Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 6004
Thursday, Dec 19, 2013

Central Park's Lower Loop Named In Honor Of Former Mayor John V. Lindsay

Photo by Daniel Avila

NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White and Central Park Conservancy President & CEO Douglas Blonsky unveiled new signs on Monday renaming the Lower Loop of Central Park Drive as “John V. Lindsay Drive” in honor of former Mayor John V. Lindsay. The Lindsay family was represented at the dedication by his daughters Kathy Lake and Margi Picotte, his granddaughters Stephanie, Jessica, and Mimi, his sister-in-law, Mary Lindsay, and other nieces and nephews, as well as alumni of the Lindsay Administration.

Lindsay, the 103rd Mayor of New York (1966-73), first closed the Central Park Drive to traffic on weekends in the summer of 1966, creating unprecedented accessibility for cyclists, pedestrians and joggers.

In response to broad popular support, the closings were extended year round in 1967 and were replicated in other major parks, starting with Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Forest Park in Queens. The initiative was part of the Lindsay Administration's broader effort to open up street access to pedestrians and cyclists, providing New Yorkers with more opportunities to engage in an active and healthier lifestyle.

Lindsay formally closed Fifth Avenue to traffic on Sundays, beginning with the first Earth Day in 1970. Also in 1970, he released the Van Ginkel Report on “Movement in Midtown,” which proposed a network of pedestrian streets in midtown, including the closing of Broadway to cars from Lincoln Center to Herald Square.

Almost fifty years later, Mayor’s Lindsay’s work in Central Park set an incredible precedent for our city and beyond. His historic decision has led to an expansion in New York City furthered by the Bloomberg Administration, as well as across the nation and beyond.

The dedication took place at the entrance to the Park Drive at West 67th Street, which is particularly appropriate as the Lindsay’s lived right across Central Park West at Hotel des Artistes, One West 67th Street, after his Mayoralty and often walked into the park at this entrance.

Central Park welcomes approximately 40 million visitors annually. The Lower Loop of Central Park Drive runs 1.7 miles from West 72nd Street to East 72nd Street.


"It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do."

Jerome K. Jerome
(1859 - 1927)

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