Kate Hinds at Transportation Nation got her hands on an advance copy of DOT’s Prospect Park West radar gun study and cyclist counts [PDF]. The data on traffic speeds confirm the results that Park Slope Neighbors observed this summer: The new configuration — two traffic lanes and a two-way protected bike path instead of three traffic lanes and no bike path — has drastically reduced speeding on PPW. Drivers now travel at average speeds that give them more time to react to pedestrians crossing the street, which will avert injuries and lessen the severity of any crashes that do occur.
Meanwhile, the two-way bike path has opened up Prospect Park West for cycling to many more Brooklynites while cutting down on sidewalk riding. On weekdays, cycling on PPW has tripled:
Before implementation, 46 percent of weekday cyclists on PPW used the sidewalk. Now only four percent do, and about a third of them are kids 12 and under who are allowed to do it.
The cycling increases on the weekend are also dramatic:
So, on many days, close to a thousand people are using PPW in a way that either didn’t feel safe to them previously, or that wasn’t allowed because traffic only flowed southbound. Now it’s easier and safer for them to bike to and from the Greenmarket or the library (Eastern Parkway could really use some progress on its own two-way path to make biking to the botanic garden and the Brooklyn Museum feel safe too).