Mobilizing the Region

Issue 169 April 10, 1998

Brooklyn Reps Call for Car Free Prospect Park

NYC City Council members say Prospect Park, Brooklyn's most renowned and cherished open space, should be free of car traffic this summer.

The park's Frederick Law Olmstead design features a loop roadway which over the years has been integrated into the city street system as a high speed bypass. Traffic on the road generally intrudes on the park environment and endangers the cyclists, runners, skaters and pedestrians who now use the loop in large numbers.

Council member Stephen DiBrienza will call for the park to be shut to traffic for a two-month trial period at a press conference this coming Monday. DiBrienza's district encompasses the park, but he has the support of council members Ken Fisher, Una Clarke and Angel Rodriquez, all from neighboring districts.

Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) and citizens who live near the park have pressed for years for a trial closure of the loop drive. NYC DOT studies have shown that traffic impacts will be small, even without accounting for any shrinkage in car trips through the area due to the roadway's closure. "A two-month trial closing will prove conclusively a car-free Prospect Park will work," said T.A. Brooklyn Committee Chair Carl Biers.

Brooklyn Borough President Golden has scheduled a public hearing on the Auto-Free Prospect Park proposal for 6PM Tuesday, April 21 at Borough Hall.

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