Prospect Park will be entirely closed to car traffic 24/7 from Monday, July 17th through Monday, September 11th, the Department of Transportation announced today. New signage alerting drivers to the impending change went up this morning.
For first time in decades, Prospect Park will go entirely car-free this summer - making it safer and more fun for thousands of park-goers. pic.twitter.com/XyfI3SzrDV
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 10, 2017
The park's East Drive, from Park Circle to Grand Army Plaza, is currently open to northbound traffic during rush hour, between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. on weekdays. Prospect Park West Drive between Grand Army Plaza and Park Circle closed to car traffic in July 2015.
"We are delighted to announce that Prospect Park for the rest of the summer will be completely car-free for the first time," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement. "Cyclists, joggers and pedestrians, young and old, can rejoice during these next couple warmer months in a safer and quieter park.”
DOT is predicting a "negligible" impact on drivers. After the West Drive closure southbound travel times increased less than a minute, according to city data.
Summer traffic in Prospect Park is also relatively light to begin with. DOT data shows that fewer than 300 drivers use the East Drive during summer rush hour, compared to more than 400 during a typical fall rush. The DOT says roughly 1,000 pedestrians, joggers and cyclists use the park during the same time.
The DOT will collect data this summer to determine impacts on car travel time. The city could not immediately confirm whether this summer's trial might be made permanent.
"We are thrilled to bring even more of Prospect Park to even more of Brooklyn for the next couple months," Mayor de Blasio stated.
— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) July 10, 2017
[Update 1:30 p.m.]: Asked if the closure could be made permanent a DOT spokeswoman said, "We will evaluate and determine next steps based on the results of Prospect Park’s first car-free summer."