Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Report: There's opposition to lowering the playground fences in Tompkins Square Park



On Monday night, City Council Member Rosie Mendez and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation held a community meeting on the Tompkins Square Park Avenue B children’s playground renovation.

Mendez has allocated capital funds to renovate the playground on Avenue B between Seventh Street and Eighth Street. Meanwhile, the Parks Department wants to supplement the funding with its Parks Without Borders initiative that would lower the fences from its present height of 7 feet to 4 feet.

There is opposition to the fence-lowering plan.

Allegra Hobbs covered the meeting for DNAinfo. A quick excerpt:

Parents who take their kids to Tompkins Square Park are begging the city Parks Department to abandon a controversial plan to lower the fences around the play area by three feet, claiming the tall barriers provide much-needed security in a park overrun by vagrants, substance abusers, and rowdy college students.

However!

[T]he Parks Department believes lowering the fences would actually make the play areas safer — lowering barriers that block sight lines discourages negative behavior while at the same time making the green space more open and aesthetically pleasing, argued Manhattan Parks Borough Commissioner Bill Castro.

The article included a comment from one parent in favor of lowering the fences. "[O]ne mother with an 18-month-old child said she could could see the alteration creating a more open and healthy environment for kids." She also said that "she would support the fences staying as they are if that were the majority opinion."

Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell Silver will make the final determination on the fence lowering. DNAinfo reports that he expects to make a decision by the spring.

Read the full article here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Community meeting set to discuss lowering the playground fences in Tompkins Square Park (28 comments)

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel like it's a waste of money to lower those fences. You can always use that money elsewhere... and I know it's been said: but how about replacing that tire swing? I loved it as a kid. I know a guy died there.... but if a toy made for children (and is safe for them) kills an adult man.... That's really the guy's fault.

Anonymous said...

What's with the fence lowering ?
An open park plan ? How does that help kids ? Totally Stupid.
Who is behind that waste of money and why ?
Add more lighting instead.

Greg Masters said...

If the quote is accurate, Manhattan Parks Borough Commissioner Bill Castro is mistaken. Please, use the money to upgrade the bathrooms and give Debby the park gardener a bonus.

Giovanni said...

The sightlines are fine, there's even a nice big space between every bar you can easily see through. Plus those playgrounds are usually packed so there are plenty of people watching over those kids. I smell a rat, and I don't mean the ones that live right next to that playground.

Anonymous said...

Use the money to give Wendy a raise. And to contract some crew in hazmat suits to steam clean the public bathrooms once a month.

cmarrtyy said...

I read somewhere that the DeB administration thinks that the bars might be interpreted as prison-like and anti people of color. Who would've thunk it? I guess you could say the same thing about window guards. Who would've thunk that, too?

Anonymous said...

How do the current fences block sight lines? They are see through just like the shorter fences? There is no problem seeing into the playground. But if you lower the fence, it will be really easy for some weirdo to reach in and grab a kid and lift him or her over the fence. And they can't deny there are weirdos and pervs all around the park. Last summer there was an item on this blog about a man who was sitting in the park exposing himself to people.

Anonymous said...

Please leave the fences! yes money is best used for upgrading equipment and bathrooms - or pool area!!

Jose Garcia said...

What Greg Masters said...

....Please, use the money to upgrade the bathrooms and give Debby the park gardener a bonus."

Particularly about giving Debby a bonus. She is an amazing person and works tirelessly year round so the rest of us can enjoy the park. xo

Scuba Diva said...

Greg Masters said:

Please, use the money to upgrade the bathrooms and give Debby the park gardener a bonus.

Absolutely agree! She is one of the hardest-working women I've ever seen!

Unknown said...

What would be the purpose of a fence short enough to easily climb over? It would keep no one out and only toddlers in, and i believe that most of the kids on the playground are older than toddlers.

Anonymous said...

use that money to fix the baseball fields in the East River park so kids can play on decent grounds, similar to the ones in Central park

Anonymous said...

Let me join the chorus of voices asking for bathroom improvements. Why does this park sport bathrooms appropriate for a broken second world hellhole instead of what should be a sparkling facility suitable for family use (at least equaling Washington Square Park's) in one of the most densely populated parks in the city? How does fence lowering get prioritized over this?

More money for the head gardener and the dry ice program for rat elimination too! Huzzah!

Anonymous said...

How about doing a breakfast or lunch program at the fenced in areas for lower economic kids instead? FEED THE CHILDREN.

Anonymous said...

I use that playground and I agree about leaving the fences alone. I prefer to be able to relax for a few minutes knowing my child can't bolt over the fence to chase a dog or something. There are a dozen other ways to improve the park instead like, yes, giving the gardener a raise, cleaning the bathrooms, fixing up the close-to-dangerous workout area on the east side...

Anonymous said...

No one here seems to get how funding works. There is money on the table to lower fences, which we can take or not. We don't get to spend that money on something else instead.

Anonymous said...

No one (you don't know) wants to molest your kids. Stranger assault against kids is about as common as hawk assault.

You should be more worried about creepy Uncle Jeff than the smackhead crusties.

Anonymous said...

"No one here seems to get how funding works. There is money on the table to lower fences, which we can take or not." So because it is there for the taking it should be spent? Go back to the government blackboard and delete the appropriation. Then appropriate the funds responsibly or put them back in the treasury account.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not, I would decline to take part. Going back and reapproptiating is not going to happen.