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City bans cars from Prospect Park’s West Drive

Car quash! Vehicles banned from half of Prospect Park

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Baby you can’t drive your car.

The city is putting the brakes on vehicles in Brooklyn’s Backyard, announcing Thursday that it is banning automobiles from Prospect Park’s West Drive as of next month.

Downtown-bound motorists will still be able drive through the park’s East Drive between 7 and 9 am on weekdays, but its Prospect-Park-side counterpart, which is currently open to Coney-Island-bound traffic between from 5 to 7 pm on weekdays, will soon be a car-free zone. As of July 6, Brooklyn’s cyclists and pedestrians will be able to cruise the West Drive asphalt at any hour of the day, free from the fear that they will end up as road-kill, said Mayor DeBlasio.

“Today, we’re taking a big step to returning our parks to the people,” said the mayor, who has been advocating for fewer cars in the park since his days as a city councilman. “We’re creating safe zones for kids to play in, for bikers, for joggers, for everyone to know that they will be safer and they can enjoy the park in peace.”

Transit honchos say they’re confident the closure will not result in rush-hour traffic jams in surrounding neighborhoods — about 200 cars an hour travel through West Drive when it is open, which nearby streets should be able to absorb with minimal headaches, said Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg,

DeBlasio announced the change in conjunction with a similar plan for Manhattan’s Central Park, a large swathe of greenery in the middle of the island.

Community activists have for years demanded the city ban traffic from New York’s premier parklands. Transit advocates welcomed today’s news, but said they won’t stop fighting until both parks are 100-percent car-free.

“As we celebrate this great milestone today, we also look forward to the day when both parks are completely car-free, and we will continue our advocacy work until that happens,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of anti-car group Transportation Alternatives.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Posted 12:00 am, June 19, 2015
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Reasonable discourse

jay from nyc says:
well currently cars are in the park all the time at hours when they are not supposed to be and in areas where they are not supposed to be. The police never enforce the closed roads, and unless the police enforce the new rules, cars will still be doing things they are not supposed to. I have seen cars driving the wrong way through a closed part of the park literally right in front of police and the police did not do anythi
June 18, 2015, 5:42 pm
Tom from Flatbush says:
This is great news. I'm waiting for the park to be 100% car free.
June 18, 2015, 7:11 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
The ban makes sense but don't fool yourself Polly Trottenberg, the surrounding streets are already horrible due to non enforcement of rush hour no parking.
June 18, 2015, 8:11 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Finally!!!
June 18, 2015, 8:27 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Now, let's remove all those pesky stinky and toxic BBQs (or at least limit them to where they are supposed to be and crack down on those bbqing everywhere they want). We also need a cap on teh volume of music. There was a guy in the park this past weekend who hired a DJ for his bbq and man that was obnoxious.

But yay, the car limit is good!
June 19, 2015, 12:06 pm
Detective Bonnaro from Prospect Heights says:
Ding Ding Ding-- 78th Pct Captain DiGiacomo is either a hairbag or following some other chump's orders by not having his officers more than cursory enforcement in and around PP. I ** have ** seeen picking low hanging fruit at, say, Union St & PP West but until it becomes known that tickets are LIKELY the goddamn nonsense will continue.

Hey Frank, I ** defy ** you to stand at the corner of 3rd Ave & 3rd St for an hour and count the # of red light runners 4-5-6 seconds after its turned.

And how many tickets have you issued there?

Granted, morons at the DOT and Whole Foods are partly to blame for not installing directional signals but that doesn't excuse idiot driver behavior of the 7-8-- a precinct I looked up to as a kid-- doing piss all.
June 19, 2015, 12:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, I wasn't even here this morning considering are the wrong words being used. Nevertheless, I find this ban to be wrong, because it will do more harm than good. Many of the park drives in Central and Prospect Parks are on the edges and hardly take up any major part of them. Closing them will cause surrounding roads to have even more traffic especially during rush hour. Then again, for the anti-car fanatics, they will probably use that new traffic to help promote congestion pricing through the way of Bloomberg, which is addressing a problem after creating it while finding a good scapegoat. Seriously, if de Blasio really does care about safety, then he should be calling for a crackdown on cyclists who ride in those parks as if they are in the Tour de France and tend to ignore anyone or anything that is in their way.
June 19, 2015, 2:13 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
I really hope that was a fake Tal Barzilai too, otherwise... I dunno. It's just sad.
June 19, 2015, 2:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jimmy, I have a feeling that you were the one who made that comment using my name, though it is now deleted.
June 19, 2015, 4:56 pm
other michael from Park Slope says:
First, Holy moly I've been away for over a year and I realized I have missed Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY so much.

Second, I'm a guy who started the petition so you're welcome.
June 19, 2015, 7:02 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
OK, Tal.

