Windsor Terrace board still fuming over Park car restrictions

The Brooklyn Paper
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Critics of new restrictions on drivers in Prospect Park mouthed off at city officials on Monday night, lambasting a plan that would make the park safer for cyclists and other park users.

The city last month alienated members of Community Board 7, which covers Windsor Terrace and has historically opposed anti-car policies in Prospect Park, when it decided to shut the Third Street entrance and exit, as well as the 16th Street exit-only portal during the evening rush hour — measures that CB 7 says will compound traffic on Prospect Park Southwest.

The already implemented changes allow southbound cars to exit the park only at Park Circle. Some drivers have opted to not enter the park at Grand Army Plaza at all, critics said, putting them on local roads.

“The bumper-to-bumper traffic was unbelievable [even before the change],” said board member Joan Botti on Monday night. “Now that Third Street is closed, it’s even worse.”

The changes were made to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, Department of Transportation officials said. On Monday, the agency revealed data about traffic volume in the park from 5 to 7 pm that showed marginal effects from the closed gateways.

During a “peak hour,” for example, about 250 vehicles head southbound through the park, entering at Grand Army Plaza. About 50 cars typically exited at Third Street and another 37 departed via 16th Street.

That means that 87 of the 250 drivers would currently be seeking alternate routes, possibly on local streets in Windsor Terrace.

“The volumes are light enough that there’s a minimal impact,” said Ann Marie Doherty, the agency’s director of research of implementation and safety.

But members of the community board countered that Windsor Terrace shouldn’t have to bear the costs of an increasingly car-free Prospect Park, which currently only permits cars on the East Drive for two hours in the morning and on the West Drive during the two-hour evening rush.

“The compromise is down to two hours,” pleaded CB7 Chairman Randy Peers, who accused the Department of Transportation of having “an activist agenda.”

“This is just a chipping away [of cars in the park],” he said.

Updated 5:12 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

joe from greenpoint says:
It would do well for the pro-car folks to familiarize themselves with the last 50 years of traffic engineering knowledge -- traffic is not like water, but is made up of the decisions of the individuals making up that traffic. So just because one or two exits are closed does not mean car drivers will move to another exit. Sure, it may take a few weeks as drivers become aware of the situation and adjust. It's also rather silly that people like Joan Botti use one non-scientific and emotionally-charged observation of traffic after only a few days of the new policy in order to condemn the change.

And Randy Peers, where the hell were you all those years that DOT had "an activist agenda" against humans and for cars? Remember, this "activist agenda" is in response to DECADES of a pro-car "activist agenda" by the City, and Robert Moses specifically, to saturate the city with cars. Now, thankfully, the City is beginning the restore some sanity to our transportation policy. It's time you caught up too.
May 5, 2009, 7:48 am
Gross from Windsor Trerrace says:
CB7 as standard practice is only representing the concerns of members living in traffic insulated areas of Windsor Terrace. Prospect Park is a great bypass to all points South and East, let Kensington and Parkside deal with the traffic, god forbid that someone has to drive through the double parked retired police office vehicles in front of the Bagel shop and Farrel's.

A low traffic pedestrian friendly park is just that.

The agenda of the city is clear and welcome by this CB7 resident. The CB7 agenda is not so clear and clouded by NIMBY residents.
May 5, 2009, 8:49 am
Gary from Park Slope says:
I live on PPW and I think cars bypassed the Park entrance at GAP and went to the Third Street entrance to get a shorter wait at the light at GAP. Now that they can't do that, some will choose to wait a bit longer and enter the park at GAP, some will take Flatbush Ave instead, and some will take PPW and Windsor Terrace. Consequently, I don't think it will make much of a difference for traffic in the neighborhoods, and from my unscientific observation so far, it hasn't. Any slight uptick in traffic is well worth it to simplify and reduce traffic flow in the park.
May 5, 2009, 9:30 am
j mork from p hts says:

250 cars per hour at peak???

You're telling me that PPW and PPSW can't handle another 4 cars a minute?

This is not about traffic jams. This is about taking the park away from recreational users and giving it to a privileged few who want to avoid a few traffic lights.

Bravo to city for closing these entrances!
May 5, 2009, 9:32 am
John M. from Kensington says:
I commute every day by bike. I'm glad cars have to make a now-or-never decision only at Grand Army Plaza -- P.M. car traffic inside the park is now a fraction of what it was. The 3rd Street entrance was always a dangerous merge for everyone.
May 5, 2009, 10:35 am
David G. from crown hts. says:
Another possibility is to actually extend car hours, 3-7, but to limit them to one lane. This will allow several positive changes: local streets will not be affected, bikes will have room, cars will have to be respectful(no more high speed passes/weaving thru lanes), and a micro model for our city streets. Peds, bikes, and cars each with space.
May 5, 2009, 11:58 am
D from Queens says:
This article is pretty alarmist. Give the restrictions a few months, the extra traffic will convince some drivers to kick the habit.

Though I am not fortunate enough to live in as convenient a neighborhood as Windsor Terrace, but if I did I would gladly take the F train (or get over to the D or Q/B).
May 5, 2009, 12:03 pm
j mork from p hts says:
David G --

What about airplanes and helicopters? Don't they deserve a little space in the park? Who cares if it makes it harder to use the park, you know, as a park -- park users are obviously suckers anyway, since they're not driving or flying around in their own personal luxury.
May 5, 2009, 4:03 pm
Gaspare Tommaso from Windsor Terrace says:
Please enter a coorection to the phrase "....lambasting a plan that would make the park safer for cyclists and other park users" It should read. " lambasting a plan that would make the park safer for cyclists and other park users, INCLUDING HOARDES OF CAREENING HOMICIDAL CYCLISTS!
May 13, 2009, 1:43 pm

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