Update from Sector B meeting May 2023

First, thank you officers for taking the time to listen to the concerns of some of our residents, business owners, landlords and SRPCC long-time volunteers. It was a good meeting and a good start with both of you.

PO Surathud Sumranchuen surathud.sumranchuen@nypd.org

PO  Anthony Oconnell anthony.oconnell@nypd.org

Hoping we can keep each other informed and interconnected on park issues.

Update on park safety:

The Park Manager removed benches on the Forsyth Park side of the park alongside the MTA’s plywood wall from Rivington to Stanton. He removed benches due to a recent uptick in drug dealing and violence in that corridor.

This is the long corridor with no egress that was mentioned to the MTA at their meeting. As soon as possible, we are asking to have the plywood fencing removed (or shortened?) It would mean less likelihood of someone being trapped inside the park in that corridor with no real visibility.

Rivington playground continues to have adults some acting irrationally, some appear fine who may help make the area feel safer, but parents don’t go in because it doesn’t feel safe enough to go into the playground with young children.

Last week:

One of our gardeners (88 years old) was injured when a woman threw shoes directly at his face. One of our gardeners, a young woman, while standing with a few of us outside the M’Finda Garden gate was punched (very) hard in her back by a passing stranger who kept walking.

Other violent crimes resulting in longer term injuries seem to be a problem with drug turf.

We urgently ask that the Parks department reconsider the new playground design which, as we understand it, still intends to have seating for “adults without children” in a section separated only by a low 3′ fence. Despite the fact that those of us who watch this playground (like Bob who sits outside this playground almost daily) have repeatedly asked to have a high fence separating the two areas – with an area for seating for ‘adults without children’ out in the open and a gated entrance with a high fence going north/south for the “adults with children” entryway.

It would reduce the size of the playground a bit but an important trade-off for more safety.

The adult seating wouldn’t need to be fenced, it could be planted and garden-like. We like having the bike food delivery guys, elders and those needing respite sitting here as they make the area safer. And we want safe areas for our homeless people.

In the past, our NCO officers have requested to have signs posted saying “ONLY adults with children may enter the playground section” (with some seating for parents). If we have that signage, the police can remove adults who cannot function well there. If adults can be anywhere in that playground? Divided only by a low fence? Our long experience tells us that we will have adults who are not in command of their minds in there with NO ability for the police to remove them until something goes wrong.

We have a community of adults who just want a safe place to sit and families with children who just want a safe place to play. For the few who are not capable of keeping themselves or others safe – we need more structure to prevent disasters.

Thanks all. Back to our Memorial Day weekend ‘off’.

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