March/April 1994, p.12

Prospect Park: T.A. And Elected Officials Call For Extended Car-Free Hours

Irate Brooklynites are wondering why Prospect Park's car-free hours are not being extended to match Central Park's. Central Park is now car-free weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm, year-round except from mid-November through December. Prospect Park's car free "summer hour" season lasts only from mid-April to mid-November. Both Parks ban cars on weekends and holidays.

Although authority to extend the Park's car-free hours rests with the City Department of Transportation, the DOT is responsive to the urgings of the borough presidents and other elected officials. Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden, is waiting for a comprehensive DoT traffic study of Prospect Park, which will not be completed until late 1995. Yet there is little difference in Brooklyn traffic between winter and other seasons, suggesting that the car-free hours that work seven months of the year will work for ten.

Transportation Alternatives, Brooklyn elected officials including; City Councilmember Steve DiBrienza, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and Assemblymember Jim Brennan are demanding an immediate extension of "summer hours. Sadly, some officials need reminding that Prospect Park is a park, not a motorway.

Brooklynites: demand an extension of Prospect Park's "summer hours." 

Write To:
Howard Golden, Brooklyn
Borough President Borough Hall,
Brooklyn, NY 10201

Elliot Sander, Commissioner,
NYC DoT, 40 Worth St, NYC 10013
Henry Stern Commissioner, NYC
Department of Parks, The Arsenal
830 Fifth Ave., NYC 10021

Dear Parks Commissioner Stern (Copy to Tupper Thomas),

I ride my bike in Prospect Park between 6 and 7 days a week and have asked Park Administrator Tupper Thomas about her plans to extend the Park's car-free, "summer" hours to at least the 10 months Central Park now has. Her response to my inquiries is patently ridiculous.

Thomas says that "closing the Park to cars would compromise the security and comfort of Park users." Funny, it feels a whole lot safer to me and my family when cars aren't using the Park as a substitute for the Indianapolis 500, and threatening cyclists and runners.

Prospect Park is for cycling, running, walking, skating, strolling, reading, eating, and generally playing. It's for men, women, and children. It is not a place for cars, speedily going from one end to another as they attempt to avoid traffic along Brooklyn's regular boulevards. You recently said that "the parks are places where people come for pleasure."

Please bring back the "pleasure" to Prospect Park and kick the cars out as your Department has already done in Central Park.

Daniel P. Weiner, Brooklyn

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