Keep the Cars Out...
I used to think that cars and athletes could share Central Park. Over the last few weeks, topped off by an incident this morning, I have changed my mind.
First some background. I live on W. 57th Street a block off Central Park South- the 6th Avenue entrance. I have lived there for like 7 or 8 years and use the park all the time for biking, jogging and skating. There has been an ongoing campaign to keep the cars out of the park. I have never signed up for this campaign since I always figured that it would add more traffic to the already overcrowded streets of Manhattan.
This triathlon season, I moved started biking and running in the park much more than on the course on the West Side Bike Path I used last year. So I basically am exercising in the park 6 days a week. I dont see enough cars! The amount of cars on Park Drive is pretty light, and I exercise at different times each day, sometimes a run or bike ride in the early morning, sometimes an afternoon rollerblade, sometimes a bike ride in the evenings. At all times of day, and at times considered to be rush hour I dont see enough vehicular traffic in the park to warrant allowing traffic in the park. On the other hand there are just massive amounts of people exercising, even on cold and rainy days.
So my solution? Start charging the cars to use Park Drive. Make it a toll road. To avoid backups, just require an EZ-Pass for entry. Mayor Mike, are you reading this?