Prospect Park Drive Use Improvement sign now

As park use increases, it is becoming critical to have signage and markings to make clear to even the first time users how pedestrians, walkers, runners, bladers, and cyclists should share the Park Drive. Friction between users after a recent collision with serious injuries between a cyclist and a pedestrian crossing the drive has brought to light the general lack of understanding of Park Drive rules, in addition to shortcomings in the rules and the lack of education and enforcement. Instead of heeding calls to ban certain users of the Park Drive, we are proposing changes in the rules and additional markings to make the Park Drive more user-friendly and the ways to have peaceful co-existence more apparent.

The following changes are proposed to the Prospect Drive rules and markings to improve safety and understanding for all uses, and to better match the practical common practices:

1. Paint road markings to show the intended use of each lane during the 90\% of the time the drive is closed to cars. Currently the Park Drive is painted for car use hours, so, for example, the "bike" lane is actually not allowed for bike use during 90\% of the park hours.
2. Add many more and permanent signs to show the intended use of each lane. The current signs are temporary and there are only a few and most people don't see them.
3. Change the lane use to match what works in practice: center lane for fast bikes (currently right lane), right lane for slow bikes and roller bladers (currently center), inside lanes for runners and walkers (same). This puts the fastest users further away from all the road edges where a pedestrian could step out unseen. Currently, the right lane is mostly used by pedestrians and kids anyway, so the current intended use for fast cyclists is not possible.
4. Place in-grade yellow flashing lights into the crosswalk lines at the traffic signal crosswalks. Make the lights flash whenever pedestrians have the right of way (light is red). Add a sign at every light that says "Yield to pedestrians when flashing" or "Yield to pedestrians at red signal". Add signs for the crossers saying "Yield to Park Drive Users when Traffic Light is Green". Currently there is no signage to clear up confusion about whether traffic lights should be observed when there is no vehicle traffic. Also, pedestrians are used to judging speed of approach of cars, and tend not to take their right of way in front of an approaching bicycle that is still a long way off at biking speeds. When the pedestrian doesnt enter the crosswalk, the bike has no reason to stop.
5. Rule change: when the park drive is closed to traffic -- walkers, runners, bladers, and cyclists doing laps on the Park Drive must yield to crossing pedestrians at red lights and then may continue. When the light is green, crossing pedestrians must yield to all users on the park drive and then may continue. This removes the unrealistic expectation that all users will wait for the entire light cycle before continuing regardless of traffic. A less burdensome, more realistic rule might mean better compliance.
6. Double the number of crosswalks by adding additional crosswalks without stop lights at high traffic crossing areas between park destinations to encourage controlled crossing between lights. Add signs at every crosswalk that say "Yield to Park Drive Users" (the current law). Currently pedestrians cross any and everywhere, often without looking.

When the Park Drive is closed to cars, the current rules for lane use (which are largely ignored) are intended to make the Park Drive available for walkers, runners, bladers, and cyclists doing laps for aerobic and anaerobic exercise. If everybody understands the rules and knows what to expect and where to expect other users, the incidence of conflict, collision, and injuries will be reduced. If the lanes and crossings were well marked with right of way signs, then ignorance of the rules can't cause problems. If the rules are adjusted to match the practical needs of all users, then the temptation to break the rules will be less and breaking the rules will be harder to get away with.

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Latest Signatures

  • 24 December 2015100. Kathy O
    I support this petition
  • 16 December 201599. Park R
    I support this petition
  • 08 December 201598. Jeanne E
    I'm very worried about the safety of the park drive and paths for my young son. Neighborhood Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
  • 30 November 201597. David B
    I support this petition
  • 23 November 201596. Teresa L
    I would also have speed limit signs. Some cyclist are going way too fast and that can cause a serious accident. Neighborhood Windsor Terrace
  • 19 October 201595. Michelle C
    I support this petition
  • 24 September 201594. Mike F
    By taking such action proactively, the Parks Dept may be able to avoid lawsuits. Neighborhood Prospect Heights
  • 21 August 201593. Cabot P
    I support this petition
  • 19 July 201592. Victoria B
    I am a pedestrian and it's getting harder and more scary to cross Park Drive and enter the park due to the speeding bikes. I support biking, but I don't want to get hurt either. Neighborhood Kensington
  • 16 July 201591. Brandt K
    I support this petition
  • 05 July 201590. Hannah B
    I support this petition
  • 04 July 201589. Lucille D
    I support this petition
  • 30 June 201588. Amanda S
    I support this petition
  • 16 June 201587. Jason E
    Thank you for doing this! Neighborhood Windsor Terrace
  • 15 June 201586. Stephanie L
    I support this petition
  • 18 May 201585. Ann Od
    I support this petition
  • 17 May 201584. Robin M
    I support this petition
  • 13 May 201583. Elizabeth L
    I support this petition
  • 29 April 201582. Josh H
    В Neighborhood Park Slope
  • 20 April 201581. Kyle Rc
    I support this petition
  • 04 April 201580. Catherine B
    I support this petition
  • 04 April 201579. Jonathan G
    I support this petition
  • 22 March 201578. Vania T
    I support this petition
  • 07 March 201577. Meaghan H
    I support this petition
  • 27 February 201576. Tasche B
    I support this petition
  • 11 February 201575. Abigail H
    I support this petition
  • 09 February 201574. Steve L
    I would also add: Close park to all motor vehicles (except for Parks Dept. and emergency vehicles) 100\% of the time. Neighborhood Windsor Terrace

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Information

Javier LambertBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
Prospect Park Alliance

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