Mayor Bloomberg breathed new life into the idea of a car-free Prospect Park — the elusive Holy Grail for some park enthusiasts — when he said this week, “It would be great if we could keep cars out of all parks.”
Bloomberg’s comments in the New York Sun came a day after Transportation Alternatives, a mass transit and bicycling advocacy group, said it would make another drive to convince the mayor to expel all auto traffic from the park — and onto nearby streets.
Pedestrian and bike proponents navigated a partial victory last year when driving was trimmed to only two hours during the morning and evening rush hours.
But that wasn’t enough for them to cool their engines.
“When the cars come in, the people go out. They leave in droves,” said Wiley Norvell, communications director for the group. “Unfortunately, the hours people most want to use the park — before and after school — are the hours when we let cars in the park.”
The Department of Transportation, in spite of the mayor’s wistful statement about motor-less parkland, said there are no changes to traffic policy on the horizon.
“We implemented a partial closure to vehicles a year ago, but have no plans at this time to completely close the park to vehicles,” said Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the agency.