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Prospect Park stoplights

Cyclists will see green in Prospect Park thanks to new traffic lights

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city is giving Prospect Park cyclists the green light — literally.

Stoplights on the park’s loop will remain green during all car-free hours unless pedestrians press buttons to activate reds in a new street set-up intended to bring order to the sometimes-chaotic roadway.

The push-button system means cyclists won’t need to come to a halt at desolate intersections — and pedestrians will gain a sense of control at crosswalks, pedal-pushers and park officials say.

“[It’s] another great step towards increasing predictability and safety for all,” said Prospect Park administrator Emily Lloyd, who heads the road-sharing panel of park advocates, cyclists, and cops that hatched the plan.

Supporters of the new stoplight strategy say it will give cyclists fewer red lights — making bikers more likely to respect the ones they encounter.

“It’s a win-win,” said Joanna Smith, a biker and walker. “It’s great that cyclists don’t have to be inconvenienced by unnecessary signals and it makes them more aware of other people in the park.”

The plan comes after several serious bike-on-pedestrian crashes — two of which left victims with serious brain injuries — that sparked a lawsuit against the city.

It also comes after cops wrote at least 188 cycling tickets in the park during a four-month period last winter, many targeting bikers who ran red lights.

With fewer red lights in the park, the crackdown against cyclists may be coming to an end — but some park-goers fear that having green lights as a default could encourage bikers to go too fast.

“It gives bikers free reign — I just hope they actually stop,” said Nancy Moccaldi, whose close friend Linda Cohen was placed in a medically induced coma after a crash with a cyclist.

The Department of Transportation, which last week also completed a new park roadway design that gives roughly equal space to cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians, has already installed four new signals at crosswalks on West Drive near Second, Third, Ninth and 12th streets with pedestrian-prompted “walk” signs.

More of the signals will be installed this month, which pleases transportation advocates, who say the street-crossing devices empower park-goers who travel on two wheels — and two feet.

“It helps everyone share space in the park safely,” said Michael Murphy of Transportation Alternatives.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Pretty decorations.

Red lights are ignored anyway, why have rules?

Bikers get indulgences from Mother Gaia.
June 25, 2012, 8:43 am
ty from pps says:
And, Or. If you actually care, you should go to the community meeting with the NYPD and ask them to enforce traffic laws. Enforce them for all. And stop with their politically motivated "blitzes" and actually provide enforcement leading to safer streets for ALL. How about that?
June 25, 2012, 9:59 am
Mike from park slope says:
Lol @Or I myself ride for because its easy to get to where I work in Red Hook which isn't easily accessible by train and the buses suck. This will help me get back to my new bike parking setup (bragging) that I have at (http://parkcirclestorage.com/) The new place on Coney island avenue near the park super low rate and I can come get my bike every morning and not have to worry about it having been stolen the night before. So I say green lights in the park are a go.
June 25, 2012, 10:12 am
Mike from park slope says:
agreed Ty this will make the red lights mean something
June 25, 2012, 10:12 am
CU from Park says:
Get the cars out of the park. Put "yield to ped" signs at every intersection in the middle of the intersection. Add more crosswalks for peds.

Most people will still ignore the lights because no one goes to a park and expects to see traffic signals.

This is a good move but you can't have different sets of rules at different times of day and think that it's all going to work.
June 25, 2012, 10:55 am
jay from pslope says:
I think for this to work, the cars will need to be banned from the park at all times.
I agree with the other poster who said that you can't expect people to follow different rules at different times of the day. Also at this point, with the new traffic lanes in the park, cars really just don't make any sense in the park.
A driver can no longer even use the park as a short cut, so the city should just finish the job and turn the park completely car free, at this point, the way it is now, its bad for bikes, pedestrians and cars, its the worst of all worlds, so why keep doing it?
Give the two car lanes in the park to the bikes, one for each direction, make them no passing lanes, and enforce that and also enforce the law to keep bikes off the sidewalks in the park, and to follow the pedestrian crossing lights and be done with it.
I think that might save some money as well because as it is now the city sends people around in the morning and night to open the park barricades to let cars into the park, ending cars in the park would free those people up to do something else.
What will be interesting to see is if the bikes actually stop when a person activates a red light when trying to cross, and if cops will ticket riders who blow through the pedestrian activated red lights.
I also wonder whether or not the city will actually maintain the crossing signals and keep them working, I have a lot of doubt that the city, in this day of declining budgets, will actually keep those signals working, but we will see, I guess.
June 25, 2012, 11:18 am
Tt from Ps says:
Thw bikers do whatever they want anyway, whether there is a green or red light. It makes no difference. I could see more pedestrians getting hit by bikes with this new system. What do the cars have to do with reckless bikers? They are reckless bikers and pedestrians, so should we banned them from cycling or walking in NYC. Everyone should respect each other.
June 25, 2012, 1:11 pm
ty from pps says:
"I could see more pedestrians getting hit by bikes with this new system."

