Showing posts with label New York City parks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York City parks. Show all posts

Sunday, August 21, 2022

[Updated] Someone crashed this Hudson River Park golf cart at 5th Street and Avenue A

A buzzy morning on Avenue A as passersby came across this golf cart/maintenance vehicle from the Parks Department up on the curb with two smashed tires at Fifth Street. 

EVG reader Concerned Citizen shared these photos of the vehicle... apparently the victim of a joyride (we don't know that officially, but)...
... which is all the way from Hudson River Park ...
And we whipped up a map to show you where the 4-mile-long Park is (in case you don't know exactly) ...
At the moment, we don't know any of the particulars — the when, the who, or, importantly, the why. 

The NYPD and the Parks Enforcement Patrol were at the scene. 

Updated 12:30 p.m.

Derek Berg spotted the stricken vehicle on First Avenue and Seventh Street at about 11 a.m. heading back to the west side...

Thursday, May 26, 2022

New open space at DEP site debuts on 4th Street near the Bowery

Work is complete on the new open space on Fourth Street between 2 Cooper Square and the Merchant's House Museum.

EVG reader JOY spotted the gates open yesterday... with a few folks inside the long-empty lot ...
According to the Parks Department website, construction is now 100% complete... and the completion date was moved up from October to this month.

As noted in previous posts, since the 1990s, the Department of Environmental Preservation has used this city-owned space to work on shafts connected to the underground network of tunnels that supply NYC's drinking water. 

Several years ago, there were public meetings to gather ideas for "passive recreation space" here between the Bowery and Lafayette. And this is the result of those.

As a few readers have noted, the design couldn't include large trees because the space is above the water-tunnel site ... and the roots would interfere.  

And to be clear, this is still an active DEP site... and, occasionally, city trucks will need to access the space... as the schematic shows...

Monday, May 9, 2022

New outdoor space shapes on 4th Street

Construction is wrapping up at the new open space in the long-vacant lot on Fourth Street between 2 Cooper Square and the Merchant's House Museum...
There are a dozen benches and a water fountain. No sign of any shade just yet.

According to the Parks Department website, construction is 90% complete. Parks still lists October as the opening date.

As noted in previous posts, since the 1990s, the Department of Environmental Preservation has used this city-owned space to work on shafts connected to the underground network of tunnels that supply NYC's drinking water. 

Several years ago, there were public meetings to gather ideas for "passive recreation space" here between the Bowery and Lafayette. And this is the result of those. 

Top photo by Steven; second pic by Goggla.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Work on green space for long-vacant site on 4th Street near the Bowery is underway

Construction is now underway on an open green space in the long-vacant lot on Fourth Street between 2 Cooper Square and the Merchant's House Museum. (Thanks to the EVG reader for the photo!

Since the 1990s, the Department of Environmental Preservation has used this city-owned space to work on shafts connected to the underground network of tunnels that supply NYC's drinking water. 

Several years ago, there were public meetings to gather ideas for some sort of "passive recreation space" here between the Bowery and Lafayette. 

Here's a look at a schematic via the Parks Department website ... (click on the image for a better view) ... as you can see, the space will include benches, synthetic turfgrass and some trees...
This project, which dates back years, was funded by Mayor de Blasio and now-former City Councilmember Rosie Mendez. Per the Parks Department, work here is slated to be complete in October 2022.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Pols call on Parks Department to save local community gardens at risk over new licensing agreement

Local elected officials, led by State Sen. Brad Hoylman and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, are calling on the Parks Department to resolve outstanding issues in the latest proposed GreenThumb licensing agreements.

By one estimate, nearly 100 community gardens on city-owned land are in danger of closing or relocating due to the ongoing dispute over the licensing agreement from the department's GreenThumb program.

In April, community gardeners received a new four-year license agreement that they say substantially changes the relationship they've enjoyed with the city since 1978.

According to the New York City Community Garden Coalition, the 2019 Community Garden License Agreement and GreenThumb Gardeners’ Handbook contain additional requirements that are burdensome for both parties, and "which will hinder the community outreach and engagement that are hallmarks of community gardens in New York City."

There hasn't been any progress made with negotiations, and the Parks Department has told groups that they won't be permitted to continue operating without signing the new licensing agreement.

In the letter to Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver dated Oct. 10 and made public yesterday, elected officials encouraged the Parks Department to return to the negotiating table with community garden leaders and reach a fair deal for gardeners that allows them to continue operating with a neighborhood-led approach.

