Currently, the East Drive of Prospect Park is open to northbound traffic from 7 to 9 a.m. on weekdays. According to Department of Transportation (DOT) data, vehicle volume on the roadway is “consistently lower” during the summer.
Fewer than 300 cars use the East Drive in the morning, while nearly 1,000 pedestrians, joggers and cyclists use it.
“From getting married there to being a Little League parent inside Prospect Park, I can attest that it is a cool, even magical refuge this time of year,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “A safer and quieter park improves the safety and enjoyment for thousands of park users and has a negligible effect on traffic outside the park.”
In 2015, de Blasio announced that the West Drive would be permanently car-free. Since then, DOT has received numerous requests to expand car-free hours throughout all of Prospect Park.
According to DOT, after the West Drive was closed, alternative routes only saw an increased travel time of “less than a minute” and afternoon drivers actually saw improved travel times.
During this summer’s East Drive closure, DOT will collect data to determine its effect on alternative routes during the morning rush hour.
DOT will team up with the Prospect Park Alliance to publicize the change to drivers this week. It will be posted on social media and all boards near the park entrances.
“Completely removing car traffic from Prospect Park turns one of our most historic sites back over to the kids, joggers, ball players, picnickers and amblers who love it,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.