Lawmakers want to test car-free Central Park

Vehicles would have to take a detour around Central Park next summer under legislation from two west side council members who want to study what a car-free park would look like.

The bill from council members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine introduced Wednesday would close off traffic in the Central Park loop between June 24 and Sept. 25 next year and require the Parks Department to deliver a study by the end of the year. Police, fire, emergency and parks department vehicles would still be allowed on the roads.

“Currently, the Central Park loop is packed with cars, cyclists, and runners all vying for limited space; removing cars from the loop will dramatically reduce the risk of dangerous collisions,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

The study would include looking at traffic on nearby roads, pedestrian flow and environmental impact, according to the lawmakers.

“Closing the Central Park loop to cars from June 24 to Sept 25 in 2015 will provide comprehensive data on the impact on traffic in the surrounding areas, and it will be a meaningful step to a permanently car-free Central Park,” they said.

The Central Park Conservancy did not return a request for comment.