Sunday, July 6, 2008

Post chronicles NYC park horrors

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 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.


Benepe also said his department doesn't favor some parts of the city over others, but an analysis of city data tells a vastly different story.

The city spends $10,694 per acre in taxpayer dollars annually to maintain and operate Manhattan parks. The other boroughs fare far worse, with Brooklyn ($10,173) second, followed by Queens ($4,676), The Bronx ($4,198) and Staten Island ($2,104).

But the best parks are usually the ones in elite neighborhoods that supplement their budgets with private dollars raised by well-heeled conservancies or government affiliated entities.


Frank Lloyd Crap said...

Since parks are city property, why isn't the city required to maintain it like any other property owner?

If I kept my yard like that I would be fined for failure to maintain.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Crap:

Is there really a law for "failure to maintain"?

I have a neighbor on my corner who keeps their front and back yards a mess. He's got weeds 5 feet high and broken furniture and bikes strewn around the patio.

I called 311 about about rodents and nothing happened. I called 311 about the mess in the yard. They said it needs to be visible from the sidewalk (which it is, partially). All the neighbors hate these people for being such pigs. And they reciprocate.
Every single house on the block is beautifully maintained except for this one. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Yes, both DOB and sanitation enforce this.

Anonymous said...

Hey....This is news, wow ! sinc when ? Everything metioned has been going on for decades..mos be slow news day...hey clean up the crap yes, but wo Homeless people living in a park...what say , instead of trans fats and gleeming hi rises , the mayor try to help those that need it....and Hookers in a park on Hoe street, thanks.

Queens Crapper said...

It apparently was news to the Parks Commissioner and the papers who have fawned over what a great job the Bloomberg administration has been doing.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor should take a tour of the brush between the LIRR and Junkyard stadium.
Must be 100's of squatters and sick homeless living in boxes, boat hulls below the high weeds between the VQE and 111 street
A Buddy of mine took me up in a chopper to spray mosquitos.
.Its a small 3rd word countryside out there !!

Anonymous said...

Hookers on Hoe St.

Anonymous said...

When you consider that the Parks Department gets less than 1% of the City's budget, but is in charge of maintaining 14% of the City's acreage, and that this administration inherited a generation of previous neglect, I commend the Benepe tenure for working under difficult and cash strapped circumstances.

So easy to criticize from the Peanut Gallery. I'd like to see any of the critics here do as good a job as has been accomplished in the past few years with such little resources. The City used to give Parks 2% of its budget. Now Parks has to do with almost 1/4 of that amount.

Anonymous said...

The City used to give Parks 2% of its budget. Now Parks has to do with almost 1/4 of that amount.

And whose decision was that? The mayor's. This is ultimately a reflection on him.

Anonymous said...

As far as Bloomberg and the tourists are concerned, Central Park appears perfect, therefore the city's parks must all be perfect.

Anonymous said...

"And whose decision was that? The mayor's. This is ultimately a reflection on him."

Actually I'd blame the City Council for this one.

Anonymous said...

Re bad neighbor's yard - also report to Health Dept. Wouldn't surprise me if you also see rats.

I'm Watching said...

Can't they be cited for creating a public nuisance (the parks dept) if not for failure to maintain?

In my nabe, they don't even need the high brush for cover.... They dump boats and construction debris right out in the open during the plain of day. Calls to 311 are made... but nothing ever comes of it.

Bloomie (+Parks + Sanitation + DOB) sure is full of talk... where's the action?