NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A ban on cars in Central Park north of 72nd Street is going into effect starting Monday.

That means the drives in most of the park will be mainly for recreational use, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports.

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City Councilman Mark Levine says over the years cars have been slowly phased out, currently only allowed on the loop a few hours during weekdays, and says this ban returns most of the park to its original purpose.

“You go to the park to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and breathe some fresh air and enjoy the sounds of birds singing, you don’t want to hear cars whizzing by you,” Levine said.

The four transverse roads — which link the east and west sides of Manhattan — are below park level and remain open to cars.

Many New Yorkers are happy about the ban, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reports.

“I think parks should be for people who want to go out to walk and ride their bikes,” said Marta Willgoose of Prospect Heights.

She said she thinks cars in parks are dangerous.

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Drivers, on the other hand, have a different opinion.

“This is going to make my timing worse for my job,” said Joseph Addy. “I don’t think it’s fair.”

Statistics from the Department of Transportation show between 2012 and 2014, there were 29 injuries to cyclists and pedestrians due to collisions with cars, Gold reports.

But, also during that time, there were significantly more people hurt in crashes with bikes — a total of 377.

“I think everyone needs to do their own part and follow the rules — be a little safer out there,” said Enrique Lastra of Astoria.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced the vehicle ban earlier in June. It also applies to parts of Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Cars were previously banned in portions of Central Park the last two summers.

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