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Now opening: Prospect Park getting two new entry points along forgotten Flatbush Avenue border

Welcome!: New plaza entrances on Flatbush Avenue will give park lovers new ways to access Prospect Park.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re new ways to take a walk in the park!

Two new entrances to Prospect Park will soon allow patrons to step into a historically neglected stretch of the meadow along Flatbush Avenue.

The $5.6-million project to create the access points between Grand Army Plaza and the meadow’s zoo will also fund cosmetic improvements to areas surrounding the entryways, and ultimately make Brooklyn’s Backyard a more inclusive retreat for all Kings Countians, according to one pol who allocated taxpayer dollars towards the makeover.

“For years, the east side of Prospect Park was second-class to its western half. Visitors from some communities were valued differently than others, and it reflected in the quality of the park experience and the general upkeep,” said Borough President Adams, who with Crown Heights Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, set aside $2.4 million for the scheme. “With the investments we have made, our crown jewel is getting the polish it deserves on every side.”

The pair of Flatbush Avenue entrances are the first portals added to the park since the 1940s, according to a spokeswoman for meadow caretaker the Prospect Park Alliance, who said one will be installed nearer the Prospect Park Zoo, and the other closer to Grand Army Plaza, outside the meadow’s Rose Garden — another patch of the green space the alliance is working to restore.

The entrances will be the first park access points on Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and the zoo since the meadow opened in 1867, according to alliance spokeswoman Deborah Kirschner, who said the metal fence that currently runs along the park border there was installed in the early 1900s.

The Department of Parks and Recreation coughed up the additional $3.2 million from its taxpayer-funded budget for the entryways, which will be attractions in themselves, according to Kirschner, who said the plans for them include creating tiered seating and landscaped plazas that lead to paths inside Brooklyn’s Backyard, including a new running trail going in as part of the renovation.

The proposal also includes installing a traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk across Flatbush Avenue outside the new entrance nearest to Grand Army Plaza, she said.

But before park-goers can pass through the new portals, workers will first restore the stretch of sidewalk they open onto by paving its cracked cement, broadening it from 20- to 30-feet wide, installing new lights, benches, and fencing along the meadow’s border, and replacing unwanted plants with new trees, Kirschner said.

Alliance leaders expect to finish the sidewalk restoration this fall, and the new entrances will open in the spring of 2020, she said.

Elsewhere in Brooklyn’s Backyard, the mayor’s office is allocating $2 million to spruce up roughly 1,200 feet of park pathways and bring new lights and seating to an area near the Vale of Cashmere — where a herd of goats helped workers clear invasive weeds over several months last year — according to Kirschner, who said work on that project should begin this fall.

And alliance leaders recently kicked off a project to construct an outdoor fitness center on the park’s Parade Grounds, which is scheduled to open next spring, according to the meadow’s stewards.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:45 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Justin from Crown Heights says:
Hi Henry Ford is that your real name or are you just a fan of the Nazi carmaker?
April 26, 3:10 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Shut up Henry. The park of Brooklyn are a major part of its quality of life. (Sorry you can't drive through it anymore, so sorry)
April 26, 3:10 pm
Joe from Bed Stuy says:
Sounds good, but I think the main reason that there are no entrances to Prospect Park on Flatbush Ave now is that the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is on the opposite side of the road for the whole length and fenced off. No on lives there. For anyone living to the East of Flatbush Ave, they have to go around the botanical garden to get to the park and there are already closer entrances than the middle of Flatbush Avenue. So I dont think anyone is being "excluded". By the way, Brooklyn is not "falling apart".
April 26, 6:12 pm
Ruby from Crown Heights says:
I'm glad they're FINALLY doing something with this strip. I mean we've only been asking them to fix this side of the park for DECADES. Hopefully it will also be regularly patrolled for safety purposes.
April 27, 7:41 am
Mustache Pete from Windsor Terrace says:
Henry Ford, he daid 71 years.You'd think he would not need so much attention. Maybe he is really Tal Barzillai?
April 27, 9:23 am
DeAndra from Crown Heights says:
IMHO, this is a waste of money. Once these are built you still have to go to either eastern parkway or empire to get out of the area. There are no thru streets on Flatbush from there. It makes sense on the west side because of the thru streets. Such a waste. I didn’t vote for this. Fix the pot holes or build more schools.
April 27, 9:54 am
Rock Quarry from Gentrification Aisle says:
Coincidentally, there’s a slew of white folk moving into the surrounding areas. Neglect, eh?
April 27, 10:31 am
Not Goish from Prospect Heights says:
...whine ... where's the separate bike lane ...whine ...
April 27, 12:59 pm
NN from Boerum Hill says:
This looks like a great project. I'm happy to see the city investing more in improving our parks.
April 28, 8:19 am
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
"Once these are built you still have to go to either eastern parkway or empire to get out of the area." -- Wouldn't B41 bus stops by the new entrances enable people to utilize them easily? Surely not everyone who goes to the park lives in walking distance.
April 28, 1:08 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
I feel sorry for you. You are sick.
April 28, 1:47 pm

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