How to use the Central & Prospect Park loops

I went for a run this morning in Prospect Park and was surprised there were no cars on the loop. I guess the pavement, too, celebrates Columbus Day.

Automobiles are allowed in the park for 4 hours each weekday: 7:00-9:00 a.m. northbound and 5:00-7:00 p.m. southbound. Central Park, by contrast, allows vehicles for up to 60 hours a week in certain parts.

That might change. Two members of city council, Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine, just introduced legislation for a 3-month trial to remove cars from Central Park. This comes on the heels of a limited trial in 2013. Prospect Park has yet to be tacked on, but with a number of safe-streets supporters now in the council and the borough president’s office, I’d be surprised if it weren’t.

While we wait to see how that all shakes out, let’s address some confusion that now exists on both loops. Things are much better since the redesign in 2012, but every time I run a lap of Prospect Park, I see people in the wrong places: pedestrians in the car lane, people walking their bikes in the bike lane, skateboarders and rollerbladers in the pedestrian lane. That lack of understanding has caused some notable incidents in our sister park in Manhattan.

I figured I’d use my infamous whiteboard to translate the rules to simpler terms. I leave out some of the technicalities, such as cyclists’ ability to use the car lane to pass, or that most walkers and runners are wearing shoes over their feet. (I did see one guy running completely barefoot this morning.)

Prospect Park loop lanes

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One Response to How to use the Central & Prospect Park loops

  1. Michael Cairl says:

    A nice challenge would be to reduce the whiteboard slightly to some effective signage. Do not leave such a project to NYCDOT.

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