Why??
June 25, 2012, 1:16 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
So I can just hang in the crosswalk and press the button and the cyclists will stop for all the red lights? All day?
HELLO SUMMER VACATION!!!!!
June 25, 2012, 1:35 pm
Other Michael from Park slope says:
"ty from pps says:
"I could see more pedestrians getting hit by bikes with this new system."

Why??
"

Because at best only some of the bikers are going to stop. It gives a false sense of safety to the person who pushed the button. Most people are not going to go more than 10 feet out of their way to find a crosswalk, anyway.

http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2012/04/beginning-of-better.html

Bikers should stop but most don't. I don't think it is up to a Prospect Park Alliance Sub-committee to try to change the biking/walking culture in NYC
June 25, 2012, 1:45 pm
Dave from bikesANDwalks says:
I think it's a good idea. I'd be more likely to stop for a light knowing it's because someone wants to cross the street and is taking the time to do so in the appropriate area.
June 25, 2012, 2:05 pm
GrannyMay from Park Slope says:
Will there be enforcement out there?
What if they don't stop?
June 25, 2012, 3:06 pm
Jill from Park Slope says:
The NYPD are too busy beating up peaceful protesters in Manhattan and further developing the mayor's paramilitary operation to actually enforce laws.

The lights are great. The overwhelming bike problem in the park and on the streets is the fact that the people participating in bicycle racing do not have any standard safety equipment on their bikes; no bells, no lights, no signaling, no yielding - nothing.

I bike to work and these are the bikers that need to be stopped and heavily ticketed. Not only do they flaunt the laws, but they lash out at people that get in their way - most often when laws are being followed by others.
June 25, 2012, 4:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unless this gets enforced, many cyclists will blowing the lights regardless of what color it is. What is the poing of this plan if they are most likely going to never follow it to begin with? Even the special signal for them on the streets of Manhattan are being constantly ignored by them despite the fact that they are supposed to obey it. I have been in Central Park on the Central Drives and hardly any cyclists stopped for the light when it was red when I had the walk signal. Of course, many of the bike zealots will be crying foul like they did before if this is going to be enforced.
June 25, 2012, 5:05 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Jill,

This is why bikers need to speak out to other bikers and change the culture when you bike to work.

You will all benefit.
June 25, 2012, 5:09 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Which city officials are you voting for in the next election? What about state representatives in your Brooklyn district?
June 25, 2012, 5:09 pm
Either from Orange Hook says:
This is why drivers need to speak out to other drivers and change the culture when you drive to work.

Pedestrians and cyclists will stop getting killed.
June 25, 2012, 5:11 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Either,

Your insurance company will speak to you if you are caught.

Want to have to insure your bike and your bike habits?

Keep disembling, keep changing the subject.
June 25, 2012, 5:37 pm
scott from park slope says:
We're not talking about the people out for a leisurely ride in the park. We're talking about the guys in spandex riding in packs. They go fast, and there are a lot of them. As a pedestrian you can try to cross safely, but many places along the loop road the sight lines are much shorter than the time it takes those serious riders to cover that distance.
It would be better to have a velodrome for those guys so they can all go as fast as they can and not have to worry about pedestrians or slower riders. I believe there was an article not long ago about plans to do exactly that, so that may solve this issue by itself.
June 25, 2012, 5:46 pm
The Warden from ParkSlope says:
Do the bikers know the rules for stopping at the lights.
They surely don't stop at the traffic lights on Prospect Park West bike lane, why would they stop at the traffic lights inside the park. I feel there needs to be more education of bike rules given to bikers.
June 25, 2012, 5:50 pm
ty from pps says:
The Warden -- Awesome example! Especially since there are no stop lights for bicycles on the PPW bike lane! The only lights on the bike path are yield lights.
June 25, 2012, 6:51 pm
Trud from Bklyn says:
You only have to yield to peds on PPW. Cyclists don't have to stop for reds there. Just like on Kent Ave or most other two-way bike lanes in the world.
June 25, 2012, 8:58 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Holy Crapola

I think Tal gets it. From his remote location in Far Far Away he said "What is the poing of this plan if they are most likely going to never follow it to begin with? "

