Swinging into action! Calls for more sets at Marine Park playground

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They’re pushing swings in more ways than one.

Area parents are demanding the city build more swing sets in Marine Park. The PS 278 playground — part of the neighborhood’s eponymous park on Fillmore Avenue and Madison Place — has six swings for older kids, but that just doesn’t cut it, because the glut of children using the too-few swings after school and on weekends creates chaos for youngsters and parents, a Marine Park mom of three said.

“The kids come and cut the line, and unless you stand there with your kids and secure their spot, they won’t get one — the kids always feel bad, and it causes so much frustration,” said Yonah Benisti Dahan. “There’s a lot of fighting and uncomfortableness with the swings. We’re always joking there will be a new reality show.”

And swings frequently break under heavy use, she said.

“Half the time there’s usually like four functioning, which is completely not enough for the amount of children in the neighborho­od,” she said, though all six were working at the moment.

No parent wants to be a playground bully and force fun-seekers back down to earth, a mother of four said.

“Unless you’re the type of parent who is going to be a policewoman, what are you going to do, kick a kid off?” said Marine Parker Elisheva Teitelbaum. “You don’t want to have to boss someone else’s kids around. You want the kids to be considerate.”

Another mother to four polices her progeny’s time for equity’s sake.

“I give my kids a 10- to 15-minute limit, because I always see there are kids waiting,” said Marine Parker Lisa Sheinhouse. “Some kids are on for more than an hour — there are lines and lines of kids waiting for the swings. There are always kids waiting for them, especially on a nice afternoon, the place will be packed.”

The Parks Department, which maintains the school-adjacent playground, is renovating Marine Park — fixing 15 tennis courts and four handball courts and building new bocce courts and adult fitness equipment, but it is not redoing the playground, said a spokeswoman.

“There is no funding in place at this time for a playground area reconstruc­tion,” she said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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