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Cops are going to start enforcing traffic regulations for cyclists in Prospect Park, according to Patch: “Summonses will be issued to any biker who is driving the wrong way, speeding, riding outside of the bike lane and or driving in a way that is dangerous to others.” The increased enforcement will start after this weekend, when the NYPD will hand out fliers detailing the rules of the road to cyclists. The move follows recent bike-pedestrian accidents in the park.
Racing Bikers Beware! [Patch]
Pic by Karen Foto

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Today The Times has a story about how the city is trying to make the Prospect Park loop safer following a few recent accidents in which bicyclists have hit pedestrians. Temporary orange traffic barrels have been installed on a stretch of the road in an attempt to make bikers slow down, though it’s unclear whether they’re working: “On Saturday afternoon, some cyclists navigated through them with ease, rarely braking as they rode down the hill and through the intersection. Others appeared confused, weaving into the pedestrian lane rather than continuing through the narrow funnel created by the barrels. One unsteady in-line skater crashed in front of the center row.” Other measures being considered include “stronger law enforcement, new traffic patterns, better signage and an educational campaign.”
Prospect Park Takes Steps to Slow Cyclists [NY Times]
Photo by h-bomb

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The Post reports that a woman hit by a bicyclist in Prospect Park last summer is suing the city for $3 million. The suit alleges that the Parks Dept. and the NYPD are “negligent, careless and reckless” when it comes to enforcing traffic regulations in the park. The woman, Dana Jacks, was hospitalized for 25 days following the accident. Over the summer, Jacks also filed a lawsuit against the bicyclist, who countersued, saying Jacks was “unlawfully outside the crosswalk.” The lawsuit comes as the city examines traffic calming in the park. Yesterday the Daily News reported on a community meeting about the issue in which some said that cars should be banned from the park and others said cyclists are “out of control” and don’t obey traffic lights. Two weeks ago another pedestrian was hit by a cyclist in the park and is still in intensive care.
Woman Hit by Cyclist Sues City for $3M [NY Post]
Bicyclists and Pedestrians Spar at Prospect Park Community Meeting [NY Daily News]
Photo by Ahmed ElHusseiny

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The Prospect Park Alliance recently uploaded a few behind-the-fence shots of how construction is going at Lakeside. Among other things, the big project will result in a couple new skating rinks and involve the relandscaping of 26 acres. The cover for one of the rinks has almost been completely installed, and a lot of work has been done on the new lakeshore wall. Yesterday a press release went out saying that Chase is putting $1.6 million toward the facility being built adjacent to the skating rinks that will include a “Chase Cafe.” The entire project is costing $74 million and is 85 percent funded at this point; it’s supposed to be finished by December 2012 or January 2013.
Lakeside Construction Update [Prospect Park Alliance]

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A blog called Prospect Park Litter Mob is documenting the efforts of a group that meets every couple weeks to clean up trash in the park’s eastern Midwood section, “the last forest in Brooklyn, where some of the trees predate the creation of the park.” Among other things, the blog makes it clear that one man’s condom is another’s trash.
Prospect Park Litter Mob
Photos from Prospect Park Litter Mob.

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In this weekend’s Streetscapes column in the Times, Christopher Gray writes about Prospect Park’s five arches, which he believes “show the sensitive, humanistic possibilities of the city — which its citizens have betrayed.” How’s that? In most cases, because the insides of the structures now sport graffiti. Gray’s choicest words are about Meadowport Arch: “This marvelous, inspiring work, a 100-foot-long Grand Central Terminal waiting room of polished cedar, with rounded benches and a cross-vaulted pavilion, was lovingly recreated in 1988, barely a generation ago. Now, after all that intention, money and effort, Meadowport Arch is a madeleine for New York of the 1960s and 1970s. The graffiti vandals have sprayed their way through the interior, and the city has seen little choice but to paint over four long runs of the casing. Only the topmost ones, out of reach, are intact, almost perfectly so — reminders of the humane sensitivity of the original design. The paint job is slapdash, with drips on the benches, but that only reflects the native tragedy — that we had this beautiful, democratic thing, freely given to all, and yet destroyed it.”
The Fate of Prospect Park’s Five Arches [NY Times]
Photo by wallyg.