Council Member Joseph Borelli (R – South Shore) passed legislation (Intro. 1411-A) at today’s New York City Council stated meeting that will require New York City agencies to provide safe access for both pedestrians and park users that are being dropped off by vehicles by installing sidewalks and pathways at all active-recreation (athletic field, courts, etc.) parks constructed after the passage of the bill.
Intro. 1411-A was derived of the frustration of countless parents and children who, in trying to safely access their local parks for weekend soccer matches, have had to carry equipment and push strollers on Arthur Kill Road because no sidewalks were ever installed to provide safe access from the street. Over the last year, Council Member Borelli’s office has worked with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and other municipal stakeholders to ensure that the issue would be resolved and the solution would be feasible for the city to implement.
“It is unacceptable that someone should have to walk with their child in the street to access their local park in the greatest city in the world. Tackling the lack of sidewalks at public parks has been a priority of mine throughout my years in government; I have heard the concerns of parents and youth alike about the lack of sidewalks along major parks and this bill will ensure that sidewalks are a priority for the city at all future parks. We would never have gotten this far without the support of Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine, for which I am very thankful,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli.
“This is a simple, common-sense solution to what has become a significant public safety problem, particularly on Staten Island. With the city expending hundreds of millions of dollars to decrease traffic fatalities, providing safe pedestrian access for park-goers is a no-brainer,” said Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo.
“Kudos to Councilman Borelli for introducing this bill. One’s experience at a NYC Park begins with access and that access should not be dangerous. Once passed, I hope that the Parks Department revisits some of their more vulnerable locations for sidewalk installation – high volume destinations such as the Owl Hollow Soccer Fields desperately need sidewalks,” said Liz Morano, Director of the OLHC Soccer Club in Staten Island.