Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Public Hearing Notice - April 26

Officials Cut the Ribbon at the Opening Of Brooklyn Bridge Park - March 22, 2010. "In terms of disparities,  the City does not have the money to have new parks and fund them," Mayor Bloomberg stated when asked to comment on the disparity between the level of maintenance and operation funds Brooklyn Bridge Park receives and other parks. Photo:  © Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates

Public Hearing on April 26, Regarding the Modification of the Brooklyn Bridge Park General Project Plan.  Please Make Every Effort to Attend.










PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a public hearing, open to all persons, will be held  by the New York State Urban Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development  Corporation (“ESDC” or the “Corporation”) and Brooklyn Bridge Park Development  Corporation pursuant to Section 16 of the New York State Urban Development  Corporation Act (Chapter 174, Section 1, Laws of 1968, as amended; the “Act”) at the  Polytechnic University, 5 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, New York, in the Dibner  Auditorium at said facility, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, April 26th, 2010 to  consider a proposed modification to the General Project Plan (the “General Project Plan”)  for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Civic and Land Use Improvement Project (the “Project”).

The public hearing is for the purpose of:  (1) informing the public about the  modification; and (2) giving all interested persons an opportunity to be heard with respect  to the proposed modification of the General Project Plan, pursuant to Section 16 of the  Act. 


Description of the Modification to the General Project Plan 


The existing Modified General Project Plan (“GPP”) for the Project consists of  the GPP and related findings adopted in July, 2005, affirmed as modified in January,  2007, and affirmed as further modified in December 2007 to permit Brooklyn Bridge  Park Development Corporation (“BBPDC”), a subsidiary of New York State Urban  Development Corporation d/b/a Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) to  construct, operate, and maintain the Project, including the Brooklyn Bridge Park (the  “Park”), and to develop certain parcels (the “Development Parcels”) within the Project  site to produce revenue for the Park.   


This additional proposed modification to the GPP is being proposed in order to  expedite the completion of the Project with new funding and local control of the Project.   BBPDC proposes to enter into ground leases or sub-ground leases and other necessary  arrangements for the Park and the Development Parcels with a not-for-profit corporation,  currently referred to as Brooklyn Bridge Park Operating Entity (“BBPOE”), which the  City of New York (the “City”) will establish, or cause to be established, in order for  BBPOE to be responsible for construction, operation, maintenance, and funding of the  Project.   


In order to continue the development of the Project, the City will provide $55  million to BBPOE for the construction of the Project, in accordance with the GPP, and  related expenses.  BBPOE, the City, and BBPDC intend to cooperate with respect to  those parcels included in the Project that are currently owned by the City and others  (collectively the “Other Parcels”) in order to create a seamless Park experience for Park  visitors and, with respect to Other Parcels that are identified in the GPP as Development  Parcels, new sources of revenue for the Park. 


The ground leases, sub-ground leases and other necessary agreements will require  that BBPOE assume operational control of, and financial responsibility for, the Park and  the Development Parcels.  BBPOE will control all revenues from the Park and the  Development Parcels.  BBPOE will oversee all planning, construction, maintenance, and  operation of the Project, including the ability to designate and select developers for the  Development Parcels and concessionaires and operators for the Park Parcels.  BBPDC  will assign or transfer to BBPOE, or enter such other agreements with BBPOE as  necessary, to ensure that all construction and funding agreements currently in place with  respect to BBPDC continue in effect and all funds currently held by or for BBPDC are  controlled by BBPOE.  BBPOE will receive an assignment of all revenues from the Park  and Development Parcels.  


The proposed draft modification to the GPP will not be final until after: (i) public  comment has been collected and reviewed; (ii) the BBPDC Board has reviewed and  approved proposed final documents at a later BBPDC Board meeting; and (iii) the ESDC  Directors have reviewed and approved proposed final documents at a later ESDC  Directors meeting. 


Availability of the Proposed Modification to the General Project Plan  The General Project Plan is available for viewing at the website  Copies of the proposed modification to the General  Project Plan are available, without charge, to any person requesting such copies at the  Corporate Office of ESDC, 633 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017 and is  available for inspection by the general public between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,  Monday through Friday (an appointment can be made by calling (212) 803-3822).   Pursuant to Section 16(2) of the Act, ESDC and BBPDC also have filed a copy of the  modified General Project Plan in the office of the Clerks of the New York County and  Kings County, City of New York, and have provided copies thereof to the Mayor of the  City of New York, the Borough President of the Borough of Brooklyn, the Chair of the  City Planning Commission, and the Chair of Brooklyn Community Boards 2 and 6.   Copies of the modified General Project Plan will also be available at the public hearing.  


Receipt of Comments 

Comments on the proposed modification to the General Project Plan and the  proposed acquisition and disposition of properties are requested and may be made orally  or in writing at the hearing on April 26th, 2010, or presented in writing to ESDC and  BBPDC (a) electronically by e-mail at or (b) in  hardcopy at 633 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017 (Attention: David Lowin)  or by facsimile transmission to (212) 803 3838 on or before May 26th, 2010.  Comments  received after 5:00 p.m. on May 26th, 2010 will not be considered.  

