Press Releases

Press Release #06-78

Contact: Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033
Ted Timbers

DOT to Re-Instate Limited Vehicle Access to Central Park

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that beginning Tuesday, January 2nd, the pilot traffic plan which limits vehicular access to the Central Park drives will be re-instated. In June Mayor Bloomberg announced the beginning of a six month pilot traffic plan that expanded the number of hours New Yorkers could enjoy Central and Prospect Parks free from vehicles. In late November DOT suspended the pilot in Central Park as part of the annual Holiday Traffic Mitigation Plan. Historically, the amount of traffic decreases after the holiday season, so DOT will re-instate the pilot and expects to complete its study of the initiative by the end of January.

Currently, vehicular traffic is allowed on both the East and West drives of Central Park from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Vehicular traffic is also allowed on the East drive of Prospect Park from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, and on the East and West drives from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Beginning January 2nd, only Central Park's West Drive will be open to motor vehicles from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, while Central Park's East Drive north of 72nd Street will be open from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm The East Drive from 57th Street and Sixth Avenue to 72nd Street will continue to be open from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

Vehicle access to Prospect Park was not altered in November, so there will be no changes on January 2nd.

Both parks will continue to be closed to motor vehicles overnight and during weekends. The speed limits at both parks will remain 25 mph. The HOV restrictions for Central Park's West Drive, in effect since November 29, 2004, will remain in place, and NYPD and Parks will continue to enforce all rules and regulations.