Grand Army Plaza, the main entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, might soon become an entirely car-free space.
Gothamist exclusively reports that New York City's Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering the change while also evaluating whether to connect the area to the Open Streets on Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues.
The proposal shouldn’t come as a surprise—the neighborhood has long been deemed unsafe given the flow of vehicle traffic, poor sidewalk conditions and the constant presence of waste.
"The area is in a state of disrepair—defined by endless traffic, poor sidewalk conditions, broken benches, and overflowing trash cans and litter," reads a letter that Brooklyn City Council members Crystal Hudson and Shahana Hanif wrote last year to DOT commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Our offices have received multiple calls and emails in recent months about injuries resulting from the poor conditions.”
Councilmember Hudson also suggested officials work on synchronizing traffic lights and add more of them at other intersections.
Overall, it seems like Grand Army Plaza will actually undergo some renovations. The DOT is asking community members for specific feedback. It will also host a live workshop at the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket tomorrow from 10am to 1pm and a virtual one on November 16 at 6:30pm right here.
Financially, the agency hopes to be able to use some of the money that mayor Eric Adams pledged to city improvements last year—$904 million that includes $580 million dedicated to capital improvements.
"We want to take it to the next level and not just have it be reliant on people moving barriers at certain times of day, but having these turn into more consistent and better designed public spaces," said DOT deputy commissioner Eric Beaton in an official statement. "I would say at the moment we're not taking anything off the table."