Dated: March 27, 2010




New York, New York    CORPORATION 

      By Eileen McEvoy 

       Corporate Secretary 




      By Regina Myer 


Union Square Artist Market Threatened by New Parks Department Rule Proposal


The Parks Department has proposed new regulations that would drastically limit the number of artists allowed to sell their work in Union Square and other Manhattan parks, according to 

The Parks Department claims the rules will decrease congestion, but critics accuse the city of pushing out independent street artists in order to replace them with more lucrative vendors.

The Parks Department claims overcrowding is the reason for 
new artist restrictions (photo: Leslie Koch)

Fine artists-- known as "expressive matter vendors"-- have the right to sell their work in public spaces without paying the city a fee.

The latest Parks Department rules single out street artists and ignore other groups that contribute to the parks' congestion, many of which generate revenue for the city through permit, rental and sponsorship fees.

New rules marginalize local artists

The proposed restrictions will limit the number of artists who can sell their works in Manhattan's most popular parks.

Artists will compete on a first come, first served basis for just 18 spots in Union Square, 9 in Battery Park, 5 in Central Park South and 3 on the Highline.

Additionally, the Parks Department is limiting the physical space allotted to artists.

They must set up their stands in special areas marked with a Parks Department sticker.

The system is designed to generate conflict," writes Robert Lederman, activist and president of A.R.T.I.S.T (Artists' Response To Illegal State Tactics).

"How could 3 spots in the Highline possibly be distributed fairly, or [18] in Union Square Park when there are regularly almost 100 artists selling there?

"The agenda is to generate as much conflict as possible then use it to justify a permit and concession system for free speech in parks."

Lederman has taken the city to court numerous times over street artists' first amendment rights.

As a result of successful federal lawsuits, artists retain the legal right to sell their work on New York City streets without obtaining permits.

Read More: - March 30, 2010 - By Leslie Koch 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010



All Scouts in Class-A Uniform!
Any veterans are asked to wear jackets and/or hats showing what veterans group they are from

Meet on the steps of Staten Island Borough Hall
Ferry side, Richmond Terrace Entrance

By 11:00 AM on MONDAY APRIL 5. 
The Staten Island group will take the 11:30 AM Ferry to Manhattan 
and hand out flyers downtown, while walking to City Hall.

All participants are asked to be prepared to walk to City Hall.
Other Borough's Groups are asked to be at City Hall by 1:30 PM

Press conference on the steps of City Hall at 2:00 PM calling on GNYC, Mayor, Governor, Open Space Advocate's and all elected officials to work together to save Pouch Camp.
Signs and flyers will be distributed at Staten Island  Borough Hall.

Troops from a borough other than Staten Island can march over the Brooklyn Bridge 
and meet at City Hall, at the Broadway entrance 1:30 PM
Please Distribute To All Your Lists!

Let's Make This A City Wide Effort !
No Piece of land in NYC Is as important to our children
then Pouch Camp.....

1000's enjoy the chance to be outdoors and view nature
at it's finest in New York City....

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall
Let's save it for our kids sake, and for future generations of
The Children Of New York City
NRPA Events Schedule
For April 2010 
Kerry Sullivan

Monday, March 29, 2010

Harbor Seal Spotted On Upper Westside

Back in January a seal was spotted basking in the sun off Staten Island, and it was promptly featured in The Advance with a photo spread. Now Manhattan has its own posing seal! A photographer sent the NY Post a shot of this Upper West Side seal, spotted at the end of West 64th Street on the Hudson. But how did he get up there? The paper says he likely rode the high tide. Pretty clever... but which borough has the cuter seal?

The gothamist- March 29, 2010 - By Jen Carlson

New York Post - March 29, 2010 - By David K.Li

Bayswater State Park Closing To Save 5,OOO Dollars


"The (closing) has also infuriated elected officials and advocates who note that the savings from the closure would be a measly $5,500 a year."  - New York Daily News

Bayswater State Park in Far Rockaway is slated for closure to plug the state deficit. It could be the first time in state history a park was completely shuttered.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is slated to close Bayswater State Park in Far Rockaway, Queens on April 1. The move would save just $ 5,500 dollars annually towards the State's $ 9 billion budget gap. The 12 acre park is located at the western end of Mott Avenue. The Park is opened by a neighbor adjacent to the park. A Parks spokesperson told the Associated Press that their office is reviewing the possibility that some of the closed parks be proposed may remain open to visitors without being maintained. It is not yet clear if Bayswater could be one of those.  It could be the first time in state history a park was completely shuttered. 

Most of the land was once part of an estate built by early 20th century Wall Street financier Louis A. Heinsheimer. The land was home to the Maimonides Home for Children. That estate burned down in 1986 and the private land was transferred to the Trust For Public Land in return for the right to develop another tract further south near Bayswater Park. The property was managed by the Audubon Society for many years. (Photo: Barcelo for the Daily News)

The official start of fishing season was still weeks away, but Ed Johnson was hunkered down in his folding chair with a line plunked off the coast of Bayswater State Park in Far Rockawy, according to the New York Daily News. 

His beloved park has the best fishing New York City has to offer, said Johnson, who has hooked striped bass, blue fish, porgies and the occasional blackfish there.

"I've spent many an hour, many a day here," said Johnson, 56, of Cambria Heights.

He had come on a recent weekday to throw in a line a few more times, he said, because the days of being allowed to fish there could be numbered.

As part of a drastic bid to plug a $9 billion budget deficit, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has chosen Bayswater as one of two state parks slated for closure.