Per the letter:

"Under the proposed license ... GreenThumb becomes an agent of enforcement rather than a garden-friendly working partner. The 2019 Community Garden License Agreement and GreenThumb Gardeners’ Handbook contains new burdensome requirements that could hinder the community outreach and engagement that is a hallmark of community gardens in New York City."

"City Hall’s attempt to change GreenThumb licensing agreements ... threatens the ongoing operation of our community gardens," Hoylman said in a statement released yesterday. "Commissioner Silver and the Parks Department must revise this licensing agreement so we can preserve these vital community spaces for years to come."

Said Rivera: "It is critical, that as we begin to recognize and address the decades of environmental injustice and racism, our city does not turn its back on the one area of environmental independence our minority communities have grown and fostered — our community gardens."

Aside from Hoylman and Rivera, the elected officials who joined the letter were: U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, U.S. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez, State Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, State Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick, State Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, State Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, State Assembly Member Dan Quart, State Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, City Council Member Margaret Chin, and City Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

Find a copy of the letter at this link.

Officials for the Parks Department have downplayed any garden drama.

"These renewals happen every four years and always have small changes based on experiences from the previous four year cycle — this cycle is no different," Crystal Howard, assistant commissioner for communications at the Parks Department, previously told amNY.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Concern over new GreenThumb regulations for community gardens

Community gardeners to rally at city hall over remaining issues with new license agreement

Monday, July 1, 2019

Comptroller's office: Park bathrooms in the East Village and LES are the worst in the city

[Photo from 2012 in Tompkins Square Park by Bobby Williams]

A report issued by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer's office late last week found that the city's 1,428 park bathrooms are — paraphrasing — pretty shitty for a variety of reasons, especially apparent if you've ever been inside the ones in Tompkins Square Park.

Anyway, let's get right to that report:

[M]any NYC Parks comfort stations have fallen into disrepair, subject to poor maintenance and hazardous conditions. Among the 1,428 NYC Parks bathrooms, nearly 400 sinks, toilets, walls, ceilings, changing tables, and other features were damaged or missing during their latest inspection. Over 50 “hazards” were identified that presented the chance of moderate to debilitating injury. And, in nine Community Districts, more than a quarter of NYC Parks bathrooms were deemed “unacceptable.”


[F]ar too many NYC Parks bathrooms remain in unseemly condition; repelling children, families, seniors, and everyday New Yorkers, rather than providing relief. In total, 100 bathrooms across the City were found to be in “unacceptable” condition during their most recent inspection. This included 15 percent of NYC Parks bathrooms in Manhattan and 12 percent in Brooklyn ...

The report breaks down the city into community districts, and leading the pack with the largest share of “unacceptable” park bathrooms is District 3 — Chinatown/the Lower East Side (including the East Village), where 40 percent of the facilities were found to be unacceptable...

... due to a) multiple features being unsatisfactory, b) one feature having a serious safety hazard, or c) the playground having a failed cleanliness rating.

Stringer's report offers recommendations for fixing these park restrooms.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Parks Department disputed Stringer's findings. Gothamist has the story:

"This administration has invested in the construction and reconstruction of more than 15% of our park comfort stations—27 have been completed, and 76 are active capital projects. Since 2015, we have worked to standardize their design and each facility includes changing tables — in the men’s and women’s restrooms.

"Through our robust PIP inspection program, and park management and staff oversight, we closely monitor the conditions of each of our 690 comfort stations. Our reporting shows that they are open on average 94% of the time (FY16, FY17 and FY18) during the season."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Help plan a park at the DEP shaft site on 4th Street

That long-vacant lot on Fourth Street between 2 Cooper Square and the Merchant's House Museum has always been a bit of a mystery ... seems like prime space just waiting for a, say, hotel!

Since the 1990s, the Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP) has used this city-owned space to work on shafts connected to the underground network of tunnels that supply the city's drinking water.

Now, as promised some years ago, this lot will be turned into a city park — or rather "passive recreation space."

On Monday night, reps from the city will host a meeting to discuss usage for the site...

Per the invite:

Please join us to discuss creating a passive recreation space at the DEP shaft site on East Fourth Street

Monday, Oct. 1:

6:30 p.m. — Meet first to see the DEP shaft site

7 p.m. — Scope meeting at JASA Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at the Bowery

This project was funded by Mayor de Blasio and former Council Member Rosie Mendez, and is supported by Council Member Carlina Rivera.

NYC Parks is starting the design process for this project by holding a scope meeting, in which local residents and stakeholders to learn about the opportunities at the site and provide feedback. With this input, we will develop a design to be presented to Community Board 2 for public review.

The park space here will measure 9,750 square feet. This DNAinfo article from 2016 has more background.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tompkins Square Park and all other city parks closing at noon today

[Tompkins Square Park yesterday]

In anticipation of the Nor'easter heading toward NYC, the Parks Department will be close all city parks from noon today to noon tomorrow.

