Transportation

Should Cars Be Banned From Prospect Park?

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It’s been a debate for some time, but with a new petition making the rounds, some neighbors are once again pushing for a total ban on cars in Prospect Park.

Currently, drivers are allowed to access the loop inside the park northbound along East Drive Monday to Friday from 7-9am and then southbound along West Drive Monday to Friday from 5-7pm. It’s a brief allowance during rush hour, but whether the added route alleviates traffic on alternate roads near the park is something petitioners feel is minimal, and would not compare to the health and safety of pedestrians and cyclists who use the park — the petition, which as of this posting has more than 1,000 signatures, voices concern that the cars in the park may, at some point, cause a death.

“Sooner or later someone is going to get killed,” states the petition from Park Slope resident Michael Ring. “A little kid or a senior citizen is going to get mowed down by someone who thinks they’re saving 5 minutes by racing through a park.”

Those who’ve signed already say things that have been brought up in the past, most recently when the lanes on the drive were reconfigured — that a park is no place for cars.

“I want to relax and enjoy nature and the other park goers when I’m in the park, not worry about being hit by a car whose driver’s only goal is to get somewhere faster,” writes petition-supporter Nancy Hoch. “I also don’t want to breath the exhaust when I’m exercising which means I have to avoid the park during ‘car hours.’ They have the rest of the city. Let us have the park!!!!”

Park car bans have been proposed before — City Council members have tried to introduce bills in the past for both Central and Prospect Parks, but those have gone nowhere. Central Park has previously enjoyed a car-free summer, and there was talk of having that summer break again this year, which might also better gauge what effect a year-round ban might have.

Prospect Park, however, has not seen such a break — though Community Board 6, for one, has, in the past, voiced support for such a trial ban. Such a trial might be the best way to see what impact a ban would have on other area streets. One guess, which may have changed since then, was provided when talk of a ban came up in 2009. At that time, the city estimated that about 40 cars per hour would head toward Park Circle, the roundabout at the southwest corner of the park, which they didn’t seem to believe would be an immense impact on traffic.

“These roads are closed for 158 out of 168 hours a week,” the petition states. “Can we just end this confusing and dangerous situation and let our parks be parks and not shortcuts.”

For more information, you can see the petition here, and you can get in touch with Michael Ring, who created the petition, by emailing [email protected].

What do you think — should cars be banned from the park, is that stretch necessary for drivers during rush hour?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
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101 COMMENTS

  1. As someone who has frequently driven through the park during the morning rush hour, I can tell you that the lights are staggered in such a way as to make going fast difficult and I have never observed any cars going much above the 25 m.p.h. speed limit. That said, on those occasions I have been bike riding between 5 and 7 I have been nervous. The bottom line, though, is whether there have been incidents in which pedestrians or bicyclists were injured by cars. Years ago, a doctor was struck and killed while biking, but the jerk who killed her was driving in the park illegally at the time.

  2. Get rid of the cars but the real problem is road bikes going way too fast on the southern part of the loop. I’m saying this as a fellow cyclist and someone who believes the park is for everyone. I’m just dreading the day one of these idiots is racing downhill and careens into a family crossing with a stroller putting an end to all bikes in the park. It’s wonderful you got your carbon Velodrome bike that you want to take for a spin but getting up to 45 mph, or faster, is a danger to everyone.

    Correction: This is a small minority of road bikes who show poor etiquette and bomb the hell out of the southern downhill with no disregard for pedestrians or weave dangerously between slower bikes.

  3. The lights aren’t simply staggered. The pedestrian walk signals are triggered by pedestrians pressing the buttons. I am not generally in the park when cars are allowed on the roads, but cyclists never EVER stop at the light. And then they complain that pedestrians don’t observe the crosswalk.

  4. I agree that people go dangerously fast. I would also like to know, though (and I’m asking the city here, not you) where CAN cyclists practice their craft safely? It might help to give them some spaces of their own.

  5. I don’t think that’s the real problem very very few bikers are ever getting up to 45 miles an hour. Once we get rid of the rush-hour traffic we can work on a plan for the crosswalks

  6. You may think that but you can go stand on that hill right now and observe their behavior. I’m on that hill quite a bit and can assure you they are easily going 40 mph down that hill or faster.

