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Car-Free Parks

“There’s Nothing Legal About the Cars in Prospect Park”

12:24 PM EDT on August 1, 2008

speed_gun_prospect_park.jpgAugust is here, and while New Yorkers are enduring another summer of rush-hour traffic whipping through the city's flagship parks, some excellent advocacy is bolstering the case for going car-free. Look at the work being done by the Prospect Park Youth Advocates, high school students who are spending their summer vacations gathering data and putting together petitions. Here's youth advocate Michael Cheng describing a recent foray to the Prospect Park loop drive:

One person used our handy-dandy radar gunto clock the cars speeds, while a second person recorded the speeds,and a third person held up a sign a few feet away from the radar thatread "You Are Speeding," while the fourth person stood on cyclist andpedestrian side of the Loop Drive to attract support from the joggersand bikers experiencing the wrath of cars invading their road space.

And here's what they found:

We surveyed over 570 automobiles and found that on the Loop Drive 9 outof 10 drivers were speeding! 90% of people who drive their cars throughProspect Park exceed the posted 25mph limit. We even clocked a schoolbus driving 42mph and some drivers going as fast as 50mph. How unsafeis that!

Unsafe, unlawful, and completely unnecessary. After the jump, some more choice observations from Michael.

It was interesting to notice how a majority of the drivers(including police cars. yes, police cars) failed to follow the 25 mphspeed limit in the park. It is also notable that many cars did not slowdown after reading our sign, but did slow down when cop cars werenearby.

However, some cars did decelerate when they realized that a speedgun was pointed at them. So the general driver's mentality was to obeythe laws only when they might get caught, which is understandable, butunacceptable. Concerns about safety would vanish once the cars aregone, and we will try our best to make that happen.

Photo: Prospect Park Youth Advocates

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