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Cars banned from much of New York's Central Park

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Cars will be banned from much of Central Park in New York by the end of the month, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, after complaints from residents and pedestrians.

[NEW YORK] Cars will be banned from much of Central Park in New York by the end of the month, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday, after complaints from residents and pedestrians.

The measure goes into effect on June 29 and "will significantly reduce traffic in the park," Mr de Blasio said, adding that it would become "safer and quieter and more enjoyable." The initiative will see cars banned on park drives north of 72nd Street. Traffic studies showed it would not increase traffic jams and the area concerned had already been off-limits to traffic during the summer months.

"We're creating safe zones for kids to play in, for bikers, for joggers, for everyone to know that they will be safer and they can enjoy the park in peace," he said.

Four roads that cut across Central Park will remain open to traffic, City Hall said.

There will be a similar move beginning July 6 in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, with the complete closure of one main thoroughfare.

Central Park is the green lung of New York and its 850 ares (341 hectares) are popular with tourists and locals.

More than 45 million people visit Central Park and Prospect Park each year.

AFP