The change will be implemented in January 2018. The city made the decision following a car-free summer on the park’s East Drive. According to officials, the car-free hours had great support from the park’s recreational users.
For the mayor, making Prospect Park car-free is also a personal endeavor.
“Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard,” de Blasio said. “I married Chirlane here, this is where my kids played little league.
“And I have always wanted it to be the safe, quiet refuge for Brooklyn’s families that it was intended to be,” the mayor added. “Restoring Prospect Park as a car-free oasis will improve the lives of the millions who use this park today and of generations to come.
During the car-free summer, from July 17 to September 11, the Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated that recreational users outnumbered cars 1,000 to 300 during the morning rush hours. The city then received petitions with more than 1,100 signatures calling for the return of car-free hours for the park.
City officials said preliminary results of the experiment indicated that “no alternative driving route experienced more than a minimal delay,” while most experienced no change in travel times at all.
Officials believe the move can be done “without adverse impact.”
“New Yorkers look to their parks for green space and fresh air,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “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.
“Starting in January, all visitors to Prospect Park will enjoy cleaner air, improved safety and peace and quiet,” he added.