Beginning on Monday, Central Park's north loop above 72nd Street will be completely closed to vehicular traffic, existing only as a pedestrian/cyclist paradise until September 3.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who in 2011 introduced legislation to permanently ban cars in the park, said she's pleased by DOT's decision to make the loop car-free for the summer, but will continue to push for a permanent ban.

"On behalf of all park users seeking a car-free environment in which to walk, run, bike and blade, I congratulate the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan for creating an (almost) car-free Central Park as part of this year’s 'Summer Streets' initiative," she said in a statement.

Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, also lauded the ban. In 2005, one of the group's board members collected 100,000 signatures in support of a car-free Central Park.

"Central Park, Manhattan's own backyard, will be a lot safer and more inviting for New Yorkers this summer," he said in a statement. "This is a welcome development for all who utilize the park on foot or bike."