If the budget, due April 1, is approved, this would be the first time in history a state park has been shuttered other than for seasonal closures, said agency spokesman Dan Keefe.

The closure would leave many city reel-casters without a fishing hole. It has also infuriated elected officials and advocates who note that the savings from the closure would be a measly $5,500 a year.

"In times like these we need our parks more than ever," said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.

The recession has forced many people to scale back on vacations, and families are instead relying on nearby public spaces for escape.

Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14, called the closure "almost punitive."

Bayswater Point State Park comprises 12 acres at the tip of a peninsula in the Rockaways that juts out into the Mott Basin on the eastern shore of Jamaica Bay. The terrain is varied and includes beachfront, wetlands and woodlands. This diversity helps make it an ideal habitat for migrating and nesting birds. The goal of this park is to preserve the existing natural systems, and if feasible, restore what has been lost. Passive recreation, such as hiking and nature study, are encouraged. - Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Read More:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Felled Marine Park Tree Replacement's Not Coming Anytime Soon

More than 35 trees on Stuart Street in Marine Park, Brooklyn, were downed by the storm.

According to the Daily News more than 35 trees on Stuart Street in Marine Park, Brooklyn, were downed by the Nor'easterAccording to the Parks Department, the park lost 53 trees in the storm. (Photo: Maisel/NY Daily News)


Don’t expect a lot of shade in Marine Park anytime soon.

The city Parks Department is so busy taking toppled trees away from the three-block greenfield between Avenues U and S that they have no plans to replace them, a move that will certainly leave neighborhood park goers baking in the sun this summer, 
according to Courier-Life Publications.

“Right now we’re taking the trees out of there,” Brooklyn Park and Recreation Manager Laurence Major said March 24 — two and a half weeks after the nor’easter wreaked havoc across the borough — adding that reforestation efforts for the park would be “something we will review and explore” in the future.

The city Parks Department didn’t have any good news either.

“It’s really too soon to discuss replanting strategies for those trees lost by the storm,” a Parks Department spokesman said. “They will be replaced, but we’re still assessing all of the areas affected.”

Major said that 53 trees were knocked over in Marine Park — which is already quite spartan when it comes to flaura and fauna. An additional 60 trees were knocked over in the surrounding neighborhood, Major explained, adding that the storm slayed 350 trees from Bay Ridge to Canarsie.

Right now all of these dead, broken evergreens and oaks are being dragged to Marine
Park, which has become a makeshift morgue in the city’s clean up efforts.

A felled tree in Marine Park last week. (Photo:Heydi Lopes)

Read More: 

Courier-Life Publications - March 28, 2010 - By Thomas Tracy 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Large Central Park Tree Topples, Crushes Car On UES

A large tree in Central Park fell on a parked car on Fifth Avenue btw. 92/93rd Streets.
(Image: NY 1)


A giant tree toppled onto Fifth Avenue in Manhattan Saturday, causing the street to shut down according to a report by NY1 News.

The tree, which stood on the edge of Central Park between 92nd and 93rd Streets, crushed a parked car.

Lana Choi, the owner of the car, said she was working several blocks away when it happened.

"I was working the cash register when someone came in and said a giant tree had fallen on Fifth Avenue and shut down the streets. So I ran over hoping that my car was salvaged, but unfortunately it was the casualty," said Choi. "It was my first car during and after college. I was hoping it would last me a couple more years, but I guess this is the last of it."

Choi said officials told her it was the largest tree in Central Park.

She also said her insurance will not cover it.

The Central Park Conservancy's president said the tree is one of hundreds that have come down following high winds this winter.

View Video:

Central Park Tree Topples, Crushes Car 

NY 1 News - March 27, 2010

Art Vendors Criticize Parks Officials' New Rules

"The notion they did this to satisfy me is truly a comical one." Robert Lederman - President of A.R.T.I.S.T

Art vendors and Parks Department officials are at odds over whether there should be a limit to the number of art stalls in high-traffic spots like the High Line, Union Square Park and Battery Park. NY1's Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.

To many, vendors selling everything from original artwork to photographs to knickknacks are an integral part of Manhattan's parks.

"The point of a public park is what you see here, all these vendors and the public," said street artist Kenneth Bondor.

Yet the Parks Department is proposing new regulations to make some of the most crowded spots in the city less dense by limiting the number of vendors there.

Vendors Critique Parks Officials' New Rules For Street Art
"Certain parts of parks have become very overcrowded and people trying to walk to or through the park have to walk through a gauntlet of vendors who don't have permits, aren't required to have permits, but just set up pretty much willy-nilly, wherever they like," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

The Parks Department is proposing limiting the number of so-called "expressive matter" vendors in popular spots like the High Line, Union Square Park and Battery Park. 

Robert Lederman, one of the affected vendors, had harsh words for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Benepe.

"They pose as the greatest patrons of the arts, constantly talking about public art and public parks. In reality, their full-time job is to privatize all the parks, to put corporate art in the parks and to eliminate artists’ freedom of expression," said Lederman.

Parks Department officials said they have been examining the overcrowding issue for years. Benepe said even if restrictions are imposed in some areas, there will still be 28,000 acres of park land where the vendors can set up shop.

