Auto-Free Hours in Central Park, as of August 2007
Determining when cars are allowed and not allowed on the Central Park loop road got a lot more complicated as a result of the city's pilot test of a fractional closing, from June 1 until November 15. The good news is that the new closures result in more car-free road space overall. Still, the Police and Parks Department's failure to close entrances to traffic in a timely manner, coupled with their willingness to open entrances early when traffic is about to be allowed in, means that car-free time can be effectively reduced by an hour or more each day.
On paper, here are the hours when the loop road is open/closed to traffic:
Weekdays, Jan. 1-Thanksgiving:
West Drive: Open to traffic 8 am - 10 am. Car-free other times.
East Drive: Open to traffic 3 pm - 7 pm (except southeastern corner, which is open to traffic all day). Car-free other times.
72nd Street crossing: open to traffic 7 am - 10 am. Car-free other times.
Entire loop closed to traffic 7 pm - 7 am
Weekdays, Thanksgiving-Jan. 1:
Loop road is open to car traffic from 7am - 7pm and closed from 7pm-7am
Weekends All Year:
Loop is closed to traffic Friday, 7 pm to Monday, 7am
Holidays All Year:
Loop is closed to traffic 7pm prior to holiday until 7am the following day
Speed Limits when Automobiles are allowed in Central Park:
Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on the loop drive is 25 mph.
During weekday mornings, 8 am to 10 am, single-passenger vehicles are prohibited from using the West Drive.
If you see violations of these rules, please e-mail
email@example.com, giving date, place and time of violation.
Rules Not Being Enforced? Call the Central Park Precinct!
Are the park entrances not being closed or opened on time? Are cars speeding on the drives? These problems are the responsibility of the Central Park Precinct. Call them. The precinct's main number is 212-570-4820. To go to the precinct's Web site, click here.
Please also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, giving date, place and time of violation.
Auto-Free Hours in Central Park
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