Here's the story.
And here's the beef, per reader JDB:
"For someone who lives on the East side of Prospect Park, I find this proposal to be outrageous. The Mayor talks often about two New Yorks, this proposal only exacerbates that problem. Already, Prospect Park West is a one way road with a wonderful bike path and plentiful parking. Compare that with Ocean Avenue on the East side of the Park, which is basically a four lane highway in two directions and no bike path. Moreover, there is constant running of red lights on the street due to lax enforcement. Now the Mayor wants to compound that inequity by creating a more peaceful, safer, and environmentally friendly West side of the park without giving any relief to those on the East side of the park. Let's not forget the demographic differences: the West side of the park is predominantly white and wealthy and the East side of the park is predominantly minority and poor. Hopefully, the Mayor will be open to discussions about this proposal and decide to cut car traffic from the entire park so all New Yorkers can equally enjoy the park."
While I happen to be highly in favor of closing the park to all traffic, I think it's a mistake to make this a Tale of Two Cities. The park's drives have been closed in stages. Various entrances and exits have gone the way of the Dodo. And at each new bit of closings, various constituencies have complained. The direction is clear; one day, hopefully very soon, non-City vehicles will be outlawed, except to Park in the Lakeside parking lot. Or with special permits for special events.
But not everyone agrees, certainly not the hundreds of drivers who use the park every day. Believe me, they're there! I negotiate them every morning on my way to work and kid's school near Barclay's. But if this were really a matter of minority or poorer sides of park being neglected, how do you explain Lakeside and the wonderful new amenities on "our" side of the Park? The Drummer's Grove? The Lake itself? The Carousel and Zoo and Leffert's House, all in great shape and super popular? Even the Oriental Pavillion is going to get another sprucing up.
I think what's really going on is a political calculation, since morning traffic on the east side is twice as great as in the evenings. Park Slope, more bike-centric and anti-auto, won't complain too much. Then close it down over here when people start to get used to the no-traffic thing. Trust me, there are some who will put up a fight for the auto! I deal with them all the time over at CB9.
And here's the thing. Now's the time to come out in support of a full closure! Demonstrate! Call the Mayor's office! I'm just not so sure it's the right time to pull out the "poor and black" card, which as we know is becoming less and less accurate all the time anyway.
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.