Prospect Park Alliance releases study results for Park Drive safety improvements

Bikers and pedestrians on Prospect Park Drive in Brooklyn.
Prospect Park Alliance releases study results for Park Drive safety improvements.
Community News Group / Colin Mixson

Brooklyn’s Backyard is going to be safer than ever, as the greenspace managers who oversee Prospect Park have released the results of a much-anticipated safety study of Prospect Park Drive.

The Prospect Park Alliance (a non-profit organization that works in tandem with the NYC Parks Department to maintain and operate Prospect Park) released the study conducted by leading traffic consultant Sam Schwartz that examined the safety of the roadway that runs a loop inside the parks’ borders. 

In addition to mere metrics, the report also produced  a number of recommendations for park officials to take into consideration to increase the safety and accessibility of Park Drive for drivers and pedestrians alike.

These recommendations were made after Schwartz and other consultants analyzed relevant data including pedestrian counts, roadway grade, crash data, existing crossing and signals and more factors to deduce what safety improvements should be made to the area.

Prospect Park Drive has been the subject of many public safety discussions as previous safety plans for the park were never fully redesigned after the park closed to outside vehicular traffic back in 2018. 

Since the closure, there has been a significant increase in the usage of Prospect Park Drive leading to an increase in accidents and injuries. 

“Prospect Park became such a popular haven in recent years, and so it was time we took a fresh look at making the wonderful loop drive even safer and more hospitable to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez in a statement March 7. 

Some of these new safety study recommendations include NYC DOT repaving nearly two miles of the Prospect Park loop from Park Circle to Grand Army Plaza which will address the pothole and poor road conditions of the stretch. 

Additionally, NYC DOT will pilot one safety recommendation from the study: re-marking the roadway and adding a second pedestrian lane to expand space for bikers and pedestrians on the street.

Elected officials remarked on the recommendations of the study, as well as the initiative taken by the Alliance and their partners to make the area a safer place.

“Creating safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists alike must always be an ongoing, collaborative process, and I’m happy to see a prime example of that right here in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “By coming together to identify and solve issues affecting the safety of Park Drive, members of the community, Prospect Park Alliance, city agencies, and additional partners are helping rebuild our roadways around the people who love to use them.”

Morgan Monaco, the President of Prospect Park Alliance, hailed the  local community members who helped jumpstart the effort through the Participatory Budgeting process.

“We are very appreciative of our elected officials and city agency partners for their support of this safety study, as well as the many members of the community who voted on this study as part of the Participatory Budgeting process,” he said.

City Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue also expressed gratitude to the Alliance and the study’s contributors in an effort to protect park goers.

“Prospect Park hosts visitors of all kinds every day, and we’re excited to work with our partners at the Prospect Park Alliance and NYC DOT on reimagining the Prospect Park Drive. This park is truly Brooklyn’s backyard, and we are dedicated to creating safe and enjoyable shared spaces,” said Donoghue.

To learn more about the study and its results, visit their website online and to learn more about the Alliance, visit their website at https://prospectpark.org. 

For more coverage of Prospect Park, head to BrooklynPaper.com.