Vendors Critique Parks Officials' New Rules For Street Art
“In fact, it was at the urging of Lederman that we created these rules in the first place," said Benepe. "He said, 'Why don’t you use the street vending regulations and just modify them to use in parks instead of just coming up with some kind of new permitting system?' So that’s what we did.”

Over the phone Lederman said, "The notion they did this to satisfy me is truly a comical one." Context of Mr. Benepe and Mr. Lederman's comments. 

Read More:

NY 1 News - March 27, 2010 - By Rebecca Spitz

New York Daily News - March 26, 2010 - By Edgar Sandoval and Adam Lisberg

WBAI radio

March 26, 2010 

A Walk In The Park - December 18, 2009 

NY 1 News - January 8, 2003

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dangerous Artificial Turf Fields in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Forest Hills Girls soccer coach Bob Sprance shows the extensive wear and tear on field 5 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
(Photo: Farriella for Daily News) Forest Hills Girls soccer coach Bob Sprance shows the extensive wear and tear on field 5 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. According to NYC Park Advocates the Parks Department has ignored dangerous conditions on numerous artificial turf fields in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park for more than four years.

Soccer referees are all torn up about the borough's worn-down fields, 

The New York City Soccer Officials Association is boycotting four of nine fields at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park because of gaping tears in artificial turf, holes full of standing water and dangerous divots in the ground, according to the New York Daily News.

"We refuse to referee games on those fields," said Alan Wharton, president of the association. "It's a liability issue for us."

The group officiates Public School Athletic League games, as well as private school, college and club games. Without the referees, games cannot be scheduled on fields 1, 4, 5 or 6, leaving just four open for the northern Queens teams that compete at the park. The ninth field is a nonregulation- size children's field.

"They are not playable," said Bob Sprance, varsity girls coach at Forest Hills High School. "They must be repaired before somebody gets seriously hurt."

Fields 1 and 5 are artificial turf, and each has everal tears and ripped seams. The other two are dirt fields and are littered with bottle caps, glass and rocks.

"I go out with giant cones to mark the spots that the girls need to be aware of," said Keith Horan, varsity coach at the High School for Arts and Business in Corona. "It's plain dangerous."

Read More:

New York Daily News - March 25, 2010 - By Leigh Remizowski

Proposed New Parks Department Vending Rules Curb First Amendment Rights

Parks Department Creates Sweeping New Rules For Artists
By Robert Lederman, President of ARTIST

The NYC Department of Parks has just presented a proposed set of
totally new rules for street artists who display or sell art in NYC
Parks. It was published in The City Record on 3/24/2010.

There will be a public hearing on April 23, 2010 at Chelsea Recreation
Center, 430 West 25th Street, New York, NY  10010 at 11:00 AM. The
ARTIST group will hold a large protest before the hearing.

The full text of the proposed rules and a link to maps showing each
vending spot is below my comments.

The most significant change is that First Amendment protected street
artists will now be severely limited as to where they can set up an
art display in a park and as to how many artists can set up in each
park. The Department of Parks has set a specific arbitrary numerical
limit within each of the parks or park controlled areas around parks
that routinely have artists selling in them, as follows:

* Battery Park, 9 artists allowed.
* In front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (between 79th and 81st
streets) 12 artists.
* In front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (between 84th and 85th
streets) 12 artists.
* Union Square Park 18 artists allowed.
* Columbus Circle, 4 artists.
* Wein Walk (near the Central Park Zoo) 8 artists
* High Line Park, 3 artists

In the above noted parks, all legal vending spaces for artists (aka
First Amendment protected vendors or expressive matter vendors) will
be marked with a Parks Department sticker.

While the proposed rules claim it will be first come, first served as
to how these very limited spots will be allocated (see below), the
Parks Department’s real intention is to set artist against artist so
as to justify replacing this unworkable arrangement with a permit and
concession system in which artists must bid hundreds of thousands of
dollars to win each spot, just like a hot dog vendor. The highest art
vending bid will get the concession.

The Parks Department described their intention to implement this exact
system in a NY Times letter dated 2/28/96

“We are considering a plan to allow art vendors to bid for eight one
year permits. The bids for these permits are likely to be less than
those submitted for year round concession stands.”
NY Times February 28, 1996 Parks Restrict the Sale of Art, Not Its

A copy of the new Parks Department rules proposal (one document as
WORD text and a separate PDF of the City Record notice with the maps)
has been posted at these addresses for your convenience:

The Parks Department has also described in these documents the number
and placement of Park Conservancy approved food, tee shirt and
souvenir concessions that will be set up in each of these parks. Note
that groups like the Central Park Conservancy directly run all of
these concessions, take in millions of dollars in concession fees each
year and get a significant cut of all profits from each food cart or
souvenir stand within each park. All of the vendors one sees running
these concession stands are minimum wage employees of corporations.

As an example of the low regard the Parks Department and the Park
conservancies have for street artists’ freedom of expression, in High
Line Park they will allow 3 artists and 3 food concessions, as if
these two activities are in any way of a similar legal status.

There is a Federal constitutional guarantee of free expression in
public parks and the ARTIST group has won numerous Federal lawsuits
supporting this right. There is no constitutional right to sell hot
dogs or souvenirs in a park.

Note that while the High Line will only allow 3 small street artist
displays, the entire park is now available to be rented out for
private parties and corporate promotions, according to the Friends of
the High Line website. Recently, Calvin Klein threw a huge promotional
party up there.

