.”

February 23, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: More Lunch Consumption Edition

Streetfilms goes to Paris. Plus more news.

February 23, 2024

Advocates Slam Albany Pols for Using Transit Fund to Encourage Driving

Gov. Hochul and state legislators in Albany are spending a congestion pricing-adjacent fund on toll rebates for drivers and showing zero interest in bus or rail, transit advocates charged.

February 23, 2024

Serious Crash in Greenpoint Again Reveals Flaws in City Design, Enforcement Against Reckless Drivers

A woman was seriously injured — and is clinging to life — because a driver with a long record of recklessness slammed into her on a Greenpoint Street as she came home with milk.

February 22, 2024

POWER PLAY: City Moves to Put Thousands More E-Car Chargers on the Sidewalk

We should stop and think before giving over curbside space to car drivers, a mistake the city made in the 1950s.

February 22, 2024
See all posts