Monday, October 23, 2017


A major announcement has been made about Prospect Park: the entire loop drive (east and west) will be car-free on a permanent basis, starting on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.


From Windsor Terrace Patch: "Prospect Park will soon be car free permanently, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday morning. Private vehicles will not be allowed on any park roads starting Jan. 2, 2018. Other automobiles such as police cars, garbage trucks and Parks Department vehicles will still run through the park."

From Gothamist: "The Department of Transportation says pedestrians and cyclists outnumber morning car traffic 1,000 to just 300."

From Curbed New York: "preliminary results from this summer’s trial showed that drivers experienced minimal delays at worst, and most didn’t see any delay at all." 

Full statement from Prospect Park Alliance

Mayor Announces Car-Free Prospect Park

October 23, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that Prospect Park’s entire loop drive—east and west—will become permanently car-free. The change will be implemented on January 2, 2018, and follows the Park’s first car-free summer. The West Drive of the Park has been off limits to vehicular traffic since June 2015, while the East Drive has been open to cars from 7 am until 9 am, Monday through Friday.

"Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard. I married Chirlane here. This is where my kids played little league. And I have always wanted it to be the safe, quiet refuge for Brooklyn’s families that it was intended to be.  Restoring Prospect Park as a car-free oasis will improve the lives of the millions who use this park today and of generations to come," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

During the car-free summer—from July 17 through September 11, 2017—DOT estimates that recreational Park users outnumbered cars during morning rush hour by 1,000 users to 300 cars. After Labor Day weekend, New York City received petitions with more than 1,100 signatures calling for the return of full-time, car-free hours for the entire Park.

While the analysis of the car-free trial is still being finalized, its preliminary results clearly indicate no alternative driving route experienced more than a minimal delay, with most experiencing no change in travel times whatsoever. Based on that data, officials are now confident a fully car-free park can be implemented without adverse impact.

These results are consistent with those seen after the closure of the West Drive in June 2015, when the most affected alternative southbound route saw an increased travel time of less than a minute, while other afternoon drivers actually saw travel times improve.

After the January car-free hours take effect, DOT expects to closely monitor traffic around the park for changes in traffic patterns, and expects to adjust traffic-signal timing and make other changes as needed.

"Prospect Park Alliance applauds Mayor de Blasio, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver for working to ensure a car-free Prospect Park," said Sue Donoghue, President of the Prospect Park Alliance. "As Brooklyn’s Backyard, it is important to do all we can to ensure the Park is a safe and tranquil destination for the millions of visitors who depend upon it for recreation and relaxation."

At a press conference announcing the news, Mayor de Blasio was introduced by Danayri Sanchez, a student at BASE High School on nearby Washington Avenue, who works with Prospect Park Alliance as a Park Youth Representative, leading tours and workshops, and guiding interpretive play at Lefferts Historic House: "Working at Lefferts Historic House with families from all over the city, I have learned just how important it is to the community to have a safe place to run, play or walk your dog, free from speeding cars, honking horns and nasty exhaust."