In Union Square Park, First Amendment protected artists will be
limited to a very small area while the non First Amendment protected
Greenmarket and the Holiday Gift Market selling clothing and jewelry
will continue to take up hundreds of times as much space.

At Columbus Circle only 4 artists will be allowed while the Parks
Department runs a huge congestion generating Holiday Gift Market in
the same location that is a month long event.

If preventing pedestrian congestion allegedly caused by street artists
was the genuine concern of the Parks Department, why are there daily
corporate promotions in NYC parks by companies like Disney, Nike,
Sony, Best Buy, Target, JP Morgan Chase and a thousand others that
involve huge displays, thousands of participants, numerous giant
trucks, powerlines and other dangerous infrastructure?

If one factors in the additional proposed restrictions that artists
cannot be within 50 feet of any monument, public work of corporate
owned art or of any statue; within 5 feet of any tree, bench, garbage
can or sign; or on any sidewalk with less than a 12 foot clearance
from the art display to the curb, it becomes clear that these proposed
rules are intended to virtually eliminate street artists from NYC

That this change to the rules is being done to allow more room for
corporate promotions and park privatization rather than to address any
genuine issue of public safety, means that the artist group is
prepared to defy these restrictions in every park and to sue in
Federal Court to overturn them.


With these proposed new rules coming at the same time as Intro #36
(BIDs will control all vending in their districts) and Intro #30 (any
vending stand left unattended for 30 minutes will be confiscated),
both of which are pending before the City Council, it is clear that
the city plans to make 2010 the year of attacking every aspect of
street artists’ freedom of speech.

Mayor Bloomberg has just severely cut his “gifts” to the arts SEE: NY
Times 3/18/2010 Bloomberg Is Quietly Ending a Charitable Program
Factor in this new assault on artists’ rights and it is clear that the
Bloomberg administration intends to reignite the war against street

Intro # 36 files:

Intro # 30 files:

If the Parks Department succeeds in limiting artists in parks to a few
marked off spaces, the City will then apply this same system to the
streets, and eventually replace that system with a full blown
permit/concession system, which was their original intention since

ARTIST will hold a protest at the hearing for these park rules (the
time will be announced).

Contact info:
Robert Lederman, president of ARTIST

Parks Commissioner, Adrian Benepe
212 360-1305

Alessandro Olivieri, Parks legal counsel
212 360-1313

Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, Parks Enforcement
212 360-1381

Friends of the Highline
(212) 206-9922

Geoffrey Croft
NYC Park Advocates
(212) 987-0565


The Parks Department proposal:


Notice of Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Rule

Revision of §§1-02 and 1-05(b) of Title 56 of the Official Compilation
of Rules of the City of New Yor

Commissioner of the Department of Parks & Recreation (“Parks”) by
Sections 389 and 533(a)(9) of the New York City Charter and in
accordance with the requirement of Section 1043 of the New York City
Charter, that Parks proposes to amend §§1-02 and 1-05(b) of Title 56
of the Official Compilation of Rules of the City of New York.

Written comments regarding the proposed rules may be sent to
Alessandro G. Olivieri, General Counsel, Department of Parks &
Recreation, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 Fifth Avenue, New York, New
York 10065, by April 23, 2010.  A public hearing shall be held on
April 23, 2010 at Chelsea Recreation Center, 430 West 25th Street, New
York, NY  10010 at 11:00 a.m.  Persons seeking to testify are
requested to notify Laura LaVelle at (212) 360-1335 or  Persons who request that a sign language
interpreter or other reasonable accommodation be provided at the
hearing are asked to notify Laura LaVelle at the foregoing address by
April 8, 2010.  Written comments and a tape recording of oral comments
received at the hearing will be available for public inspection,
within a reasonable time after receipt, between the hours of 9:00 a.m.
and 5:00 p.m. at The Arsenal, Room 313, telephone number (212)

These amendments were not included in the Parks regulatory agenda
because the Department was not aware of the necessity for amendments
at the time the regulatory agenda was prepared.

New material is indicated by underlining.  Deletions are indicated by brackets.

Section 1.  Section 1-02 of Title 56 of the Official Compilation of the Rules of the City of New York is amended to add a new definition to read as follows:
Expressive Matter.  “Expressive matter” means materials or objects with expressive content, such as newspapers, books, or writings, or visual art such as paintings, prints, photography, or sculpture.
§ 2.  Section 1-05(b) of Title 56 of the Official Compilation of the Rules of the City of New York is amended to read as follows:
§ 1-05             
            (b)        Unlawful Vending.
(1)        No person in or on any property under the jurisdiction of the Department [park, or street adjacent to or abutting a park (including all public sidewalks of such abutting streets)] shall sell, offer for sale, hire, lease or let anything whatsoever, or provide or offer to provide services or items in exchange for a donation (hereinafter “vend”), except under and within the terms of a permit, or except as otherwise provided by law.  For the purposes of this entire section, persons who vend as defined herein may be referred to as “vendor” or “vendors.”


