Spring 2003, p.14

Parks
T.A. Defends Car-Free Hours!

In April, T.A.'s Brooklyn Committee won better enforcement of car-free hours in Prospect Park.

T.A.'s brooklyn committee staged two 6 am car-free Prospect Park defense actions at the end of April, and earned immediate results for their work. Defenders put their bodies on the park drives' barricades to block motor vehicles from illegally entering Prospect Park before 7 am. The actions came in response to continued complaints that motorists are violating car-free hours in the early morning and that police are doing nothing to stop them. In fact, many of the drivers illegally entering the park are Police and Parks Department employees!

T.A. captured great media coverage for the events-all of the local papers and many local television stations. The 78th Precinct, responsible for policing Prospect Park, called T.A. to say that we had made it more aware of the problem and that its officers would immediately begin conducting greater enforcement of car-free hours in the park. Starting May 1, police presence in the park tripled in size to a regular contingent of about 30 officers, with seven in the park at any given time.

The Prospect Park Administrator, Tupper Thomas, said that she would remind Parks employees that they were not permitted to drive through the park in their private vehicles during car-free hours. Employees are officially required to enter the employee parking lot at the 3rd Street entrance off of Prospect Park West.

Councilmember David Yassky, guest speaker at April's T.A. meeting, urged T.A. to keep on pushing the car-free park issue and reiterated his support for a full three-month car-free trial in Prospect Park during the summer of 2004.

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