Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that operates Prospect Park in partnership with New York City, released the results of a safety study of the Prospect Park Drive conducted by leading traffic consultancy Sam Schwartz in partnership with NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation.
As a result of the study, a big change is coming to Prospect Park in the next few weeks: The park will pilot a safer reconfiguration of the roadway that circles the park increasing overall space for cyclists and pedestrians.
The changes, which will give pedestrians space on both sides of Park Drive, will be piloted as DOT crews repave the eastern portion of the Drive starting March 12.
Following the 18-month pilot, the redesign will be evaluated for implementation along the full drive.
"Prospect Park became such a popular haven in recent years, and so it was time we took a fresh look at making the wonderful loop drive even safer and more hospitable to pedestrians, joggers and cyclists,” said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
"We thank our partners at the NYC Council for funding this study, as well as NYC Parks and the Prospect Park Alliance for working with us on this exciting new redesign pilot, which, combined with a fresh coat of asphalt, will make running, cycling or walking in the park even more inviting."
The study commenced in Spring 2022 with a research phase. Sam Schwartz consultants analyzed crash data, pedestrian counts, roadway grade, existing crossings and signals, and park-drive-related park user correspondence to determine critical issues.
Recommendations were categorized by design interventions, such as roadway striping, crosswalk visibility and safety improvements and renovations to the park drive to widen usable roadspace; operational interventions, such as signage, signals, usage rules and community outreach and education; and policy.
DOT Repaving and Pilot Project
Along with the study's release, NYC DOT will repave almost two miles of the 3.3-mile loop inside Prospect Park, from Park Circle to Grand Army Plaza. The repaving will address heavily potholed conditions on this portion of the Drive, which has not been repaved in over a decade. The roadway is slated to be milled and repaved starting the night of Sunday, March 12, at Park Circle, a process that is expected to take about five weeks, weather permitting. To minimize disruption for park users, the work will be staged entirely during weeknight overnight hours. NYC DOT crews are scheduled to resurface from 8:00pm-4:00am.
"Creating safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists alike must always be an ongoing, collaborative process, and I’m happy to see a prime example of that right here in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park," said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
"By coming together to identify and solve issues affecting the safety of Park Drive, members of the community, Prospect Park Alliance, city agencies, and additional partners are helping rebuild our roadways around the people who love to use them. I look forward to seeing this study continue to inform improvements to our beloved Prospect Park and am very grateful to all who participated in this effort."
Review the safety study on the Prospect Park Alliance website: prospectpark.org/drive-safety-study.