City to turn parking lot into children’s playspace

The Brooklyn Paper
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The city has changed a parking lot into a paradise!

The Department of Transportation has yanked 20 coveted parking spots on a Fourth Street cul-de-sac alongside J.J. Byrne Park along retail-heavy Fifth Avenue to create a car-free zone where kids from MS 51 can play.

Under the plan, Fourth Street is closed to traffic between 7 am and 5 pm, and several designated teacher parking spaces have been relocated to Fifth Avenue. A barrier lets drivers know that the asphalt playground is car-free.

Cars are still able to park along the cul-de-sac on evenings and weekends.

Members of Community Board 6 affirmed support for the city move in a March 9 vote that asked the city to expand the project.

“I always lament the loss of parking, but this is between a school and a park — it just makes sense,” said member Nica Lalli.

But not everyone is singing the city’s praises.

“I don’t think it’s good for the neighborho­od,” said David Ma, who rents apartments and space to businesses like the nearby Stone Park Café. Ma feels it’s already too hard to find viable spots on nearby parking-crunched streets.

“This affects everybody,” he said.

The city’s change on Fourth Street will likely be seen as another blow to motorists, who increasingly complain that roadway space is being taken for cyclists and park users.

Two weeks ago, Councilwoman Gale Brewer (D–Manhattan) called for a ban on cars in Prospect Park, saying, “New Yorkers should be able to go to the park without worrying about motor vehicle traffic.”

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018: Includes more information.
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Reasonable discourse

Franklin from Park Slope says:
Natalie O'Neill strikes again! If she had done some research, she would have found that cars can't park there now, and that only school faculty had been able to park there recently. The motivation for this plan, in part, is that the park next to the street will be undergoing renovations soon, and as a result important park space will be lost. What's more, the plan is not only supported by the Community Board, but by the Business Improvement District as well. You News Corp minor leaguers sure try hard to stir up controversy!
April 19, 2011, 4:43 am
Franklin from Park Slope says:
Cars can't park during the school day I meant.
April 19, 2011, 4:44 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Another sacred park - we have more parks than people and money to take care of them.
April 19, 2011, 8:09 am
D from Crown Hts says:
Another sacred parking space - we have more parking spaces than people and money to take care of them.
April 19, 2011, 8:33 am
tyler from pps says:
Yes, open spaces are most certainly "sacred." This is the borough with the lowest percentage of greenspace. And the crown jewel, Prospect Park, has motorists using it as a speedway twice a day (at the same time the park is its busiest).

This isn't greenspace, but it's a place where children can play safely -- next to a school!

I wish Ms. O'Neill would at least *try* to write a balanced piece with actual reporting. What we have here is CB6, MS 51, DOT, and probably loads of parents in support of pedestrianizing a cul-de-sac... did i mantion, between a SCHOOL and a PARK. But the article reads as the city try to destroy a small businessman's life.

Just because this landlord is out-of-touch with reality doesn't mean this is a negative thing, Ms. O'Neill.

P.S. I'm a motorist -- I don't see this or any of the other initiatives in the city as "taking away" from me. MOST of the city uses their feet and public transportation to get around.... and an amazingly increasing number are using bicycles too. Cars should not always get what they want. It's not appropriate for the city, for our neighbors.
April 19, 2011, 9:15 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
This is the borough with the lowest percentage of greenspace.

That's why they call it a city!
April 19, 2011, 12:21 pm
ty from pps says:
Or from Yellow Hook... I'm trying to figure out what to say to that. What's the opposite retort to "Move to the country if you don't like it here!"

Go live in your post-apocalyptic wasteland if you don't like this talk of greenspace in the urban environment!
April 19, 2011, 2:38 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Ty I bet you love to go swimming and hate to get wet!
April 19, 2011, 3:01 pm
jaqui says:
The vote at CB6 was to EXTEND the current playstreet hours. It's already a play street. C'mon Brooklyn Paper. Do some reporting.
April 19, 2011, 3:49 pm
trans alt from bike nation says:
The best way to get cars out of NYC is to take away parking. Get rid of ALL free on street parking, triple the gas tax yearly, and charge what reflects the damage they do the streets, air, quality of life, etc.
April 19, 2011, 5:48 pm
ty from pps says:
Or... You're an idiot. Seriously. If you think the urban environment is defined by and needs to be a congested, polluted, unrelentingly concrete warren... then you are a special person.

Do you hate parks? Do you see no need for them. Bay Ridge (err... Yellow Hook) would not be more pleasant if it wasn't constantly choked by traffic? You don't see any purpose for the Shore Road Park? Children should stay inside?
April 19, 2011, 7:03 pm
jooltman from Park Slope says:
These kids reserve a little elbow room. Remember, people, they are in Middle School, those awkward years when you need all the help you can get. How nice for them to be able to get from school to the park without worrying about traffic. Who could seriously begrudge them?
April 20, 2011, 8:33 am
Two wheel from South Slope says:
Just double park on Fifth Ave. Clearly that isn't illegal because the 78th precinct does nothing about it
April 20, 2011, 8:59 am
trans alt from bike nation says:
Double park in the bike lane and your car will be keyed.
April 20, 2011, 9:23 am
Doug from Park Slope says:
No worries, "trans alt." The bike lane in front of MS 51 is always blocked by cars.

There's no controversy here - it's a dead end street that's already been closed to cars for quite some time. Only the Brooklyn Paper wants to drum this up into something bigger. The kids of this school will really benefit by having some extra space.
April 20, 2011, 10:29 am
trans alt from bike nation says:
Yes, the kids, teachers and parents will all benefit. How about taking that idea and expanding it citywide, I'd like some of that benefit for everyone.
April 20, 2011, 12:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It's not that some are against new green space, it's just that there are already some parks and playgrounds that already exist and should be rennovated first. The problem is that not all of them are being taken care off and end up being neglected. Just go over to Queens Crap where it's mentioned how much the city spends to create new green space, but ignores what already exists. As good as it would be to have more parks, let's start with the ones that are already there right now, and I mean the ones in the low and middle income neighborhoods, not just the high income ones.
April 21, 2011, 1:05 pm

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