Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

There’s No Good Reason for DOT to Let Cars Back in Prospect Park on Monday

3:31 PM EDT on September 8, 2017

Car traffic exiting Prospect Park’s East Drive at Grand Army Plaza on July 10. Photo: David Meyer

On Monday, morning rush hour traffic is set to return to the eastern leg of the Prospect Park loop, after eight weeks of car-free calm. Since July 17, all of Prospect Park has been continuously off-limits to private car traffic for the longest time in generations. Why not keep it that way?

When DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced the car-free park trial earlier this summer, she said the agency would study traffic impacts before making a decision on whether to make it permanent. Streetsblog has contacted DOT for a status update but has yet to hear back.

Whatever the traffic study may reveal, two things are already clear: Motor traffic through the park had already dwindled to a small number of cars, and there is no vocal opposition to keeping the loop car-free.

No Brooklyn Paper articles bemoaning the supposed negative impact on traffic and highlighting opposition. No petitions calling on DOT and the Parks Department to reverse their decision.

Unlike his predecessor, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams pushed for the car-free trial. Nearly 1,000 people have signed a petition calling on the city to keep the park car-free.

Decades of advocacy have revealed a strong public desire to get cars out of the park. In 2002, and again in 2008, Transportation Alternatives volunteers collected 10,000 signatures in support of a car-free Prospect Park.

In 2015, the city barred traffic from the west side of the park loop at all times, but left the east side as a traffic shortcut during the weekday morning rush, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. By the time the full car-free trial began this July, fewer than 300 motorists per hour were using it, compared to more than 1,000 people biking, walking, and jogging, according to DOT.

Let's keep Prospect Park car-free and start making more headway on removing the threat of traffic from Central Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and other major NYC parks where motor vehicles intrude too much.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Friday’s Headlines: A Congestion Alert Day

Like everyone else, we covered congestion pricing. Plus other news.

December 1, 2023

Adams Says He’ll Ban Parking Near 1,000 Intersections Every Year To Make Corners Safer

The city will daylight 1,000 intersections a year. A Brooklyn corner where a boy was killed in a crash is still waiting for the safety upgrades.

December 1, 2023

Komanoff: IMHO, TMRB is A-OK

Here’s what’s to like about the Traffic Mobility Review Board's central business district toll recommendations. It's a lot!

December 1, 2023

DOT’s New Emissions Rule is a Big Deal, Even if It Doesn’t Punish States for Polluting

No states will face penalties for building needless toxic road projects — but they also won't be able to hide those impacts from the public.

December 1, 2023

Cops Search for Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed 3-Year-Old in Queens

The merciless motorist killed 3-year-old Quintas Chen in downtown Flushing, Queens on Wednesday night.

November 30, 2023
See all posts