  7. Well, it appears that out of the 8,400+ riders who have timed themselves bombing down that hill, a grand number of 8 riders have broken the 40 mph barrier. Not a single rider has accomplished the task this year.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/4362776?filter=overall

    Now that intersection is a complete cluster f*3k and repainting it without cars would certainly permit safety improvements. You know like color coded lanes to keep things in line. That being said a number of riders do ride through like a complete arse.

    My suggestion is create special hours that cyclists are permitted to use the loop in such a manner, and I do mean very early in the morning. There should be standard speed limit for cyclists on mid day weekdays of 30 mph and an even lower speed of 20 mph on weekend hours, past the early morning window.

  8. Additionally, I revoke your super hero status since calculating the velocity of moving object is critical to duties that are expected of a superhero. What good would be swooping down on your enemy if you grossly miss villain!

  9. I would agree to closing it for all vehicles except for service vehicles using hazard signals and all emergency vehicles responding with both lights and sirens. The area population will continue to increase and the utilization by cars, pedestrians, and cyclists will increase along with it. There will simply be too much contention on the road to remain safe.

    Even though I drive in this town, I have always avoided driving in the park circle as I feel its utterly idiotic. Why they allow it on the first place is beyond me.

  10. Yea, sure. I’ve done that downhill on my carbon fiber road bike, decked out in lycra, and I can’t do more than 35 going all out during a race. Even a drugged out Lance couldn’t do it. It isn’t that long or steep a hill. Do you know how unstable a bike feels at 40? The fastest I’ve ever gone was 45, and that was going downhill on Mt. Haleakala in Maui on a smooth road on one of the few straight sections. That mountain is 7 times taller than the tallest building in NYC. Prospect Park has a bunny hill.

  11. I would say you’re missing the point since the leaderboard shows a number of people flirting with 40mph, but you make good suggestions for how these riders should use the loop. I’m not sure it would matter immediately to people crossing the road if a cyclist plows into them at 30 vs. 40 mph. Also, this is a minority of the cyclists in the park. I’m referring to the guys who are out there with a vengeance with too much bike for that park.

  12. Look at the stats above that Mikos posted. People are clocking themselves going down the southern loop at 35-40 mph. Again, this is a minority of cyclists that I’m concerned about who are riding bikes ill-suited to a multi-use park.

  13. I’m more concerned with those speeding reckless cyclists who don’t obey the traffic lights. At least the cars stop for the lights.

  14. Nope, not missing the point in the least bit. This is the largest sampling of riders in prospect park and this list is largely a majority of carbon straddling fred’s. These characters likely make up the most of the high speed flyers, this considering the popularity of the application among the group. Just look at the top five thousand riders. All carbon, all day. These are your riders who are out there with a vengeance and many of them lap the park more than thirty laps a week.

    But I’m just simply countering that its not 40+ mph, but 30+ mph instead. Obviously a pedestrian isn’t going to be concerned with the exact speed of the strike at the moment of impact, but the rest of us will be as we try to reshape what is and isn’t safe in prospect part. Hence my suggestion of a max speed of 20mph when the park is most congested between 8am-8pm on the weekends. I’m sure there could be various revisions that would improve the plan, but its sound starting point.

    Strava actually sells the data to municipalities in finer detail to allow cities to plan bike infrastructure. Below is a link to the heat map, which is a representation of most frequently used paths by these riders.

    http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#14/-73.96774/40.63899/blue/bike

    Application like this are also part of the problem. You see that list I had shown you? Well, there are many many more. So many people race against this list to obtain the highest possibly position, up until the very top. This is know as KOM or QOM. The ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ of the proverbial mountain. So while many are simply working on their fitness, plenty of others are racing virtual opponents. When in premium subscriber mode, it can even yell at you to go faster to beat your own personal record and I think it does the course record as well. You know there will be plenty o fool who will choose the wrong time to do make a go at it. Remember that woman killed in Central Park last year by a guy riding a TT style bike? Yep, he was one of those fools making a run at 2pm in the afternoon in CP. With CP’s very high tourism during most days, 20mph should be the max at most daytime hours.