(2)        Persons may vend expressive matter, as defined in section 1-02 of this title, on property under jurisdiction of the Department without a permit, but must comply with all applicable provisions of these rules.  However, in the specific locations enumerated in paragraph (3) expressive matter vendors may only vend expressive matter at the specifically designated spots identified by the Commissioner in the accompanying maps and as marked by a numbered Department decal, or other form of marking, on the specific location of the approved vending spot.  These spots shall be allocated upon a first come, first serve basis except as otherwise provided by law and any expressive matter vendor may only vend expressive matter directly behind the numbered Department decal.  Only one expressive matter vendor is authorized to vend directly behind the numbered Department decal and if multiple expressive vendors attempt to vend expressive matter at any one numbered Department decal, then all such expressive matter vendors at such spot will be in violation of this section and may be directed to leave the area of that numbered Department decal immediately.  Any such expressive matter vendor failing to leave the area of the numbered Department decal immediately upon direction as required under the preceding sentence will be in violation of these rules.


(3)        Specifically designated spots for expressive matter vendors are located in the following general areas, and are specifically depicted on the accompanying maps:
(i)         Central Park at the following locations: (A) the perimeter of the Park between East 85th Street and East 60th Street, (B) the perimeter of the park between West 86th Street and West 60th Street, (C) all of Central Park South, (D) Wien Walk and Wallach Walk, (E) East Drive, (F) Grand Army Plaza, (G) Pulitzer Plaza, and (H) Columbus Circle.
(ii)        Battery Park, including all perimeter sidewalks. 
(iii)       Union Square Park, including all perimeter sidewalks.
(iv)       Elevated portions of High Line Park.


(4)(i)    No vendor in or on any property under the jurisdiction of the Department shall allow any item or items used or offered in conjunction with vending to touch, lean against or be affixed permanently or temporarily to any street or park furniture installed on public property or any rock formation, tree, shrub or other planting. 
(ii)        No vendor shall block any patron from using any street or park furniture installed on public property by way of the vending activity.
(iii)       No vendor shall vend anything in such a manner that would damage or otherwise injure Department property, including, but not limited to lawns, plants, animals or buildings.
(iv)       No vendor shall vend anything that is placed immediately on a sidewalk or park path, or on a blanket or board placed immediately upon such surface or on the top of a trash receptacle or cardboard box.
(v)        No vendor shall vend anything over any ventilation grill, cellar door, manhole, transformer vault or subway access grating.
(vi)       No vendor shall vend anything whatsoever directly from any parked or double parked motor vehicles except for food vendors with appropriate Department and New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene permits.
(5)        No vendor shall vend anything whatsoever using a display stand that:
(i)         provides less than a twelve (12) foot wide clear pedestrian path measured from the display on the sidewalk or park path to the opposite edge of the sidewalk or park path, except that when there is street or park furniture on the pedestrian path the measurement must be taken from the display to two feet from the street or park furniture in order to determine whether there is less then a twelve (12) foot wide clear pedestrian path; 
(ii)        is placed on any other part of a sidewalk under the Department’s jurisdiction other than that which abuts the curb, unless otherwise authorized;
(iii)       is in an unsuitable location because the location is a specialized area including, but not limited to, a zoo, swimming pool, playground, athletic field or court, or skating rink;
(iv)       is within any bus stop, carriage horse stand, pedicab stand, or taxi stand;
(v)        is within five (5) feet from any street or park furniture, public telephone, disabled access ramp, tree, or from individuals or entities authorized by permit or license by the Commissioner to operate at a specific location;
(vi)       is within ten (10) feet from any crosswalk on any path or on any sidewalk under the jurisdiction of the Department; 
(vii)      is placed within fifty (50) feet from any monument or other public art installation;
(viii)      occupies more than eight (8) linear feet of public space parallel to the curb or park path;
(ix)       occupies more than three (3) linear feet in depth;
(x)        is more than five (5) feet high or less than twenty-four (24) inches above the sidewalk or park path where the display surface is parallel to the sidewalk or park path, and may not be less than twelve (12) inches above the sidewalk or park path where the display surface is vertical; 
(xi)       where a rack or other display structure is placed on the top or above a table or other base, the size of the base is not less than the size of any rack or display structure placed thereon.  Nothing shall be placed on the base so as to exceed the size limitations contained in this section;
(xii)      uses any areas other than that area immediately beneath the surface of the display stand for the storage of items for sale, unless permitted by Department license or permit for the use of a fixed location to store items for sale; or
(xiii)      fails to use an opaque covering to shield any items stored beneath the surface of the display stand.
(6)        For the purposes of this section a display stand shall mean a movable, portable or collapsible structure, framework, device, container or other contrivance used by a vendor in any property under the jurisdiction of the Department for the purpose of displaying, keeping or storing any goods, wares, merchandise, foodstuffs or expressive matter.
(7)        For the purposes of this section, street or park furniture shall mean any City-installed, maintained or approved structure, including but not limited to, benches, newspaper boxes, tree guards, fire hydrants, trash receptacles, telephone kiosks, newsstands, bus shelters, barricades, bollards, traffic signs, traffic lights, walls, water fountains, ornamental fountains, or fences located in any property under the jurisdiction of the Department.


(8)        Where exigent circumstances exist and a Department employee or police officer gives notice to a vendor to move temporarily from any location such vendor shall not vend from such location.  For the purposes of this section, exigent circumstances shall include, but not be limited to, unusually heavy pedestrian or vehicular traffic, the existence of any obstruction in the park, an accident, fire, or other emergency situation, a parade, special event, demonstration, construction project, maintenance operations, or other such event at or near such location, including periods of set up and take down for such exigent circumstances.



