No more cars in Prospect Park — most of the time, anyway.
At a press conference in Prospect Park on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced permanent changes to car traffic in the park.
Prospect Park’s West Drive between Grand Army Plaza and Park Circle, previously open to motor vehicle traffic for two hours during weekday afternoons, will be permanently reserved solely for recreation. Traffic will only be allowed in the park on the East Drive between Park Circle and Grand Army Plaza from 7 to 9 am on weekdays. Cars will continue to be banned on weekends.
The traffic ban on West Drive will take effect on July 6.
The Department of Transportation conducted extensive traffic analyses of the park loop drive and surrounding streets prior to undertaking these improvements. Neither change is projected to impact travel times or congestion in nearby neighborhoods.
“Prospect Park has always been my family’s backyard. Making the loop drives in Central and Prospect Parks permanently car-free for the first time in more than a century will make these great spaces safer, healthier and more accessible to the millions who flock to them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at Bartel-Prichard Square on Thursday morning.
A car-free Prospect Park is something many in the neighborhood have been pushing for. Last month a petition circulated the neighborhood asking that cars be banned from the Park.
Sue Donoghue, President of the Prospect Park Alliance is also supportive of the change. “The Alliance works closely with the community, our agency partners and stakeholders to balance the needs of the diverse users of the Park Drive, and is consistently working to promote a safe environment for the cyclists, runners, walkers and other Park visitors who depend on the Park Drive for recreation and outdoor enjoyment.”
As is Borough President Eric Adams. “We are one step closer to ensuring that parks are for people, and we can be assured that step will be taken across a car-free street. I look forward to riding my bike down West Drive with other Brooklynites enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Prospect Park,” said Adams.