Yes, This is a park, not a place to create rules that will not be followed.
June 25, 2012, 10:13 pm
Old time broklyn from Slope says:
I have ridden my bike all over brooklyn since i was 7 - no bikes stops at redlights unless you see serious traffic heading your way- just a fact. A car needs to stop as a car can do much mre dammage than a bike - ie broken leg vs smashed skull - the big problem is the ones who are playing with themselves thinking they are in tour de france 0 -its a bike get some perspective - bikes sold over a certain amount/level of performance and gears should be licensed and insured
June 25, 2012, 11:31 pm
Park Study from Park Slope says:
The problem is that a detailed study has shown that most people are not crossing at Crosswalks, but at Grand Army Plaza, Garfield place, 15th St, and Coney Island Ave. The only active crosswalks are 3rd St, 9th st (most active)& Vanderbilt Playground . pedestrians must use the protected crosswalks and from that point there should be full enforcement, of all users those that run lights or jay walk. That will ensure the safety of all.
June 26, 2012, 9:27 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
This is the sort of thing that would remove the most dangerous element from the pedestrian/cyclist equation in Prospect Park:

In Bay Ridge:

http://www.brooklynvelodrome.com/

In Brooklyn Bridge Park:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303425504577354411271424788.html

I know that if I wanted to train seriously as a bike racer I'd rather be in one of those two places than dodging strollers and dogs in Prospect Park.
June 26, 2012, 10:19 am
observateur from prospect park says:
This is useless and will change nothing. Pedestrians don't pay attention to crosswalks or lights now in the park (nor should they be required to, IMO, but whatever) nor will they begin to do so when the further step of pushing a button is added.
June 26, 2012, 10:23 am
qwerty from NY says:
Those who bring up velodromes apparently don't know that velodrome racing and road racing are two different sports. Even the bikes are different.

While I think the button-activated signals are better than what we have now, I think the best solution is to get rid of the signals altogether. That will force all park users to look at people and actual road conditions instead of looking at, and placing undue trust on, traffic signals. And yes, please get rid of the cars.
June 26, 2012, 10:49 am
Mike from Brooklyn says:
I like all the "bikes won't stop. They just do what they want" comments here. So, you mean like pedestrians do at don't walk signs? Even when there's heavy auto and/ or truck and/ or 20 ton bus traffic?
June 26, 2012, 11:21 am
Mike from Brooklyn says:
Oh yes, by all means lets have all the fast spandex-y riders go to a velodrome. As if riding 10-15 laps in PP to get a decent workout isn't mind numbing enough, accentuated by having to pass roller bladers, skate boarders, joggers smack in the middle of the road and unpredictable, wobbly leisure cyclists, and of course the pedestrians who believe that once the cars aren't there, the entire road turns into a giant sidewalk, even for literally standing around in the middle of in groups of 5 having a conversation. Yes, I've seen this more than once. Whether it's cyclists, walkers, joggers, jugglers(?), bladers, etc., etc., there's 2 types of people who use the parks: those who are courteous and aware that there's other people also using the park, and those who aren't.
June 26, 2012, 11:37 am
Joe Tuna from Brooklyn says:
Spot on Mike.... If all users of the park would be courteous the issue would never of existed... Accidents happen, and mostly due to ignorance....
People cross anywhere they want, cyclists ride in pace lines at 25mph when the park is too crowded.. Joggers turn from the running land without looking back first... Walkers walk anywhere they want to with no regard for other park users... If everyone would just be conscious that they are not alone in the park things would improve...

I ride in the park at all different times, but mostly in the morning when it's less crowded... If its too crowded I slow it down or head elsewhere (yikes into the streests).

The green light rule may help but it is not a substitution for common sense....
June 26, 2012, 3:40 pm
scott from park slope says:
Qwerty, obviously road racing and velodrome racing are different, but the point is in a velodrome there are no pedestrians, joggers, or rollerbladers getting in the way. The proposed velodrome in Brooklyn Bridge Park will have a pretty great view, at least. Until there's a bike equivalent of the Nuremberg ring that's about the best solution.
June 26, 2012, 6:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
As usual, the bike zealots bring up cars when they have nothing to do with this issue. The article is about having cyclists obey traffic lights in the park. It's a huge irony to those that want bicycles to be treated as existing vehicles when they tend to never want to have their bicycles licensed, registered, and insured the way all other vehicles are. Until cyclists start following the traffic laws, there will always be those demanding enforcement on them.
June 26, 2012, 7:32 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Tal,
Great to have a chance to read your really intelligent, insightful comments. Where have you been all day? Were you voting in the primary election? Which district of Brooklyn does your member of Congress represent?
June 26, 2012, 7:54 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Yea Tal

