September/October 1998, p.6

Prospect Park
City Silent on Two Month Car-Free Trial

At T.A.'s last Prospect Park action in July, Sarah Lefton asks the pivotal question Read the latest news about this issue.

It's been a summer of discontent for T.A.'s car-free Prospect Park campaign. In the four months since hundreds attended the Brooklyn Borough President's hearing, there has been no trial expansion of car-free hours. The failure of city agencies, DOT, Parks, NYPD and the Borough President to increase car-free hours even a small amount is frustrating, and neglects millions of park users. One year after a van - driving illegally in the park - struck and killed Rachel Fruchter, cyclist Nelson Stinson was injured during "car-free hours" by a livery cab using the Wollman rink parking lot as a shortcut to Lincoln Road.

The public is losing patience. The City has not responded to a request from all four City Councilmembers with districts surrounding the park to ban cars from Prospect Park on a two-month trial basis. The proposal has the support of thousands of Brooklynites, traffic engineers, environmental organizations and Community Board 6. The decision over the park's trial closing was on the desk of Deputy Mayor Randy Mastro before his departure and now rumored to rest with novice DOT chief, Wilbur Chapman.

Given the magnitude of interest in a car-free park, citizens have a right to expect an answer from government. As daylight savings time wanes and rids us of even more of our precious few car-free hours, anger grows in Brooklyn.