Gallery: Brooklyn Residents Call for a Car-Free Prospect Park

©Kai Brinker via Creative Commons

The city has plans to reduce the car traffic in Prospect Park drastically, but Brooklyn residents don’t think the proposed plan is quite enough. In a meeting last night, the Prospect Park Administration announced a plan to cut rush hour traffic from two lanes to one, giving pedestrians and bicyclists extra room. But a group called the Prospect Park Road Sharing Task force is pushing for the city to completely ban car traffic, leaving the roadways free for pedestrian and cyclist morning commutes.

The Prospect Park Road Sharing Task force is made up of cops, Department of Transportation workers, cyclists, and runners who want to make the roadways in the park more safe. The roads are only open to cars during morning and evening commutes, with the speed limit set at 25 mph. But data from the Park Slope Neighbors group have shown that over 95 percent of the cars they’ve tracked have gone over the speed limit (and as frequent morning runners in the park, we can definitely vouch for this!).

The fast cars coupled with a disorganized, shared cyclist/pedestrian path has created an unsafe commuting path, recognized last year when a pedestrian was seriously injured by a cyclist speeding downhill. The proposed lane restructuring will give both bicyclists and walkers more room to travel freely, but many Brooklynites feel this will not completely solve the problem. The issue of speeding cyclists has been completely ignored, and many think more space will help eradicate this problem, keeping pedestrians out of harm’s way. Completely eliminating cars would give everyone more room to commute, and also keep emissions out of the picturesque park, making for an easier breathing commute.

Via NY Dailey News

Lead Image © Kai Brinker via Creative Commons

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2 Comments

  1. Jessica Dailey Jessica Dailey March 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Not only do the cars in Prospect Park go faster than 25 mph, they also completely disregard the timing restrictions and traffic patterns. Cars are allowed on East Drive, the northbound side, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and on the West Drive (the southbound side) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. I went for a run this afternoon around 3 p.m. and encountered, at the very least, a dozen different vehicles. And no less than five of these cars turned left onto Center Drive from West Drive, completely ignoring the DO NOT ENTER sign. Then at the intersection of Center Drive and East Drive, the cars turned right — the OPPOSITE direction traffic drives on East Drive — so they could use the exit to Flatbush Avenue. Keep in mind that to make this turn, the drivers also had to maneuver around the orange cones and metal fencing that is set up to prevent exactly this kind of behavior.

    If drivers want to use Prospect Park, they need to take more care to follow the laws. Pedestrians, runners, and cyclists should not be concerned about getting hit by a car in the middle of a park on a road where cars are not allowed during hours when cars shouldn’t even be there.

  2. Brit Liggett Brit Liggett February 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I go for a run in Prospect Park about three times a week before work or right at the end of my day, both times when they allow cars to zip through and it is just not safe. If you want to drive to work from Brooklyn, where the public transport is amazing, you shouldn’t ruin this amazing park while speeding to work, why can’t they just drive on the regular roads? Why let them in at all? The walk/bike lanes aren’t big enough and the cars come through so quickly, they just come flying up behind you (because both the walk/bike lanes and the car lanes go the same way) and then those pesky cyclists you are talking about are just trying to get their ride on but all of us runners are in their way.

    Car free prospect park would be AWESOME!