The official notice is here.

H/T Curbed

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CB3 parks overrun by rats; lack toilets

We've been writing about the threat facing community gardens ... the agreement protecting various gardens from developers expires in September...

The matter will be discussed tonight during the full Community Board 3 meeting...

6:30 pm
IS 131 — 100 Hester St. (between Eldridge and Forsyth streets)

Information about the community gardens portion is in CB3 agenda statement ... meanwhile, few other things caught my eye while reading the agenda:

Parks/Recreation/Cultural Affairs/Landmarks

• Community Board 3, like most districts in the City, does not meet the City Planning Commission's guidelines for per capita open space. The open space/population ratio is approximately 0.7 acres per 1000 people. By comparison, the Governor's Open Space Report recommended 2.5 acres per 1000, and New York City averages 1.5 acres. The open space that we do have is not evenly distributed throughout the district. The area west of Avenue A and the Chinatown area lack adequate open space. Compounding this deficiency is the increased use of existing parks by individuals and groups for organized events from both inside and outside the community. Increasingly, groups from outside of our district are using Community Board 3 parks. While we do not seek to exclude outside groups from our parks, we do feel that priority should be given to local groups. ... The Community Board insists on policies that foster the most open use of facilities by residents of the community while respecting safety concerns. Any agreements between Parks and other entities should be brought to Community Board 3 prior to finalization.

• A few community gardens have been transferred to the Parks Department, but at the same time, the fate of many others is still uncertain. For sites not being transferred to the Parks Department, the City should consider transferring them to local community organizations that can maintain the locations as permanent open community space. Once open space is lost to development, it is very unlikely that it will ever be replaced.

Community Board 3 parks have continued to be overrun with rats year after year. This is aggravated by some specific conditions such as the underground space beneath Peter Cooper Park and the dense grass coverage on the Essex strip at Seward Park. Although the grasses are beautiful visually, they must be replaced so that the park can be better baited and maintained. The Parks Department has only one full time exterminator, which does not allow for adequate baiting. Although many of the Parks staff has been trained to meet the need of more extermination, they do not have the years of experience and expertise that comes with experience. More full time experienced extermination and staff to maintain and clean the parks is necessary to protect the health and public safety of the community. Until it has enough staff to adequately deal with the problem, Parks should work with the Health Department for regular and frequent baiting.

• Parks also needs improved procedures for park event permits. Community groups complain that information and approvals are not communicated in a timely manner. The Community Board has suggested that small, non-recurring events, such as school end-of-year parties and similar events, be handled in an expedited manner. A birthday party for 3-year olds may not necessitate review by Parks.

Toilets in Community Board 3 parks and playgrounds are badly needed. There are several locations of which the Parks Department is already aware, but some of the longest standing needs are the toilets in Luther Gulick Park, Corlears Hook Park, and Sol Lain Parks. The lack of functioning toilets in this park is exacerbated by its proximity to the East River Park amphitheatre. The numerous concerts in the amphitheatre and the continuing overflow of pedestrians through Corlears during concert season suggests that Parks make this a higher priority. Since 2008, Parks has not yet advised CB3 of any progress concerning toilets.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Because "overrun by people who are considered to be sexually promiscuous, junkies and pushers" just didn't have the same ring to it

The Post has this report today:

Drug dens, homeless shantytowns and prostitution are rampant in New York City's parks, a Post investigation found.
Comparing the manicured lawns of Manhattan's Central Park to the barren, rat-infested eyesore of Spring Creek Park in Brooklyn, the disparity is shocking.
While the Bloomberg administration boasts that parks are in better shape than they've been in four decades, an investigation of 70 parks over the last nine months found:
* Clusters of homeless living in tents and small shantytowns in 10 parks, including Riverside Park near 148th Street in Manhattan.
* Hookers brazenly plying their 24-hour trade, including at Printers Park on Hoe Street [EV Grieve note: !] in The Bronx.
* Areas where junkies shoot up and crack dealers set up shop, including at Fort George Playground in Washington Heights.
* An illegal chop shop where stolen vehicles, including a stripped US Defense Dept. sedan, are harvested is thriving in Fresh Creek Nature Preserve in Brooklyn.
* And many barren parks covered in weeds up to 12 feet high that are used as illegal dumps for items like abandoned boats and cars, construction debris, containers of hazardous material, opened steel safes, Vegas-style slot machines - and even a discarded tombstone in Dreier-Offerman Park in Brooklyn.

Interesting, but:

Um, hos?