Bill de Blasio expands Central Park vehicle ban

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"It'll allow people and pedestrians to utilize the park in a better way", said another park goer.

New York City's Central Park will kick out cars this summer after more than a century, returning its roads to walkers, runners and cyclists, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.

In a city with so few places to let one's guard down, the freedom and greenery a fully car-free Central Park will afford will be treasured by so many more than the few who will lose a cherished taxi shortcut or a favorite way to impress dates.

The park will become completely car-free 24/7, 365 days a year starting on June 27, the city said in a statement, which is the day after public school classes end and the first day that outdoor pools are open across the city.

The restriction goes into effect at the end of the school year on Jun 27, and applies to all of the inner loop drives, which now allow vehicles during certain times on weekdays.

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The ban will prohibit vehicles from the "loop drives" within the park below 72nd Street.

The mayor also announced horse-drawn carriages will be removed from Central Park South and only allowed inside the park.

The transverse roads - which are below street grade - at 97th, 86th, 79th and 65th streets will remain open.

Advocates have been pushing for a car-free Central Park for decades, said Transportation Alternatives executive director Paul Steely White.

This move comes after Prospect Park officially became auto free in January.

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