Tuesday, February 28, 2012
New York is making choices
A set of proposed changes to the Prospect Park loop in Brooklyn would radically change its current design, reducing the space for cars to a single lane and creating two separate, dedicated lanes: one for pedestrians and one for bicycles.Connect with us on Twitter for breaking news and headlines in New York. The changes came in response to a series of collisions between pedestrians and cyclists, and amid growing rancor over how to balance the interests of the 10 million people who crowd into Prospect Park each year. The debate intensified last fall after a pair of severe accidents left two women with brain injuries. The goal of the Prospect Park Road Sharing Task Force had been to increase safety by making the drive, which is 3.3 miles long, more predictable and easier for pedestrians to cross. Under the proposal, the center lane, which is now used by motorists during morning and evening rush hours and by bicyclists at other times, would be for bicycles all day. The left lane, which is currently divided between pedestrians and bicyclists during the rush hours, would be for pedestrians. By pushing that traffic into one lane, there would be about a six- or seven-second delay. During the evening commute the delay would be about a second, according to models by the Department of Transportation.