Ocean Parkway, Long Island
Ocean Parkway is a wide boulevard and associated neighborhood located in the west central portion of the borough of Brooklyn, Long Island, New York. It extends for about 6 miles in length, largely around an avenue with the same name.
Running almost north to south from Prospect Park to Coney Island and Brighton Beach, the parkway also runs roughly parallel to Coney Island Avenue, an important commercial avenue that is quite a few blocks to the east. It comprises of a central bidirectional avenue of seven lanes, the middle lane being for left turns or a painted median, two small parallel side streets, and two medians with trees, benches, and pedestrian paths. The west median also has a bike path, part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway.
Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (who were also responsible for Central Park, Prospect Park, and the Eastern Parkway) conceived of a network of wide, tree-lined avenues that would cut across the grid of Brooklyn and link its open spaces in 1866. They drew up a plan together for the parkway, inspired by boulevards in Berlin and Paris such as Avenue de L’Impératrice (now the Avenue Foch). They were intended to provide luxurious green corridors along which citizens could live and drive. In 1868, the land was acquired by the City of Brooklyn. When the Parkway was built between 1874 and 1876, it started at Park Circle, which is now known as Police Officer Robert Machate Circle, at the southern entrance of Prospect Park. The Parkway’s central drive quickly became a famous place for horse racing; jockeys referred to it as the Ocean Parkway Speedway. It took place until 1908 when a ban on open betting took effect. There was major federally funded restoration as well as new noncommercial zoning restrictions happened in the 1970s.
Local residents value the significance of education in this area. With more than ten schools including the Ahi Ezer Yeshiva, the Mikdasa Melech Mechina, the Yeshiva-Mesivta Torah Temimah, the Mirrer Yeshiva High School, the Mirrer Yeshiva K'tana, the Shaare Torah Girls Elementary, the Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, the Yeshiva Sharei Hayosher, the Shearis Academy, the Girls Section of the Yeshiva of Brooklyn and the Masores Bais Yaakov are important Jewish schools of Brooklyn that are situated in Ocean Parkway. The area has also a Jewish Center as well. The Colonel David Marcus Memorial Playground is a major Park in the locality. The Department of Parks and Recreation has a continuous program of maintenance and upgrades in motion to keep this open space in the best possible condition for public use. The Playground adds much value to the quality of life in the neighborhood, though surveys have shown that some play equipment needs to be changed and safety standards improved. Ocean Parkway is mainly a residential neighborhood with several elegant single-family homes, and luxury apartments in tall buildings which prices are very much affordable.