November/December 1998, p.8

Prospect Park: Dangerous By Design

Read the latest news about this issue.

Kudos to the members of T.A.'s Brooklyn Committee who spent many a chilly October morning in Prospect Park clocking speeding and red light-running motorists for T.A.'s new report "Dangerous by Design." The report documents dangerous conditions on the park drives and serves as more ammunition in T.A.'s fight to free the park from cars. As of late October, the decision to create a car-free park appears to have stalled on the desk of DOT Commissioner, Wilbur Chapman. It is not clear what it will take to persuade Chapman to move on the issue. The overwhelming weight of public opinion in Brooklyn - as expressed in thousands of letters and postcards to the borough president and the presence of hundreds at a hearing on the issue last spring - supports a car-free park. This stand is bolstered by DOT's own traffic analysis, which despite overestimated traffic volumes, makes it very clear that a car-free park will NOT cause significant traffic problems in neighborhoods adjacent to the park. T.A.'s new report will further substantiate the serious danger that cars pose to park users, a reality that should already be obvious given the tragic death last year
of cyclist Rachel Fruchter.

Alas, while common sense and the facts may support a car-free park, as is so often the case in NYC, the issue seems to based more on pure politics and who has the ear of the mayor.

Dangerous by Design - Highlights

From 7 to 8 am on an average morning in Prospect Park:

  • 9 out of 10 cars were speeding
  • A car ran a red light every two minutes
  • 167 cars drove in the bicycle/pedestrian lane