During the first couple weeks of March, a team from Park Slope Neighbors was
out with a radar gun and a video camera, sampling vehicle speeds on Prospect Park West and 8th Avenue,
and also documenting gridlock at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Union Street.
Because Prospect Park West has extra capacity – the three southbound lanes are clearly more than
adequate to handle the traffic volume – cars have room to speed. While the posted speed limit is
30 miles per hour, we clocked a number of cars traveling at 40 mph or above, with the majority of
cars traveling at 35 mph+. And we were recording speeds for less than 10 minutes when we clocked
one car traveling at an incredibly dangerous 65 miles per hour. That was at three o'clock in the
afternoon, with many people taking advantage of the warmest day of the year to visit Prospect Park.
We also checked the speeds of vehicles on 8th Avenue, which, though not as
consistently high as they were on Prospect Park West, occasionally jumped into
the mid-40 MPH range. In addition, we recorded scenes of gridlock and dangerous
blocked crosswalks at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Union Street, on two
occasions, one a weekend and one a weekday morning. The backups at this intersection
occurred during nearly every traffic light cycle on both of our visits.