Is Prospect Park Getting Short End of the (Car-Free) Stick?
The announcement that car-free hours in Central Park are being expanded has led some Brooklyn groups to say that Prospect Park is being left out. Park Slope Neighbors sent out a press release yesterday saying that "City Hall overlooked several clear and easy options to make Prospect Park safer, healthier and more enjoyable for Brooklynites." Among the options:
* Closure of the northbound East Drive during the evening rush hours, when traffic is minimal.In the release Park Slope Neighbors co-founder Aaron Naparstek said, "It’s great that the Bloomberg Administration is following through on its Long-Term Planning and Sustainability process by reducing motor vehicle traffic in Central Park, but it’s a shame that the Mayor seems to have forgotten about Prospect Park."
* Closing Prospect Park’s 3rd Street entrance to cars to eliminate dangerous conflicts between motor vehicles and the many children and parents who use two popular, nearby playgrounds.
* Expanding the already crowded pedestrian and cyclist lanes on the park drive eliminating one of the motor vehicle lanes.
"The increase in car-free hours in Central Park is great news. The only way it could be better is if Prospect Park had been included too," said Robert Witherwax, coordinator of the Grand Army Plaza Coalition (GAPCo). "GAPCo supports creating a more livable, balanced, pedestrian friendly Grand Army Plaza, and reducing traffic on the Park Drives would help us to achieve that."
A study cited by the group found that more than 75 percent of those surveyed reported a "close" call with a vehicle while walking or biking in the park and that 60 percent said that accessing Prospect Park during hours where cars are allowed into the park was "dangerous."