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Prospect Park closing to traffic on Monday

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, June 18,

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday, June 18, 2015 that Central Park and Prospect Park will be mostly car free. The mayor made the announcement at the Bartel-Pritchard Square entrance to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. He is flanked by DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, left, dark suit, and at right Sue Donoghue. Prospect Park Administrator and President of the Prospect Park Alliance. Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Prospect Park in Brooklyn will be car-free beginning Monday -- the biggest-ever push there to limit motor vehicle traffic and create a safer environment for pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists, city Department of Transportation officials said.

Cars no longer will be permitted on the park's West Drive, and northbound vehicles may use East Drive only from 7 to 9 a.m. on weekdays, agency spokeswoman Bonny Tsang said Sunday.

Service and emergency vehicles will be allowed into the park as needed, Tsang said.

Leaders of the city's transportation and parks departments and the non-profit Prospect Park Alliance will mark the occasion Monday morning with a kick-off event at Grand Army Plaza.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month that cars, SUVs and motorcycles will largely be banned from Prospect Park and Central Park in Manhattan, which already has closed its loop drive north of 72nd Street.

"We're taking a big step to returning our parks to the people," the mayor said then.

Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said at the same news conference last month that signal timing outside Central Park was to be adjusted to better accommodate traffic that relied on park roads. She said the streets around Prospect Park are expected to easily absorb vehicles that no longer can travel inside the park.

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