Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Artificial turf fields falling apart at the seams

From the Daily News:

Maybe artificial turf fields aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Nearly half of the synthetic fields surveyed in a new report are so worn they failed to make the grade - even though city officials have long trumpeted turf over grass for being easier and cheaper to maintain.

"Clearly more maintenance needs to be done," said Cheryl Huber, deputy director of New Yorkers for Parks, which released the study last week.

Of the 40 fields and playgrounds with artificial turf surveyed by the group over the past two summers, 19 were slapped with grades of D or F - mostly for having dangerous holes, loose seams and worn-out plastic blades.

Among the worst spots was Sternberg Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where investigators found problems as far back as 2008 - just three years after the turf was installed, the group said.

"It's all torn up - home plate, the pitcher's mound. The situation's the same all over the field," said Ernesto Noble, 65, a retired school bus driver, who was warming up before a baseball game last week. "They need to send somebody to fix this place."

Nearby, pals Josh Diaz, 20, and Brian Montijo, 20, said the holes and torn seams were dangerous.

"It comes undone, it gets ripped up," said Diaz, as Montijo pointed out a gaping hole to the left of home plate. "I don't play as hard on this."

Wagner Playground in East Harlem - where investigators also spotted loose turf seams, missing or detached turf and worn away blades - failed two years in a row. It, too, was installed in 2005.


Anonymous said...

Eliminate fake turf, develop and create real turf. If not, than Manhattan's Central Park should be on equal footing in terms of costs allocated to parks such as in Queens. Perhaps save money too in Sheeps Meadows by astro-turfing it to save tens of million of $$ into the future. How do think that paln will go over with Manhattan park users? See my point?

Anonymous said...

worst part is the summer heat draws out the chems in the turf into the air. not healthy to breathe. is grass up keep that much? hell we used to groom the fields ourselves sometimes- coach would bring a rake, we'd turn on the water hose if available and water down the infield...

Anonymous said...

No surprise. This stuff doesn't last forever folks-- a few years at best, and then they need major maintenance. Still cheaper than maintaining real grass.

Queens Crapper said...

Not so sure I buy that. There is wear and tear resistant grass. They use it in Europe all the time.

Anonymous said...

There should be at least an 8 year warranty on the turf. Has anyone checked that, and the seams are warranted with it. I can tell by the tufting the kids are pulling back it wasn't a quality turf to begin with. Just a thought ! Good Luck,

Anonymous said...

Still cheaper than maintaining real grass.

Perhaps if you started smoking the real grass instead of using cheap, artificial substitutes......

Anonymous said...

As a consultant who specializes in the design and base construction for synthetic turf systems for athletic venues, I can tell you it all starts with proper specifications. Too often, turf is selected based on brand name, product brochures, and price. Fact is some turf is more suitable for athletic use than others, and the cost for "good stuff" is not much more than for the other. Also, using the correct adhesive and seaming methods, such as double-bagger sewn seams is critical. A lot of experience is required to get it right, but everyone seems to think that anyone can put the stuff in and that is simply not true. Pre-qualifying contractors and manufacturers is vital it ensures that qualified, skilled workmen prepare the installation and provide valuable checks throughout the process.

Anonymous said...

1. The climate here is much more hostile to turf grass than it is in Great Britain and other places in Europe, where the concept of turf lawns started and where turfgrass does not typically need to be watered. It's much cooler there in the summertime and turf grass grows best in cool weather.

2. Real turf cannot be played on continuously no matter how well it is maintained. It needs periods of time to recuperate from stress.

3. Overpopulation and overdevelopment mean that each playing field must be available for use every day by a growing number of users. Real turf will not survive this intensity of use. We let the developer-politicians turn neighborhoods into ant farms. Each resident has increasingly less green space.

4. The purpose of government now is to redistribute wealth from middle and lower class taxpayers to consultants, bankers, developers, vendors and contractors. The method entails spending the most money for the least permanent benefit. Bankers get a biggest cut because all capital construction work is paid for with borrowed money. This system is working very well for the great benefit of the fewest people.

5. See number 4 above for an explanation of why we do not maitain anything properly and let it deteriorate into garbage. Maintained infrastructure does not need to be replaced/rebuilt nearly as often and egregiously robs consultants, bankers, developers, vendors and contractors of their rightful livlihoods.

6. The american public has been successfully brainwashed to despise maintenance workers and view this work as undignified and sub-human. Thus, maintenance workers do not deserve to make a decent living wage, unlike consultants, bankers, developers, vendors and contractors.

7. We drink the political kool-aid that promises that things can be built that do not need to be maintained.

8. We live in a crap city perfectly reflective of a craven populace with no self-respect or dignity.

9. Thank you.