When you walk into Prospect Park do you cross the drive and wait for the green light?

oh and Tal

What do you think of the new lane configuration in the park?
June 26, 2012, 8:16 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I haven't been in Prospect Park for a while, but I can tell you about Central Park. I do wait for the walk signal there on the central drives. However, there are times when the cyclists just come without even stopping. They really do pose a danger in doing that, and there have been many injuries from such. Nevertheless, a configuration means nothing when many cyclists aren't following, and that goes for all of them.
June 26, 2012, 9:06 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Nevertheless, a configuration means nothing when many pedestrians aren't following, and that goes for all of them.
June 26, 2012, 9:20 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal - Do you comment on the websites of the Manhattan neighborhood papers too?? I'm sure everyone could benefit from your deep knowledge and your wisdom that is truly beyond your years....
June 26, 2012, 10:07 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
what so many do not accept/realize that riding a bike is about personal ability to see where you are going - I have ridden my bike all over brooklyn since i was 7 - no bikes stops at redlights unless you see serious traffic heading your way- just a fact. A car needs to stop as a car can do much mre dammage than a bike - ie broken leg vs smashed skull - the big problem is the ones who are playing with themselves thinking they are in tour de france 0 -its a bike get some perspective - bikes sold over a certain amount/level of performance and gears should be licensed and insured
June 26, 2012, 11:14 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
what so many do not accept/realize that riding a bike is about personal ability to see where you are going -
June 26, 2012, 11:14 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I tend to comment on the City Room also, ty, so I am not just here, and at least there I can find some some that a lot that aren't as extreme or offense as you, though that's partly because registration is recquired there.
June 27, 2012, 4:51 pm
ty from pps says:
The City Room site is truly blessed.
June 27, 2012, 6:25 pm
Steve from Park Slope says:
Amazing how no talks about pedestrians jaywalking, with head phones on, looking down at their cellphones.
June 28, 2012, 9:05 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
From where I stand, Tal, Or, SwampYankee, and their ilk post with such irrational tenacity that they must be taking money from outside sources. They do none of them live here. They regularly claim experiences that are, really, physically impossible, like SwampYankee claiming that he can drive from Bay Ridge to the Bronx in 20 minutes, or Tal holding forth on PPW when he can't have been on that road in the last two years. They don't live here. They post all the time. The stuff they say is at empirical odds with easily verifiable observation. Ergo, they must be on somebody's payroll.

Tal, Or, SwampYankee, I unmask you all. You're fake. You're not real. You're vaguely right-wing termagants employed by nefarious, non-Brooklyn sources, to pester, confuse, and be-bother real Brooklynites. Be gone! STFU. Really. Desist.
June 28, 2012, 5:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Scott, I am not just a real person, but I am also a left wing on many accounts. How do we know that you are not being paid by someone especially by Mark Gorton or Paul Steely White, because you do tend to make such statements? Either way, what makes asking for cyclists to follow the traffic laws have to do with the political spectrum when there have been many left wingers calling for it as well? BTW, the most vocal opponents when congestion pricing was an issue were actually very liberal, not conservative. What really amazes me is that bike zealots try to always look for scapegoats to place the blame on anyone else besides themselves, especially on motorists when it's really about them.
June 28, 2012, 7:25 pm
ty from pps says:
OK, Tal. You're real... you're just a nutjob. How's that?

I like how you find being called a knee-jerk activist horrible, but you have no problem calling EVERYONE that disagrees with you a "zealot." Why did you stop using your amusing Hamas analogies? I sort of started expecting at least one of those per day. Did Hamas sue you for defamation?
June 28, 2012, 10:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, do you even know what a zealot even is? I suggest you look it up in the dictionary. Seeing that you won't look it up, it basically implies that you have an extreme expression over something and will do anything to make it happen. The point that many of the chief enabler cyclist websites such as Streetsblog really needs to stop with the us vs them as well as blacklisting those who are either opposed or have concerns as they do constantly. Things like this are the reason they have made so much enemies.
June 29, 2012, 6:18 pm
ty from pps says:
HAHAHAHAHAHA! You are STUPID, Tal. A dumb nutter that lives in his mom's basement.
June 30, 2012, 10:24 am
Gersh Kuntzman from Not the Brooklyn Paper anymore says:
of course Tal is real. He used to call me all the time and demand that I make people stop picking on him.
July 1, 2012, 7:15 am
Tannis Baker from East Boston, mASS says:
Nevertheless, a configuration means nothing when many motorists aren't following, and that goes for all of them.
July 12, 2012, 11:36 am

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