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DOT Starts to Implement Road Sharing Task Force’s Changes on Prospect Park’s Drive

The proposed plan, to help make the drive safer for all users, is underway near the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrances.

The changes proposed for the 3.3-mile drive along Prospect Park, which has been , have come to a small section.

Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation painted new lanes on East Lake Drive in the park, between the Park Circle and the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrances, in accordance with the proposal for the new roadway configuration which was .

The 37-foot wide road is now split into three sections: the left lane (nearest to the center of the park) is 14 feet wide and is two-way pedestrian and child bicycle lane only.

In the middle of the drive is a 10-foot lane for cyclists with two lanes inside, one for regular biking and the other, furthest away from the pedestrian lane, is for racing.

The right-most lane, closest to the outside of the park, is a single lane for cars.

DOT will resume restriping and painting the rest of the park drive in early May and is expected to be completed later that month.  

Although cars will lose a lane on the drive, they still have the same hours in the park—7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the East Drive, and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the West Drive.

However, with one less lane, the Task Force found that under the new plan traffic may be delayed 13.3 seconds during the morning hours and 5.6 seconds during the evening.

Emily Lloyd, Prospect Park Administrator said during the , that the plan was created to reduce the “higher frequency of accidents that occurred last year.”

In 2011, the Task Force counted nine accidents, , left the walkers with for a period of time. So far this year there have been five.

But, the plan, Lloyd said, will help make the drive safer.

“All the signs and lane designations will be consistent and the changes are a great opportunity to increase safety for all users,” Lloyd said at the meeting in the winter. “Predictability is key, if I am a cyclist I want to know that a kid won’t be running across my path, if I am a mother with a kid, I want to know that a biker won’t hit us." 

Jay “Rocket” Ruiz, the president of the Brooklyn Bike Patrol, went for a ride on the newly-painted section this weekend with his son and said it seemed a lot safer than before.

“Now cars are down to one lane, wow, that’s a great start,” Ruiz said, but explaining that he wants to see a car-free park. “It’s safer and better for the kids. Whatever is better for the kids I’m for—there’s more room, wide open lanes and it’s a safer ride than ever.”

Chicken Underwear April 18, 2012 at 11:43 AM
This is much better. http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/beginning-of-better.html
Arthur April 18, 2012 at 05:05 PM
One step closer to a car-free park. Good news all around.

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