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"Gridlock" Sam Schwartz

SE Prospect Park Re-Design Includes Some Restrictions on Cars

lakeside1.jpg
Rendering of the preliminary design for Lakeside Center in Prospect Park.

A new Prospect Park skating rink and recreational facility will come with a smaller parking lot and improved bike access, reports neighborhood blog Hawthorne Street. The plan to re-design the southeast area of Brooklyn's flagship park, unveiled at a public meeting this Monday, will also restrict car access at one entrance, but stops short of doing away with the current rink's parking lot altogether. It remains to be seen whether the re-design will address the hazardous entrance at Parkside and Ocean.

A full report on how streets may be altered, courtesy of Hawthorne Street's Carrie McLaren, comes after the jump.

  • The Ocean/Parkside entrance
    to the park is currently open 24 hours a day to cars, as the access
    point to the (free) Wollman Rink parking lot. Under the proposed
    changes, the entrance will only be open to cars during the morning rush
    hour commute, a total of two hours. Drivers wishing to avail themselves
    of the parking lot will instead enter at Lincoln Road.

  • The parking lot will be moved from its current location to
    nearby Breeze Hill. The new lot has 150 parking spaces. The old lot has
    about 300 spaces in theory, but, according to Thomas, so many of those
    spaces are unusable (due in part to park containers and trucks taking
    up space there) that there will be little-to-no net loss of parking
    spaces.

  • The DOT, working with Sam Schwartz,
    is currently conducting a traffic study to reconfigure the Lincoln
    Road entrance. The plan is to add two bike lanes -- one for entering and
    one for exiting -- alongside pedestrian paths and the new car entrance.
    The bike paths will connect to bike paths on Lincoln Road, which
    (listen up, DOT!) need to be more clearly marked. The Park plans to
    install a traffic light, and is working with the traffic engineers to
    come up with traffic calming methods to reduce the likelihood of
    collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

McLaren also notes that some key concerns have yet to be resolved:

  • The Lincoln Road entrance is right next to a playground.
    What steps will the Park take to insure that increased car traffic
    there doesn't jeopardize the safety, health, and pleasure of kids using
    the playground?

  • Will the DOT execute a comprehensive plan that not only provides safe pathways for cyclists and pedestrians inside the park, but makes it easier to cross Ocean and Parkside to enter the park as well?

  • Will parking spaces be metered to discourage park-and-ride
    commuters and others exploiting the park as their own private parking
    space? (Hope so.) Will the Lincoln Road entrance be open to cars 24
    hours.

Image: Prospect Park Alliance

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