  15. You know your stuff, sir! You should definitely be on any panel/committee advising the park on these matter. As a cyclist and pedestrian in the park, I would love to see harmonious relations between the two and avoid anyone getting seriously hurt.

  16. I run in Prospect Park several mornings a week and the cars in the park always freaks me out, but nowhere as much as the cyclists who NEVER stop for the cross walk by Vanderbilt. Omg, get over yourself speed warriors this isn’t the tour de france! I would say 90% of the cyclists in my observation never stops there, which is super dangerous considering it’s right by the lake and a playground, it’s a high pedestrian traffic zone including families and daycare/camp groups of young children. There really needs to be something done about those cyclists who don’t stop for the pedestrian crosswalk lights.

  17. You are correct and that’s what gets me. The cyclists who blow through red lights will be filled with righteous indignation if a pedestrian enters the crosswalk at the wrong time. I’m really tired of that.

    I want cyclists and pedestrians to live together in harmony. It’s my responsibility as a pedestrian to respect cyclists and stay out of the crosswalk when cyclists have right of way, but it has to work the other way, too. When the light’s red, cyclists have to stop so that we can safely cross.

  18. Yes something should be done about the streetlights in the park. Let’s get the cars out and then develop a traffic light system that makes sense for the real park users

  19. Saxo Banks JJ Heado hit a top speed of 72.7 mph in the Giro of Italia. Yes, it was completely and utterly insane and most pro riders feel skittish above 50 mph. This is just a kind of high water mark, but I’m sure you would need the right tools, such as tubular wheels and tires, to keep things safe.

    With just a handful of riders in the park who have broken the 40 mph barrier (a grand total of eight), I’m pretty sure a doped up Lance Armstrong could likely make that magic number. Its also likely he could do if he was clean. If you could believe that he has ever been clean over his last decade of competition.

    Funny thing, the big guys on the hill that have an easier time hitting speed. If they tuck themselves in and add power too the gravity. Then comes the whole turning and stopping issue with all that hunkering mass. Oh well, can’t win’em all.

  20. I would change that to bike riders who are ill-suited to be riding at speed. Hell, there are plenty of riders who are ill-suited at riding on any public road. Yet there they are, darting across the entire roadway. No worries, those are soon to be a hood ornament on a some Chevy.

  21. No, the park should not be closed to cars. This latest effort from the we-don’t-drive-and-cars-are-evil folks, is based not on any data or logic, but on the idea that no one should be allowed to drive in the City. Never mind that the there is a line of cars going through the park’s single lane during rush hour (not much chance for speeding), that the lights are timed for 25mph, that more accidents in the park are caused by cyclists (any talk of banning bikes in the park?), that in the winter (when traffic is the heaviest) or during inclement weather there are precious few bikes and pedestrians in the park, that adding any cars to already congested Parkside and Caton Avenues just increases air pollution where people live – never mind all that, Just ban cars in the park because we don’t like them.

  22. Unless you have a pay check and the potential right to address nut cases as I see fit, I think I’ll pass.

    First, I’m employed in part of various developments, many in the city, as a consultant. Completely on a technical side so not too scummy. Second, you have a number of people (I refer to them as the angriest people on earth) who will not stop until bike riding is illegal in the park. Its not like they are going to allow me to dope these folks sedatives and happy pills. I want to let them have their say, just when their feeling a bit more balanced.

  23. Lets not focus on the number here- the bikers go fast and there are lots of people walking in the park. It’s a dangerous mix.

  24. Really, I drive a lot. The lights are not timed at all. They change when people press the button to cross the road. You should visit the park in the winter it’s full of people.

    And this is an about pedestrians and cyclists using the road. It’s also about people having to cross the road to get to anywhere in the Park.

  25. I’d say more like 25-30 MPH – but it doesn’t really matter because you’ll seriously injure a pedestrian at 20 MPH as well.

