May 1, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
Children in Jackson Heights have a limited number of playgrounds, according to a new report released Saturday.
Currently, there are just four playgrounds for every 10,000 children in Jackson Heights and North Corona, according to a report titled the State of Play: A New Model for NYC Playgrounds released by City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Office.
Community District 3, which includes Jackson Heights and North Corona, is ranked fifth from the bottom out of New York’s 59 districts.
There is only one community district in Queens that fares worse–Community District 9, which covers Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens and Woodhaven. That district ranked third from the bottom in New York, with just three playgrounds per 10,000 children.
The report shows that Queens currently has nine playgrounds for every 10,000 children under the age of 10. By comparison, Manhattan has 15 playgrounds for every 10,000 children under the age of 10, Staten Island 11, the Bronx 10 and Brooklyn eight.
The report also notes that the number of playgrounds has not increased with the growing population of children. For instance, the number of children under 10 years of age in Community District 3 has increased 7 percent from 2010 to 2017.
Stringer, in the report, says the shortgage of playground space can be attributed to the City “ failing to anticipate, prepare, and respond to shifting demographics.”
Many of the playgrounds in Community District 3 are in poor condition, with the report noting that more than 25 percent of them are in an “unacceptable” state. A playground is deemed to be in an unacceptable state if had multiple problems– such as having serious safety issues or failing to be clean.
Out of New York City’s 2,067 public playgrounds, 521 had a “hazardous feature” that requires immediate attention.
The solution, according to Stringer’s report, is to call on city agencies to join forces and build 200 playgrounds throughout the boroughs over the next five years.
“Playgrounds are essential public spaces, offering children a place to socialize, learn, be active, and exercise their imaginations,” Stringer said. “That’s why our City needs to overhaul the planning, construction, and maintenance of our playground system.”
Stringer’s report puts forward some ideas the city could adopt to increase the number of playgrounds. It includes a “Pavement to Playground” program, which would involve building playgrounds on dead end streets–or streets with minimal traffic–mid block.
The report also suggests expanding the Schoolyards to Playgrounds program—which is a partnership between NYC Parks, the School Construction Authority and other city agencies–that transforms unused schoolyards into playgrounds accessible to students as well as the public after school hours.
Stringer says the city could produce 100 playgrounds in the next five years through this program.
The Parks Department said that it is trying to address the shortage of playgrounds in the city. It notes that Mayor Bill de Blasio has put $318 million toward the Community Parks Initiative, a program that is funding the upgrade of 67 city parks/playgrounds in primarily lower income areas.
“By investing in playgrounds, we are investing in the future of our children. This administration is reconstructing 10 playgrounds in Queens that haven’t seen repairs in more than two decades—part of the Mayor’s robust playground reconstruction program, the Community Parks Initiative,” a NYC Parks spokesperson said in a statement.
When the Mayor gets through, you won’t allow your kids to use a playground. He plans to free thousands of Rikers criminals. He’s also building a 27 foot jail in a Queens neighborhood and will cram in other Rikers Criminals, after he shuts down Rikers. Melinda Katz supports this.
Please tell me where the empty bike lanes are! I use them almost daily and am tired of the traffic.
I agree get doored all the time and so many double parked cars.
People that double park habitually should be sterilized…
no excuse for it if you are noncommercial auto traffic, it puts unnecessary risk into the chaos
That’s because illegul aliens are taking all the playgrounds for MS14 meetings
* illegal aliens
I say it’s an entrapment. You build more playgrounds and then the disadvantaged youth of color will come in to smoke pot there and become subject to draconian measures such as arrest.
Hey Baby Boomer here is some news for you lots of adults smoke the devil’s lettuce and they do it in the privacy of their own home. There will always be kids smoking weed in the parks because there will always be kids who want to rebel that’s life . I’m not pro smoking anything in the park cigs or weed but people do it anyway. There is always gonna be some assholes out there but more parks isn’t going to be a Fucking Jackons heights Mardi Gras geez. Also if I remember correctly aren’t you the Woodstock generation ?
5 years ?
It’ll take 5 years
just to get CB Approval and City
Add another 3-4
years of construction.
The Rabid Activist
of Jackson Hts
The city had to spend taxpayer money to conduct a study that any 8 year old could of told us. This is why when I was a child growing up in Jackson Heights kids played football, baseball, tag, hide and seek, and rode bikes on the sidewalk or street.
Let them play in the empty bike lanes.
Awesome… I love it.
How bout you play with an electrical outlet . I use the bike lane everyday to keep my car off the road. Maybe more people could be more selfless and also use them instead of jamming the roads .
Jackson Heights was once known as the “cocaine capital”. The sand boxes were filled with hypodermic needles, trash, dog feces, dogs running all over the playground equipment. Finally it was renovated and is now undergoing additional changes. Yet there are residents who would prefer a dog run (there is already one). Or as someone else suggested, “let them play in the empty bike