DOT bans cars from Prospect Park for summer

Posted: Updated:
GRAND ARMY PLAZA -

Prospect Park will be car-free starting next Monday.

The East Drive is currently open to traffic during the morning rush, but that will no longer be the case from July 17 until the Monday after Labor Day.

The Department of Transportation announced the closure in partnership with NYC Parks and the Prospect Park Alliance. It says the car-free rule makes for a safer and cleaner park.

Parkgoers in the area say the car shutdown couldn't come soon enough.

"When I go for a bike ride, I won't have to worry whether the park is open to cars," says parkgoer Robert Frumkin. "In rush hour, it totally changes the park. It's not safe."

Frumkin says he is hopeful that this will lead to a permanent car-free park.

Drivers, however, are upset that they now will have to take an alternative route. Some say their commute will increase by about 30 minutes.

The DOT says there was very minimal impact on traffic when it closed the West Drive in Prospect Park to cars two years ago. It also says that summertime sees the least amount of car traffic in the park.

According to the DOT, the park sees about 300 vehicles and over 1,000 joggers, pedestrians and cyclists during the summertime peak hour.

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