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

  • d

    I’m not sure why cars have been able to park for free inside the park for so long. Even a relatively small fee, $4 or $5 for all-day parking, could be used to offset the cost of maintaining the lot and the disproportionate damage cars do to park roadways. It would be as simple as putting a few of those parking meter boxes in the lot, the kind where people pay and then put a receipt on their dashboard.

    Talk about congestion pricing. Of all the places where we should be encouraging fewer cars, Prospect Park would be at or near the top of the list. A small fee might encourage more people to use one of the many subways that can be found at each of the park’s major entrances.

  • Larry Littlefield

    In my case, the skating rink is one of the few short trips I’ve chosen to drive, back when the kids were little and went skating. Skating is generally at night, and that’s when we’d drive.

    The walk across the middle of the park is less than half an hour in the middle of the night, and the bike ride would be less, but it’s not something I was or is comfortable with at a time when no people are there.

    The skating shuttle is in frequent, and not around on weeknights.

    The subway is unworkable. The bus might work if Prospect Park West were two way and the frequent B68 were extended to Grand Army to connect with the frequent B41, but not now.

    If someone would take my advice in put a historic horsecar line in the park, however, that might do the job.

    http://www.r8ny.com/blog/larry_littlefield/a_horsecar_for_prospect_park.html

  • Larry Littlefield

    “The parking lot will be moved from its current location to nearby Breeze Hill.”

    Then again, if people were coming and going on Breeze Hill, perhaps I WOULD feel comfortable walking across the park at night.

  • Rober

    There should be no parking lot at the rink. There is a shuttle bus that picks skaters up from locations all around the park and drops them off at the front door. All other park users manage to park outside the park and walk to their destination.

  • d

    Fair point. You can’t drive to the skating rink in Central Park and you can’t park at the Central Park Boathouse for dinner.

  • Car Free Nation

    Larry,
    We used to drive to the rink when we had a car, but after we got rid of our car, we found that car services and the train are actually very convenient.

    I don’t think a comparison with central park is fair, since the central park rink is more accessible to trains and buses.

  • Felix

    Why is Tupper so timid on this issue? She doesn’t have Iris to fear anymore.

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