Nevertheless, I find this ban to be wrong, because it will do more harm than good. [Based on what evidence do you make this proclamation? It's directly contradicting ACTUAL traffic information vis-a-vis the overwhelming use of the park.]

Many of the park drives in Central and Prospect Parks are on the edges and hardly take up any major part of them. [WHAT? So, then these roads don't matter because they are a tiny tiny tiny percentage of the total roads in the city...]

Closing them will cause surrounding roads to have even more traffic especially during rush hour. [Not 'especially during rush hour' -- ONLY during rush hour. That's when the Prospect Park roads are currently open to traffic... and THAT is the point of closing them. The afternoon rush hour is also when the PARK is heavily used by hundreds and thousands of non-drivers.]

Then again, for the anti-car fanatics, they will probably use that new traffic to help promote congestion pricing through the way of Bloomberg, which is addressing a problem after creating it while finding a good scapegoat. [This is just stupid. I have no response to such stupidity.]

Seriously, if de Blasio really does care about safety, then he should be calling for a crackdown on cyclists who ride in those parks as if they are in the Tour de France and tend to ignore anyone or anything that is in their way. [Have you actually ever spent any time on the park loop roads outside of a car, Tal? No. I know you haven't. You don't have any concept of non-car travel or recreation. You drive from your mom's basement to where you're going. Park in a residential parking spot in NYC, even though you not a resident. And then drive back home to your mom's basement. The rest of us LIVE HERE and use the park for it's intended purpose -- not additional room for highways. Oh, and NO. Your taxes -- state or local Pleasantville taxes -- do NOT pay for the local roads and parks in New York City. So, no, you DON'T get a say. You piece of... ]

And -- thank you Other Michael.
June 19, 2015, 8:02 pm
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
I'm not against this at all, but it doesn't surprise me that he only did this on the side closest to his own house. He's often very focused on whatever issues happen to be closest to him personally - not the city's best interests.
June 20, 2015, 5:32 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
The law of Unintended Consequence s is going to be repealed next, in the land of wishful thinking.
June 20, 2015, 10:16 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Hey Rufus,
When nothing particularly noticeable happens to the morning rush hour and park users begin to feel the amazing benefit of not having cars barreling around in the park.... Will you say something then? Or do you only post obnoxious doomsday whining?
June 20, 2015, 11:37 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
*afternoon rush hour

(At least until they come to their senses and make Prospect Park 100% car free)
June 20, 2015, 1:28 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Keep the cars 0 - i learned to drive there when i was 15
June 21, 2015, 12:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jimmy, you really need to take a chill pill or at least eat a Snickers Bar, because you just aren't yourself when you are crazy and cut the personal attacks. My point is that when traffic starts to increase because of those closures, we will know who is to blame for that. As for what I had to say about Bloomberg creating problems to address them, that was actually true, but fortunately, he was unable to get his, and he did try to purposely create traffic in order to promote congestion pricing. In reality, most of those in the parks actually fear cyclists even more especially when they tend to flout the laws even more, but knowing where you stand, your group will always turn a blind eye to them no matter what and make claims that they are being picked on.
June 22, 2015, 3:23 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Hey Tal --
Sorry. Maybe you didn't hear me. NO. Your taxes -- state or local Pleasantville taxes -- do NOT pay for the local roads and parks in New York City. So, no, you DON'T get a say. You piece of...

Let me know if you need me to say that again. Ok?
June 22, 2015, 11:22 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jimmy, unfortunately for you, that still doesn't give you the right to demand me to be censored on this let alone make personal attacks. Nobody is doing this to you, so cut it out. You had your say on this, so let me have mine. I feel that the reason for your bias against those who drive is because you don't spend a lot of time driving yourself. Maybe if you did, then you will understand why closing those roads is a bad idea. BTW, Keith Wright, an assembly member from Harlem, doesn't like the plan especially for Central Park, because he claims that it will create more traffic in his district, and you can read more in the link below. I wouldn't be surprised if there will be some assembly members from the surrounding districts of Prospect Park saying the same things for their concerns.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/de-blasio-park-plan-create-harlem-traffic-pol-article-1.2266193
June 23, 2015, 3:07 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Hey Tal --
Just because he's an assembly member doesn't mean he isn't as wrong as you always are. Have you ever heard of pandering to voters, Tal?

If you really think Keith Wright is concerned about increased incidents of asthma due to traffic, you would have seen him being a champion of better transit solutions like dedicated bus lanes and the successful traffic flow improvements on 125th etc. Instead, he stood in the way parroting the voices of the TINY minority of his constituents that own a car.

