Brooklyn city administrators have responded to a series of vehicle, pedestrian and cycling crashes with a new plan to restrict vehicle traffic to a single lane for cars, one for pedestrians and one for cyclists in the Prospect Park Loop.

The plan has not yet been approved but opposition is scant and support is growing.

Prospect Park Loop is little more than 3 miles around the park, and sees more than 10 million visitors every year, making it one of the busiest roads in the country. The Prospect Park Road Sharing Task Force was given the assignment of making the roadway a safer place for everyone.

The changes are slightly complicated, but here they are in a nutshell:
If approved the center lane, now used by motorists during morning and evening rush hours and by bicyclists at other times, would be used only for bicycles all day, excluding all others. (Car traffic is allowed from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the East Drive, and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the West Drive.) The left lane, which is currently divided between pedestrians and bicyclists during the rush hours, would be for pedestrians only. The right lane will then become the only place for cars: individual drivers when the park is open to cars, and parks department and other working vehicles during the off hours.

By making these changes, the city is hoping to protect New York defensive drivers and anyone they share the road with. Restricting traffic to specific lanes is a way of allowing the street to be used by anyone who needs to get around, yet keeps them separated from each other as a matter of public safety.

Safe drivers understand the rules of the road and yield to pedestrians, cyclist and other vehicles as a matter of course. Unfortunately, not everyone you meet on the road is a safe driver, so laws must be adjusted. Hopefully this adjustment will help keep everyone on the Prospect Park Loop safer.

Image: Chaiwat /