Brooklyn's most prestigious park is giving automobiles the boot for the next two months.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's office announced on Monday that Prospect Park will be entirely car-free for the first time ever through Monday, September 11. Cars were banned from the West Drive of the park in 2015 but were still permitted to operate on the East Drive between Park Circle and Grand Army Plaza from 7 to 9am on weekdays. With Monday's announcement, Brooklyn drivers can kiss that picturesque morning cruise goodbye.
City officials do not expect that banning cars in the park will lead to significant travel delays—a statement from the mayor's office notes that when traffic was cut off on the West Drive, travel times on the primary alternative southbound route increased by less than a minute. The payoff is that joggers, walkers and cyclists will be able to enjoy the roads throughout Prospect Park without worrying about being mowed down by a four-wheeled death machine.
Prospect Park going car-free could serve as a preliminary test for restricting traffic in other major parks across the city, namely Central Park. You shouldn't expect cars to be banned there any time soon, though—we'd settle for getting rid of the horse-drawn carriages.