  26. Yep, we’ve come to that consensus. At this point, it will take a collision before anything is done, and it will be the banning of or serious limiting of bikes in the park screwing over those like myself who are considerate.

  27. Well they are timed, you can check with NYCDOT if you doubt it. And when someone does change the light to cross the road, the cars stop – the bikes don’t. So for pedestrian safety, if that’s the goal, why are we not talking about banning bikes?

    In winter, the number of bikes and walkers on the road is very, very small. Not none, just small. Very easy for them to stay far away from the one vehicle lane. And it coincides with the period of heavies traffic in the City. So shouldn’t there be a logical decision about how to use the road, instead of an ideological one?

  28. No, it is factually not 15 mph in either Central or Prospect Park. The current speed limit for cars or cyclists on the road is 25mph, as its not considered a shared street. It is considered a shared roadway, which the specific difference is that pedestrian are expected to cross at specified points (we all know that is load of horse dung). If it was a shared street, the speed limit all around for everything would be no higher than 15 mph.

    Now after the death of Jill Tarnov, the city council planned to lower the speed limit in Central Park loop to 20 mph, or might have already done so already. So far, nothing of the like has been applied to PP.

    I believe you have been in error with by misinterpretation of the DOT design code that has Shared Street as 15 mph. This applies to places like Fordham Plaza in the Bronx.

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/nycdot_streetdesignmanual_ch2.pdf

    This is just chapter two! We have completed design studies all over my office here as projects we design do impact street congestion. So my exposure to their work, although not really involved, is greater than the average person in the city.

  29. Have you even been in the park in the winter?

    And every other bike lane in the city like Central Park,Riverside Park, Hudson River Park bikers signaled to yield to pedestrians and everyone gets along fine.

  30. But if you read the posts above, you’ll see the bikes and pedestrians in Prospect Park do not get along fine, not at all. And yes, I’ve been through the park in winter, seeing few bikes or pedestrians. And when it snows, fewer again. Yet you would increase traffic congestion in the nabes around the park during the winter especially, when cars don’t seem to be the problem. Decisions like this should be based on facts, not ideology.

  31. There been many studies and the impact on the neighborhoods was not noticeable. And when you’re in the park you see that the cyclists and the pedestrians get along fine it’s a few cranky old people of the Internet who complained a lot

  32. If “the real problem is road bikes…” then why “Get rid of the cars…?” What actual (not perceived) problems to the cars cause?

  33. Because the bikes aren’t really a problem.No one was riding a bike once did anyone because they can get hurt just as much is the person they hit.

    The problem is is that some people are intimidated by cyclists because they’re silent and sneak up them.

    First we get the cars out and then have an educational campaign to remind pedestrians and cyclists that they’re sharing a public space.

  34. Go and stand beside a crosswalk on any given afternoon and it will take about 15 minutes to see that this is patently false. The cyclists are not always the ones at fault. Sometimes people cross at inappropriate times. But cyclists routinely blow through the red light at a high rate of speed and sometimes come very close to colliding with pedestrians. It is not safe.

  35. The only problem I’ve witnessed the cars causing is taking up the fast lane for bikes which compresses all cyclists into one lane making the south slope more dangerous for pedestrians and slower cyclists. It all depends on whether people want to keep bombing that hill when cars are coming through.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with removing cars entirely from the park, though. That’s just my selfish desire based off no facts whatsoever. 🙂

  36. Why should we expect that bicyclists who do not follow the existing regulations that require them to stop at red lights would follow a vague and unenforceable rule that requires them to “yield” to pedestrians?

  37. I live next to the park. I drove there once and realized immediately I was dumb shit for doing it and never did it again. Only a handful of people drive through Prospect Park. Even in the dead of winter people on bikes outnumber the people driving cars 10 to 1. There is no rational reason to allow using Prospect Park as a short cut. One subway car on one subway train carries more people than drive through the park in a week! The traffic won’t be noticed at all on the surrounding streets. All that removing the cars will do is make the park more pleasant and more safe.

  38. Do you have stats to back up any of your statements? I have impressions, too, that differ greatly from yours. I don’t have stats either, but then, I’m not pushing to ban cars already permitted in the park.