These rules are promulgated pursuant to the authority of
the Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation (the
“Commissioner”) under sections 389, 533(a)(9) and 1043 of the New York
City Charter.  The Commissioner is authorized to establish and enforce
rules for the use, governance and protection of public parks and of
all property under the charge or control of the Department of Parks
and Recreation.

The proposed rules provide reasonable opportunities – by and through
limited time, place, and manner restrictions – for expressive matter
vendors to display and sell their wares on parkland.  These rules not
only provide greater clarity for vendors regarding where and how they
can operate on parkland, they also ensure that our parks do not become
so congested that they do not provide the public with enjoyable and
accessible open space.

The Department determined that it was necessary to promulgate these
rules to address concerns raised by park visitors, vendors, and other
members of the public, as well as Department staff, related to the
proliferation, in certain parks, of expressive matter vendors and the
impact they can have on parkland and other park visitors.  In fact, in
the absence of Department rules regarding expressive matter vendors,
the number of these vendors combined for Battery Park, Central Park,
and Union Square Park has almost tripled since 2001, when the
Department ended its old lottery system for vendor permits in these
parks pursuant to the New York City Administrative Code.  This
dramatic increase in the number of vendors has resulted in changed
conditions in certain parks, which required the Department to develop
regulations in order to strike a balance between expressive matter
vendors and other park visitors, and address other concerns related to
maintaining and operating open space under the jurisdiction of the

For example, expressive matter vendors at Union Square Park have
increased, and continue to increase, in number to the point where they
occupy almost the entire south-west corner of the park.  This not only
presents a concern regarding potential hazardous and unsafe conditions
stemming from undue congestion and pedestrian gridlock, it also
detracts from the experience of those park visitors who wish to
experience and enjoy the park in other ways.

Therefore, to accommodate the interests of a broad range of park
visitors, including the interests of expressive matter vendors who
wish to operate on parkland, the proposed rules establish general park
locations where vendors may operate and minimum requirements regarding
vending activity, such as the set-up and size of display stands.
These rules follow many of the provisions of the New York City
Administrative Code that regulate vendors who operate on the City’s
streets, but have been adapted to address the unique use and nature of
property under the Department’s jurisdiction.

The proposed rules also include additional regulations in and around
the three parks most impacted by expressive matter vendors (certain
designated areas of Central Park, Union Square Park and Battery Park),
and the park most likely to also be significantly affected by
expressive matter vendors due to its unique use and character (High
Line Park).  Specifically, the Department has identified locations
within these areas where expressive matter vendors can operate.  In
these locations, the general rules concerning vending, as proposed by
this amendment, are not sufficient to properly regulate expressive
matter vending so as to avoid such areas from being overwhelmed by
vendors in a manner that significantly interferes with the experience
and comfort of those members of the public visiting the parkland in
question.  The Department has, therefore, established specific spots
within these locations that demark the only spaces that expressive
matter vendors can use.  These spots are indicated on the maps
accompanying these rules and will be further indicated by a numbered
Department decal on the specific location of the approved vending
spot. The Department contemplated, among other considerations, the
following factors before determining these designated vending spots:

1) accommodation of park visitors, given the
number of people who regularly use the park in and around the

2) competing uses by other park visitors,
including but not limited to active and passive recreation,
performances, demonstrations, and the viewing of historical monuments
and public art exhibits;

3) the presence of park elements, including but
not limited to trees, tree pits, benches, or park entrances;

4) the presence of street furniture, including
but not limited to bus stops, fire hydrants, cross walks, or subway

5)  the integrity of the overall design of the
park, including but not limited to the need to preserve particular
landscapes or scenic views; and

6)   the presence of any Department facilities or
Department concessions near the location.

Below is a description of the parks that require additional vending
regulations and the conditions that led to the Department’s
designation of specific vending spots therein.

Central Park

Central Park is one of the most visited parks in the City.  In fact,
more than twenty-five (25) million visitors enjoy Central Park each
year, which makes congestion and pedestrian flow along the perimeter
of the park a foremost concern.  Indeed, congestion at the park is
amplified in certain areas by, among other sources, the many
streetscape and park features in an around the park, the presence of
historical monuments and public art exhibits along the southern
perimeter of the park, and the number of hotels and other attractions
proximate to the park.

Streetscape features include subway entrances in the park near Grand
Army Plaza at the southeast corner of the park and at Columbus Circle
at the southwest corner of the park and at 60th Street on the
perimeter of the park.  Also, horse carriages and pedicabs compete for
customers all along Central Park South, from Grand Army Plaza to
Columbus Circle.

Park features include the numerous benches along the park-side of the
sidewalk, frequently interspersed with street trees, and additional
street trees are also found along the curbside of the street.  Other
park features include the many monuments interspersed throughout the
park.  For example, at Columbus Circle there is a 100-foot column
topped by a statute of Christopher Columbus, as well as a monument to
the sailors lost in the explosion of the battleship “Maine.” In
addition, the plaza where the Avenue of the Americas meets Central
Park South features three monumental sculptures of Simon Bolivar, Jose
de San Martin and Jose Marti. At Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Avenue and
Central Park South, there is a sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens of
Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman, facing the Pulitzer
Fountain. In addition, at Doris Freedman Plaza there are temporary
displays of contemporary sculptures on a continuous basis.
Furthermore, the area between Central Park West between 60th Street
and 79th Street, as well as Wien and Wallach Walks and the East Drive
experience large crowds because of their proximity to the Central Park
Zoo and Wollman Rink.  Finally, Central Park West between 60th Street
and 86th Street is congested around the entrances to the park,
particularly at 72nd Street, because of the large number of visitors
to Strawberry Fields.

