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Mobilized Moms for a Car-Free Central Park

Transportation Alternatives Car-Free Central Park Campaign got a booster shot from a group of mothers and families calling themselves the Mobilized Moms. With a group of nearly 50 supporters, they marched from Central Park West and 72nd Street, through Strawberry Fields and rallied at the Bandshell on Tuesday afternoon, pleading for a car-free Central Park. Mobilized Moms draw inspiration from author, community activist and mother, Jane Jacobs and other mothers, who in 1956 effectively stopped Robert Moses' plans to pave part of Central Park for a parking lot.

[intro music] 

Lisa Sladkus:  [00:02] Mobilized Moms is a group of mothers and families working in conjunction with Transportation Alternatives and the Campaign for a Car-Free Central Park.  We feel that the park is for kids, for people to enjoy.  It’s not a parkway and it never should have been a parkway.  We are rallying with Scott Stringer, with Gale Brewer to fight back and to try to get our park car-free.   

Ken Coughlin:  [00:23] 100,000 people have signed the petition for a car-free Central Park.  Many of them were parents with children.  They’re just one among the thousands of New Yorkers, and tourists coming to the city, who want to see the park be a place of tranquillity and peace, and not a place where they feel like they’re just on another city street.   

Speaker:  [00:45] What do we want? 

All:  [00:46] Car-free Central Park.   

Speaker:  [00:48] What do we want? 

All:  [00:49] Car-free Central Park. 

Speaker:  [00:51] What do we want? 

All: [00:52] Car-free Central Park. 

Peter Goldwasser:  [00:54] The goals of the rally today were really to get mums and dads and families and children and supporters of a car-free Central  Park to gather, to march and to give elected officials like Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, and Council Member, Gale Brewer, and others the opportunity to publicly say we support this and to really send a message to City Council and Mayor Bloomberg that this is something that needs to happen, it needs to happen now. 

Ken Coughlin:  [01:18] We’re here to once again call on the city to at least institute a three month trial closing off the park to traffic. 

Scott Stringer:  [01:27] We think now it’s time to get on with the great experiment of a car-free Central Park that can change the way we look at our environment, what we do with our public space, and really give our seniors, our kids and parents, just to name a few, a real break.   

Mary Beth Kelly:  [01:41] In Atlanta, when we had the Olympics there, they shut down some of the streets to cars.  Hospitalisation rates due to asthma dropped 20% in that period of time that the Olympics were operating.  That’s how crucial it is just in terms of the air in this city, to get the cars diminished.   

Speaker:  [02:00] We’re putting together some art projects today and the kids are going to do a bunch of finger painting.  They’re going to write on a piece of paper and draw what Central Park means to me.  We’re going to bind that, put it in a book with some letters to Bloomberg and say, please, give us our park. 

Ken Coughlin:  [02:13] I think it’s just, you know, this is a cause that sells itself.  You know, it’s just so self evident.  It’s kind of the no-brainer of the year that we need to get cars out of our park.   

[music] 

Transcription Sponsored by: Transcript Divas Transcription Services

Robin Urban Smith is a multimedia storyteller who prefers to go by bike.

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