    “The traffic won’t be noticed at all on the surrounding streets.” You live next to the park. Do you speak for everyone who lives next to the park? How about the folks on the buses slowed down due to the diverted traffic. Speak for them?

    Can you explain why having cars in the park is unsafe? Any stats? Accidents? Anything other than your own impressions?

    That’s the problem: If you read all the posts, and numerous other articles about the Park, what comes clear is the conflict between pedestrians and bicycles. Not cars. The push to ban cars is based solely on “I don’t like cars.”

  39. I don’t have access to traffic studies but I do remember the two months were traffic is not allowed to rush through Prospect Park. After hurricane Sandy the park was closed rush hour traffic. Commuter traffic did not suffer, neighborhoods were not ruined..

    Also,The conflict between pedestrians and cyclists exists in the media and on the Internet not in Prospect Park. Go hang out at the third Street entrance to the park on a Wednesday at 6 o’clock and you’ll see why cars don’t belong there

  40. The Third Street entrance is closed. What are you talking about?

    ” Commuter traffic did not suffer, neighborhoods were not ruined..” You know this how?

  41. I had a feeling that you might be someone with some unreasonable ax to grind on this issue, but I wasn’t convinced of it until you said there’s no real conflict between pedestrians and cyclists in Prospect Park. That’s patently false and anyone who’s spent 15 minutes in the park would know it.

  42. .
    I’ve been in the park a lot more than 15 minutes. I’ve been a runner, a cyclist and even driven a truck as part of my job there.. The runners and bikers and kids are all there to enjoy the park. The car drivers are just zooming through as best as they can..

    I have no ax to grind, I just see it differently than you.

  43. I am sorry. I do not mean to offend, but I just don’t think you’re being truthful.

  44. Bikes don’t scare, me cars do.

    And that is based on my experience.. I ran over 30 marathons and I’ve done most of my training in Prospect Park. As Vice President of the Prospect Park track club and staff of NYCRUNS I’ve organized many races in Prospect Park. Those jobs require the use of a bicycle and a truck sometimes. I have also spent hundreds of days in the park attending weddings, birthday parties, chaperoning class trips were just walking down to the zoo. Lately I spent many afternoons in The Park relearning how to walk with my nurse. I also own a car. I am not making this up it’s mostly in my blog http://www.ChickenUnderwear.com.

    Yeah, there are a handful of rude bikers that act like jerks. But I know the last thing they want to do is hit me because they’ll fall down also. I’ve also seen some pedestrians do some pretty stupid things like pushing a stroller right across the road with their headphones on. But it’s a park and most people are there to have a good time and relax. But the rush-hour drivers just zooming from red light to red light don’t really belong there. Rush-hour traffic turns Prospect Park into a dangerous place that no other park users can enjoy.

    So yeah, I have an agenda. I want to be able to go into Prospect Park without the fear of being run over by someone who thinks they’re saving two minutes on their trip to work

    Michael Ring

  45. Cars scaring you should not be a basis for any public policy. No one, at least based on anything I’ve read or heard, no one has offered any concrete reason for banning cars in the Park, other than “i don’t like them.” “They scare me” “They are unsafe.” All without any backup statistics or evidence of any kind to support such statements. Everyone has impressions, but without any data, such impressions should not be a reason for taking an action like this.

  46. Because it is a park. Can you find any statistics that show it is necessary and helpful that rush-hour traffic goes through Prospect Park. I would honestly love to see that.

  47. It is a park, and it contains roadways! Why are the roadways there?
    You say cars in the park are unsafe. Fine. Prove it! If they are not unsafe, there is no reason to ban them.

  48. The loop road was built as part of the park by Frederick Olmsted over 125 years ago. It was put there so that people can enjoy the park from their carriages pulled by horses. In the 1950s Robert Moses expanded it as part of his vision to pave everything so that people could use it as a driving shortcut.