It's called pandering, Tal. Being quoted in an article in the Daily News doesn't make it true. It makes it a quote in an article.
June 24, 2015, 12:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Jimmy, if Keith Wright agreed with you, I know that you will be praising him. You had your say, and Wright had his. I don't see what's wrong with linking an article expressing the opposition. You're more than welcome to link an article supporting your view especially if you have one, and I will have the right to criticize it just like you are doing right now. Try looking at why he opposes the car ban rather than how. Maybe he doesn't see it as something good, and he knows that up north, his district will be heavily affected by this. In reality, you can't make traffic magically disappear, just relocate it somewhere else.
June 24, 2015, 2:42 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
According to the article the West Drive carries 200 cars per hour for the 2 hours it's open from 7-9am. That's 400 people, going up in the morning, and the same 400 people coming back in the afternoon. That's fewer people than can fit in two subway cars, so clearly there's not a huge need for cars to race through the park. The question is, which 400 people is it who have the influence to force the park to remain open to their speeding cars over the objections and safety of the tens of thousands of people who use the park or who responsibly take one of the 3 excellent subway lines that serve areas SE of the park to get to work? If we can answer that question, we will be many steps closer to getting a 100% car-free park.
June 25, 2015, 9:47 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Actually, more of those who use the parks find cyclists to be more of a threat considering that they don't follow the traffic laws, plus there has hardly been any found proof that cars are an actual threat when being in parks unlike bicycles.
June 25, 2015, 4:46 pm
other michael from park slope says:
Tal, it's been a while so i will ask question again. when the last time you've actually been in Prospect Park?

Because your ignorance of reality is profound you just seem to repeat what you read on the Internet about fear. People might be afraid of bikes because the quiet and they get startled. But trust me no one was running a bike wants to hit a pedestrian
June 27, 2015, 11:33 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I actually was in Prospect Park when there was a recent Forgotten NY Tour there not that long ago. Nevertheless, I don't find it that different from Central Park being that they were created around the same time and by the same designers. Honestly, I don't see why certain individuals and groups can't give their views on being against just like how you have the right for expressing your views for it. Unfortunately, you can't call for someone to be censored just because they disagree with you, and I haven't called for anyone who disagrees with me to be censored. The reason why many park goers fear bicycles is mainly because the cyclists tend to flout the laws hence approaching them without warning. At least with cars, you don't get a lot who tend to flout the laws. Currently, a lot of surrounding streets in Manhattan did get a lot relocated traffic thanks to the closing of certain blocks. More importantly, you can never make traffic just magically disappear, just relocate it somewhere else, but that's something you and your friends on that anti-car website known as Streetsblog never seem to understand.
June 27, 2015, 2:50 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
While Tal I'm glad you visited Prospect Park.

But there's so many things you seem to be afraid of that you shouldn't be. First you should be afraid of censorship, nobody here can or will censor you. We can disagree or call you names but we cannot stop you from spewing anything you want out of your mouth.

Second, you shouldn't be so afraid of people riding bicycles. They might be quiet and startle you but believe me no one riding a bicycle wants to hit you. Some cyclists might not follow all the laws but that doesn't make them all bad. But if you really want to see scary hang out in Park slope at an intersection like seventh Avenue and Union Street at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. There you will see motorists causing gridlock and rolling through red lights routinely.

Third, traffic can magically disappear. After time the drivers who have been using Prospect Park as a shortcut will spread out and find lest congested places to commute through. Some of them will choose mass transit.

Finally I'm not even a member of transportation alternatives. I'm not anti-car and I'm agog started the petition they were not.
June 28, 2015, 9:34 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, you seem to be reading a reflection in the mirror, because it's all backwards. First of all, I have nothing against those who want to disagree, it's those that resort to name calling and personal attacks that I'm against, plus it makes me want to question what your actual age is. Nevertheless, I don't hate bicycles either, I just hate the way some tend to act with them such as believing that they are above all. Again, whatever you say about motorists flouting traffic laws, I can easily say the same thing about cyclists, which is like pointing out scandals in both political parties hence neither side are angels, so lay off the halo. Seriously, you can't tell others to follow the rules when you don't, which will make you feel like a parent telling their child that smoking is bad for their health, but then they you see doing it. I bet you, if I did a survey on those in Prospect and Central Parks, many will say that bicycles are more of a threat to them than cars are, but knowing your kind, you will probably try to ignore that. As for traffic, it can never truly disappear, just decline at certain point, but it will never truly be gone completely, and that's a known fact. For the record, I'm not a member of any car lobbying group, I just represent myself especially at certain events involving such issues, so don't try to equate me with someone like Veronica Moss.
June 29, 2015, 2:41 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:. "Seriously, you can't tell others to follow the rules when you don't, "

REALLY?! What rules are you saying I don't follow?
June 30, 2015, 7:19 am
Other Michael from PS says:
Tal, please read this

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150630/upper-west-side/this-nypd-officer-has-handed-out-most-bicycle-summonses-city
June 30, 2015, 8:27 am

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