American cities are beginning to embrace banning cars from parks to allow for pedestrians, bicyclists, and joggers. New York is closing roads in Central park this summer, Philadelphia is closing roads in Fairmount Park for a few days, and even small towns like Davenport, Iowa are creating pedestrian-only roads.
According to the Christian-Science Monitor, American cities are inspired by Latin American cities:
The model city for road closure is Bogotá, Colombia, which in 1983 embarked on a program called ciclovia (bike path), in which designated streets were closed to cars every Sunday but open for jogging, biking, dancing, playing ball, walking pets, strolling with babies – anything but driving. One-and-a-half million people now turn out each week for ciclovia. Other cities in Latin America followed suit, closing parts of parks or whole urban districts to cars – some intermittently, some permanently. A result: revitalized neighborhoods and an influx of people.
Sounds like a win for reducing global warming and high urban obesity rates.
Source: Christian-Science Monitor