    I don’t have access to the data that proves the road is unsafe for rush-hour traffic but I’d rather not wait for someone to die

  49. This debate has been going on for decades and the bottom line is that ANY policy that exclusively favors one group over another is a poor policy. There are many handicapped people that can not walk or bike through the park and yet wish to enjoy a drive through the park on a spring day. While DOT statistics may not include this population in their figures, nevertheless these people exist, and should have access to the park as well as other drivers who, for whatever reason, also wish to take a drive through the park. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the rush hour shortcut is useful to many and aesthetically pleasing to them as well after a long day of work. It simply boils down to fair access, and bans of any kind are unfair to many. The park should be able to be enjoyed by everyone.The majority of the time the park is car free and the few hours a day that it is not, it’s a fair solution to give some limited access to motorists, however distasteful that is to bicyclists and pedestrians.

    As someone who has both driven, bicycled and walked through the park for many years, I have often thought that the bicycles are much more dangerous to pedestrians than cars. Even the idea of banning cars is absurd when one sees fixie bicycles allowed in city parks. Cars are mandated by law to have brakes and fixie bicycles do not? If pedestrian safety is the goal, then certainly bicycles without brakes pose more of a threat than cars that have them.

    We all have to share the great treasure that is Prospect Park, and fairness in that sharing should be the primary motivation of the DOT and the City’s policy on cars in parks.

  50. Do you really think anyone is driving through the park on a spring day during rush hour to enjoy the scenery? The reason I started this petition is because I am now disabled and can’t enjoy the park during rush hour traffic times.

  51. And you don’t want anyone else to enjoy the park unless they enjoy it in precisely the way you think they should.

  52. Yes, I do. Absolutely. And why can’t you enjoy the park during rush hour traffic times?? what exactly is preventing you from doing so?

    Not liking cars should not be the reason for a discriminatory public policy.

  53. I own a car I don’t like it or dislike it. But you are being ridiculous. People aren’t driving halfway around the park during rush hour because they want to enjoy the scenery. They’re doing it because they think it’s a quicker way to get from point A to point B.

    And I’m glad I don’t have to convince you that rush hour traffic using Prospect Park as a shortcut just the decision-makers. You can start your own petition if you want.

  54. You didn’t answer my question: What is preventing you from enjoying the Park during the time the road is open, specifically?

  55. I personally have driven through the park “just to enjoy the scenery”, including many years ago when it used to be open at times other than rush hours. On summer days it was a delight to drive through after sitting in a hot car in traffic on Flatbush Ave on my way home from work.

    A friend of mine is disabled and uses a motorized wheelchair that has a difficult time making it around the various hills and sidewalks in the park. For them, the best way to see the lake is to drive through the park, which they do on their way to the Ingersoll library. They used to be able to park near the lake and enjoy it close up, but those days are over now as these parking areas are now closed. Re-opening the parking areas adjacent to the lake would go a long
    way to making certain wheelchairs can get inside the interior of the
    park.

    I am sorry that your disability has prevented you from enjoying the park during rush hour traffic times. Rush hours are tough for many disabled people that are trying to get around the city and many are forced to travel outside of rush hour just to even board a bus. I appreciate the crusade that you are on with respect to disability access for yourself, but please be aware that many disabled people NEED to use their cars for access and limiting their already limited world is just not fair. If you are looking to focus on disabled access, then allowing cars in
    the park is one way to make certain that people with disabilities can
    enjoy the park, even if only from the road.

  56. If this petition was successful I would hope it would mean more disabled parking spots would be available with in Prospect Park. I’m trying to stop rush-hour traffic, I don’t want to stop people with disabilities from enjoying the park

  57. Robert Moses’ vision was to pave everything? So that explains all those asphalt swimming pools and asphalt beaches and asphalt ballfields and asphalt playgrounds that were built during his time as Parks Commissioner.

  58. No, I want to stop rush-hour traffic from using the park is a perceived shortcut. This would leave a lot of people with legitimate reasons to still drive in the park.

  59. Who then would have a “legitimate reason” to drive in the park (besides yourself?)? Why would these cars be “safe” and the rush hour cars “unsafe?” And how would this split between “legitimate” and “not legitimate” be enforced?

    I think you’ve run your string – you have no logical reason for banning cars, so you are twisting and turning trying to come up with one.

