Eyes on the Street: Prospect Park, Brooklyn

A Streetsblog tipster notices that Prospect Park motorists seem to be unindoctrinated in the ways of the Litterbug:

LitterBug.jpgSince I have been training for this half marathon, I have been doing more running in Prospect Park than bike riding the last few weeks. Each of the last three times I have run in the park I have seen at least one motorist throw trash out their window.

The most egregious was someone going up the back hill about 100 feet in front of me who launched an empty can of Sunkist soda to the curb while driving.

Then Tuesday a woman was waiting at the red light (near 3rd Street exit) and had just finished throwing a Jolly Rancher wrapper out the window. Since I was running right by I slowed and said, "You gotta be kidding?" She said, "What?"

I said, "You just littered."

She said, "Mind your own f***in business."

Once again, I think this anecdote proves the people using our Parks as shortcuts don’t care or respect the Park like the people who use the Park as a Park.

  • da

    Next time throw it back inside the car.

  • someguy

    As much as I’d like to see cars out of the parks, I have to ask – how does the author arrive at the ultimate conclusion? Do people who use our parks as parks not litter? As one who is generally too lazy to bike OR run in the parks, but rather walks through them and does un-Xtreme things like sitting and such, there seems to be plenty of litter in the park from people who don’t drive through. Just thought I’d point that out.

  • I would like to reply to someguy.

    Bikers and runners need long stretches or unbroken pavement to properly train, the only place that exists is on the loop road.

    Also, I run on Prospect Parks Loop road 2 or 3 days a week. There is always junk food wrappers on the side of the road. People who are exercising or recreating in the park are not going to drop their trash on the road, If they are eating junk food they would be doing it on a bench. Why would they bring their trash to the curb?

  • someguy

    I think we are on the same page. My point was just that car drivers are not the only people who litter in the park – non-motorists do as well. However, it seems likely that runners and bikers litter very little because they come to exercise and don’t have junk with them. My only point was that the original author seemed to be making an invalid assumption that “the people using our Parks as shortcuts don’t care or respect the Park like the people who use the Park as a Park” — plenty of recreational park-goers litter, too.

  • ZK

    Majority of trash in the loop is from picnics and weekenders. Some is from overflowing garbage cans and flys out of the cans into the lawns and road.

  • Rich Conroy

    “Mind Your Own Business?” She’s in a public place, so it IS your business. When she dumps garbage inside of her apartment . . . THAT’s none of your business.

    As for various users: no one is immune to the rampant littering in and around New York. Ride your bike along any route popular with cyclists, and you will find all sorts of wrappers from their energy products (power bar, gu gel, etc).

    I recently hosted a visitor from Maine; he was shocked at the amount of litter and broken glass in our parks and greenways. I felt the same way when I moved here from the midwest.
    New Yorkers seem to have a “world is my trashcan” sensibility that is far less pronounced elsewhere. Many people here who believe this is the greatest city in the world don’t give a moment’s thought to trashing it if it’s convenient.

  • The absolute worst is cigarette butts. Try to see how many you can count on the ground in one day sometime. It’s disgusting.

  • Higher fines or better regulation shoul discourage offenders.


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