By Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN — A proposal to test drive a Central Park car ban has stalled despite community board backing, DNAinfo has learned.
Last week, the Upper West Side's Community Board 7’s parks and transportation committees voted unanimously to bar motor vehicles for four months on the East and West drives that make up "The Loop."
Its support was backed by Midtown's Community Board 5’s transportation committee Monday, which wanted a two month trial ban.
But Mayor Michael Bloomberg's spokesman Marc LaVorgna, said the city doesn't agree.
"We do not have any trial period coming online," said LaVorgna, who declined to comment on whether the mayor supports legislation proposed by City Councilwoman Gale Brewer in March which would ban traffic permanently.
Members on both boards had hoped the test would give officials time to study how the ban would impact traffic citywide, providing data that could be used when considering the bill.
Community Board 7 Chair Mel Wymore said about the city's rejection, "It doesn't make sense.
"We're hearing a broad base of support, not only from our board members but from other boards that surround the park.” He said the test is the only way the city will find out the impact of a ban.
"It could improve the quality of the park and make the city more attractive, and potentially have no impact on traffic at all. But we won't know until we try it," he said.
Brewer, who introduced similar legislation in 2006, said she has seen support for the proposal growing and has no intention to stop the fight.
"It's not going to stop us from advocating," she said, adding that if she can get a hearing for the bill she will consider amending it to include a pilot program, or apply it only in summer months when she said traffic is "unbelievably" light.
On Monday night, Community Board 5’s transportation committee had voted unanimously to back the ban, with members in strong support.
"I think this is the only way you can make a decision on these things," Committee Chair Tom Miller said.
The park's East Drive is currently open to all cars weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. , while Center Drive is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. West Drive is open only to high-occupancy vehicles weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
with reporting by Leslie Albrecht