  60. From your line of questioning I don’t think you’ve ever actually been in Prospect Park in the last 25 years.. I think you’re just one of those Internet trolls that wants to pick a fight. The legitimate reasons to drive on the road have already been worked out and those are the people who are using the road on any given weekend.

    The drivers of these vehicles are safer than rush-hour commuters because there are very few of them. They are there to do things like collect the garbage and mow the lawn or be police. This traffic is safer because of its lower volume and because they’re not just rushing from streetlight to streetlight.

    Commuter traffic is banned for 158 out of 168 hours every week. Can you come up with a logical reason not to Bennett for the other 10 hours of the week?

    But I’m done with you. If you really have something constructive to say you can come to the transportation alternatives meeting.

  61. This is what I don’t understand. During rush hour, a single 12-foot wide lane extending for maybe 1.75 miles along half of the loop road is open to motorized vehicles. The rest of the park’s 526 acres are off limits. The park has miles and miles of paved and unpaved paths that are available for anyone who wants a little more separation from the cars. Plus woods, meadows, etc. I have been in the park on foot or on a bike an average of over 5 days a week for the past 30 years and used it as my primary training site for nine marathons and dozens of other races. During that time I’ve been in the park in a motorized vehicle maybe a half dozen times total. But the idea that allowing cars into a very small area of the park during two brief periods on weekdays makes the park as a whole unenjoyable is something I don’t comprehend since it’s so easy to avoid the cars if one wants to.

  62. I used to run in places so I could avoid the rush hour traffic when I pushed my kids. I’d run back and forth on Center Drive and Wellhouse Drive. And looking back that was kind of silly. But finding a place to run and avoiding rush-hour traffic isn’t even the issue. I know this is a Ditmas Park blog but on the north side of the park it’s almost impossible to cross the road without encountering rush-hour traffic. From 5 to 7 PM rush hour traffic cuts off Park slope and Windsor Terrace from the interior of the Park

  63. I understand….when you don’t have any logical arguements left, then it’s time to personally attack.

  64. Completely agree. I once walked over to a police patrol SUV parked nearby and asked them why they wouldn’t ticket the cyclists flying through the red light. Their response: “If we gave one ticket, we’d have to give dozens.” YES, EXACTLY!

  65. I don’t like cars or bikes in the park, but you’re absolutely correct: the cyclists fly through that particular light as though it’s not even there. If you dare to say something, they’ll give you a most wondrous hand gesture. Also, the more cycling accoutrement they sport (i.e., the more they’re pretending to be Lance Armstrong), the more outlandish their riding habits.

  66. I didn’t say it was 15 mph in Central or Prospect Park. I said that was a standard bike speed limit for shared use trails. Which it is in various places around the country. It’s typically for trails where no cars are permitted, so there’s only one speed limit rather than one for bikes and another for cars.

  67. How about we just allow licensed bus tours on the road then for all who need to see a lake through a vehicle window, and ban the rest.

  68. 1. They co-exist well with the other users of the park (prove that they don’t)
    2. They don’t cause safety problems (prove that they do).
    3. They reduce traffic congestion on nearby streets. (self-explanatory)
    4. They allow folks driving home from work a few minutes of serenity (is that a bad thing?)

    But it’s you and your Transportation Alternatives buddies who are creating the issue, so it seems you guys should be proving your case, other than “I hate cars.”

  69. I think you should start your own petition to expand driving hours in Prospect Park, maybe it should include the transverse roads too.By that logic you could also start a petition to allow people to park on sidewalks so that there were more lanes for you to drive on.

  70. Yes, we could create all kinds of ludicrous petitions and then troll all the neighborhood blogs, yanking people’s chains. I just don’t think most people would find it as amusing as you do.

  71. This isn’t about me. And with all the blah, blah blah, you STILL haven’t made a case for why cars should be banned, other than you don’t like them.

  72. Okay you win. But only because you got me to respond. Because a troll is an anonymous Internet user who tries to elicit a response in an obnoxious or annoying way. I am far from anonymous I am commenting on an article about me.

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