Nearby City attractions serve as contributing factors to congestion at
the park in certain areas.  The many museums along Fifth Avenue, such
as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attract a number of visitors and
cause crowded conditions in the area from East 85th Street to East
79th Street.  Moreover, nearby hotels accommodate a large number of
tourists who tend to make a point of visiting the park during their

Given the above, and taking into consideration all relevant factors,
the Department designated specific locations for expressive matter
vendors located at the perimeter of the park along Fifth Avenue
between East 85th Street and East 60th Street, all of Central Park
South, Wien Walk and Wallach Walk, the East Drive, Central Park West
between 60th Street and 86th Street, Grand Army Plaza, Pulitzer Plaza,
and Columbus Circle.  For all other areas of the park, the general
vending regulations that are set forth under the proposed rules would

Union Square Park

Union Square Park is a congested and heavily used park
that is one of only three parks located within the Manhattan midtown
business district. It is accessible by multiple subway lines, and
located within a commercial and residential area that has become
increasingly busy.  Indeed, during the summer season, up to 200,000
people visit the park a day.  Because Union Square Park is one of the
City’s most popular destinations, despite its relatively modest size,
there are particular challenges that the Department faces when seeking
to address undue congestion while, at the same time, ensuring that the
park is open and accessible to a broad range of park visitors,
including expressive matter vendors.

Streetscape features include three subway entrances located in the
southeast, southwest, and northwest corners of the park, all of which
serve one of the busiest subway stations in the City.  In fact, the
Union Square subway station, which is home to the L, N. Q, R, W, 4, 5
and L lines, is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the City,
serving over 35 million passengers a year.  Moreover, the park is
flanked by busy traffic thoroughfares, including Broadway, Park
Avenue, and 14th Street.

Park features include the steps of the South Plaza, which were
designed as a “Spanish Steps” to allow visitors to sit and congregate.
 Park features also include two monuments in the southern section of
the park, a large equestrian statute of George Washington, which faces
the South Plaza, and a statue of Mohandas Gandhi that is located at
the southern end of the West Plaza.  In addition, the traffic island
southeast of the main body of the park is frequently programmed with
temporary public art exhibits, which attract significant crowds of
park visitors to the South Plaza. The North Plaza, meanwhile, is
currently undergoing renovations and is otherwise home to a popular
Greenmarket that has operated four days a week since 1979.  The North
Plaza is also heavily used for recreation and other activities when
the Greenmarket is not in operation.

Given the unique conditions at the park and taking into consideration
all relevant factors the Department designated spots for expressive
matter vendors on the west side of the park, from 14th Street to 15th
Street, and on the east side of the park, from 14th Street to 15th
Street.  Other areas of the park, however, are reserved for other park
uses, such as passive recreation, musical performances, and other park

Battery Park

Battery Park is home to many unique streetscape and park
features.  These features, combined with the fact that more than four
(4) million people visit the park annually, contribute to the
Department’s concerns over congestion and the ability to accommodate
multiple park uses and visitors.

Streetscape features include the busy bus, subway and ferry stops
located in and around the park.  A subway entrance is located just
inside the northeast corner of the park.  Bus stops for tour, local,
and express busses, meanwhile, are located along the north and east
perimeters of the park.  Moreover, long lines tend to queue within the
park itself for the ferry service to Ellis and Liberty Islands.

Park features include the park’s multiple benches, tree pits, and
gardens.  Park features also include the numerous monuments within the
park, such as the East Coast War Memorial, American Merchant Marine
Monument, Korea War Memorial, the memorial to the World Trade Center
tragedy, and the historic Clinton Castle.

Given these conditions and taking into consideration all relevant
factors, the Department designated spots for expressive matter vendors
along the perimeter of the park.  In addition, because of the
extensive construction work that is currently occurring in the park,
the Department has established temporary locations for these vendors,
which will eventually be replaced with permanent spaces upon the
completion of the work in the park.

High Line Park

High Line Park is one of the newest, and most unique, properties in
the park system.  Originally constructed in the 1930s to lift
dangerous freight trains above Manhattan’s busy streets, the High Line
is now an elevated public park, which will, when complete, serve as a
promenade extending through the West Side neighborhoods of the
Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.

Streetscape features include the limited street-level access points to
the elevated park.  Park features include the delicate plantings,
fixed and movable seating options, and narrow walkways therein, all of
which prevent the High Line from accommodating uses that would be
appropriate for other parks, such as active recreation. Indeed, the
overall design of the park emphasizes passive recreation and the
unobstructed views that can be enjoyed from the unique, elevated
vantage point that the park provides.

Given its particular use and design, and taking into consideration all
relevant factors, the Department has designated a limited number of
spaces appropriate for vending in High Line Park.  These spots ensure
that vendors do not unduly interfere with the flow of visitors to the
park, or cause dangerous levels of congestion and pedestrian gridlock
around park entrances.