Rules & Regulations


Central Park is enjoyed by more than 40 million visitors each year. To ensure everyone can enjoy the Park safely, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has established rules and regulations (external link) for all New York City parks. Officers from the New York City Police Department and Parks Enforcement Patrol are responsible for enforcing all rules and regulations.

Alcohol in the Park
Per the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, which establishes the rules and regulations for all City parks, alcohol is prohibited in Central Park.

Wildlife in the Park
Respect the wildlife in Central Park. Never feed or approach a wild, stray, or injured animal. For matters relating to wildlife in the Park, please contact the Urban Park Rangers, 212.360.2774. In an urgent situation, you may also contact the Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP), 212.427.8700, call the City of New York (dial 311), or notify a Central Park Conservancy staff member.

Filming and Photography in Central Park
Some film and photography requires a permit and coordination with the Central Park Conservancy's Operations Team. Learn more at our Film and Photography page.

Dogs in the Park
Dogs are welcome in Central Park. They may be off-leash between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am in most sections of the Park, but must be under the control of their owner at all times. Dogs are prohibited on all ballfields and recreational courts, playgrounds, water bodies, streams, ornamental fountains, elm islands at the Mall and the Great Lawn Oval, Lilac Walk, and the Reservoir running track.

Dogs must be leashed at all times in the following locations:

  • Arthur Ross Pinetum
  • the Bridle Path
  • Cedar Hill
  • Children's Glade (Great Hill area)
  • Conservatory Garden
  • East Green
  • East Meadow Oval
  • Kerbs Boathouse Plaza
  • the North Woods and the Ravine
  • the Ramble
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Turtle Pond Lawn
  • Other areas where signs requiring dogs to be leashed are posted
Driving in the Park

As of June 29, 2015, Central Park Drives north of 72nd Street are permanently car-free. The four Central Park transverse roads remain open to motor vehicles. Learn more at nyc.gov. The Park drives are open to vehicular traffic only during certain hours: 

West Drive (from 72nd Street south to Central Park South & 7th Avenue) High Occupancy Vehicles only
Weekdays: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Center Drive/East Drive (from the 6th Avenue entrance on Central Park South to the East 72nd Street & 5th Avenue exit)
Weekdays: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm


Terrace Drive (72nd Street Cross) Drive (from 72nd Street/Fifth Avenue to West Drive South)
Weekdays: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

 
The speed limit in Central Park is 20 mph and is strictly enforced. Motorists and cyclists should slow down when drives are congested.

 
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