Statement on Brooklyn Community Board 6 Meeting on Prospect Park West Safety Improvements

Caroline Samponaro
(646) 873-6021
March 11, 2011


Last night at a Brooklyn Community Board 6 meeting, Park Slope residents showed overwhelming support for the safety improvements on Prospect Park West. The community has benefitted from a safer Prospect Park West since June 2010, when pedestrian islands and a parking-protected bike lane were installed. After a nearly four year grassroots campaign, these safety improvements are nearing completion.

At the meeting, members of Transportation Alternatives’ Brooklyn Volunteer Committee counted over 350 supporters of the newly safe Prospect Park West.

According to the Community Board:
- 86 people signed up to speak in support of the safe Prospect Park West
- 11 people signed up to speak against the safe Prospect Park West

At the meeting, the Community Board allowed:
- 25 people to speak in support of the safe Prospect Park West
- 11 people to speak against the safe Prospect Park West

Last night was the most recent example of the overwhelming neighborhood support for the safe Prospect Park West. Since 2006, community groups in Park Slope have petitioned the City to reduce speeding traffic on the once-harrowing road that runs between the Park Slope community and Prospect Park. Local community organization Park Slope Neighbors collected 1,300 signatures requesting a two-way protected bike path and pedestrian islands on Prospect Park West, and a Facebook group in support of “the Prospect Park West bike lane and traffic calming” amassed 1,195 members. On October 21, 2010, 50 opponents protested the safe Prospect Park West, and over 250 residents participated in a rally in support of safety. A December survey conducted by Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steve Levin and Community Board 6 showed that 71 percent of Park Slope residents and 78 percent of Brooklynites support the safe Prospect Park West.

Finally, the neighborhood is approaching what it always wanted: a street calm enough for a child to safely ride a bike, where an older New Yorker can take advantage of shortened crossing distances and safely cross the street and where people of all ages don’t need to fear a constant stream of speeding cars. Prospect Park West is safer street now because of these safety improvements.

The best way to increase safety on local streets is to reduce speeding. Speeding on Prospect Park West has dropped 95 percent since the street improvements were made, according to Park Slope Neighbors. The Department of Transportation’s own speed data supports this finding, as well as a dramatic reduction in crashes and injuries for all users. Sidewalk cycling is also drastically reduced. Meanwhile, travel times for drivers are essentially the same since the pedestrian islands and bike lane were installed.

The Park Slope community asked for traffic safety on Prospect Park West and the City responded by delivering a newly safe street to Prospect Park West, and last night, residents voices their support for it.