Friday, November 28, 2014

Croton Water Filtration Plant Costs Continue To Skyrocket To $ 3.7 Billion

The initial (city) estimate was a lowball. ”-  Independent Budget Office (IBO)

A driving range is being built on top to replace the one seized during construction. (Photo: NYC Department of Environmental Protection)

Bloomberg's Folly. The Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx is nearing completion.  Total costs associated with the project have ballooned to $ 3.7 billion according to the IBO,
up from an estimated cost of $992 million in 2003. 

The federal government ordered New York City to build a filtration plant for its Croton water supply.  Three potential sites were considered including the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

In 2003, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) estimated the cost of constructing the Croton Filtration Plant at Mosholu to be $992 million, according to the IBO. 

Site preparation began in 2004 and plant construction started last year. In 2008 plant construction costs were estimated to be $2.2 billion, a 119 percent increase and total costs for the project including amenities such as parks, and mitigation measures was estimated to exceed $3.1 billion dollars.

The EIS for the project concluded that the Mosholu site was the best choice for several reasons. Among them, IBO notes,  was the $992 million estimated construction cost was cheaper there than elsewhere, even including $243 million in mitigation and amenities, which were much higher than the $40– $50 million required for these components at other sites including Eastview in Westchester County,  a site many people preferred.

- Geoffrey Croft 


The cost of a city plan to build a massive water filtration plant under Van Cortlandt Park continues to balloon, according to new estimates, the Daily News reports. 

The Croton Water Filtration Plant — planned to clean a significant portion of the city’s water supply when it finally opens — is now estimated to cost taxpayers a whopping $3.7 billion, the city Independent Budget Office reported this week.

When the federally-mandated plan was finalized, in 2004, the cost was pegged at just over $1 billion. The last estimate, in 2011, put the cost at $3.5 billion.  The long-delayed construction is now projected to be finished sometime around 2017, and it’s still unclear when the plant would be operational. It was supposed to be opened in 2011.

“The initial (city) estimate was a lowball,” said Doug Teresky, chief of staff of the Independent Budget Office, noting that former Mayor Bloomberg pledged $200 million in related park improvements that will cost more than initially estimated. 

Read More:

New York Daily News -  November 26, 2014 - By Ben Kochman  

WNYC - November 26, 2014 - By Matthew Schuerman 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lasker Rink Re-Opening On Thanksgiving After Fixes

Lasker Rink located in the North end of Central Park has been closed since November 15th after opening a few weeks earlier for the season.  "Cross your fingers" a Parks Department worker said last week after working on the Rink.  (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates


Welcome news for ice skaters in the North end of Central Park.

Lasker Rink will re-open tomorrow at 10:00 am after the Parks Department was able to repair the refrigeration system.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the rink announced it would be closed for the remainder of the season.  

On November 15 the Rink issued a statement  that City engineers said the refrigeration plant must be replaced. 

"Lasker Rink will not be open during the 2014-2015 skating season," the message said.

- Geoffrey Croft

Lasker Rink is operated by the Trump Organization.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Police Release Images Of Duo Wanted In Wednesday's Central Park Robbery of Woman, 24

Cops release new images of suspected Central Park robbers

The police released new surveillance images Saturday of the male and female suspected of robbing a  24-year-old woman in Central Park on Wednesday evening in the northern section of the park. 


Authorities released new surveillance images Saturday of the duo suspected of robbing a woman in Central Park last week, according to the NY Post. 

The male crook approached the 24-year-old victim in the park near West 110th Street and Lenox Avenue at about 11:50 p.m., Wednesday, and placed her in a chokehold, cops said. 

When the goon threw the woman to the ground, a female accomplice swooped in and grabbed the victim’s handbag, according to police. The bag contained the victim’s debit card, $5 cash, and a library book. Officials said the victim was not seriously injured in the theft. 

The suspects are both believed to be between 18 and 20-years-old.

The suspects, seen exiting Central Park on Wednesday,  were captured by grainy surveillance video the police released on Thursday.  The woman (l) is seen carrying the vicim's handbag in the  video.

Read More:

New York Post - November 23, 2014 - By Aaron Feis

Friday, November 21, 2014

Parks Department Forestry Truck Overturned In Queens:Video

A massive Parks Department Forestry bucket truck lies on its side after it was  hit and overturned by a commercial delivery vehicle in Maspeth Queens Thursday morning at the intersection of 72nd Street and Grand Avenue.   Parents from nearby schools including PS. 58 became nervous when they were notified via automated text that a major accident had occurred.    (Photos by Linda D'Aquaro) click on images to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

A commercial truck hit a large Parks Department Forestry truck causing it to flip onto its side,  NYC Park Advocates has learned.

According to witness the commercial truck was attempting to make a turn and got stuck, then backed up and apparently hooked the Parks truck.  When it pulled forward, it caused the Parks truck to flip.

The incident occured yesterday at the intersection of 72nd Street and Grand Avenue.

FDNY said they received a call of an overturned truck at 11:21 am. They report the truck was leaking fluid and oil at the scene according to a spokesperson. 

The accident caused major traffic issues as Grand Avenue was closed from 71st Street to 74th Street for approximately 3 hours.

A Parks Department Forestry bucket truck lies on its side after being struck.

A crane was brought in to upright the truck.  

 Video shows the massive Parks truck being turned rightside up.  

A Parks Department spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the person in the truck thankfully did not report any injuries.

Parents from nearby schools including PS. 58 became nervous when they were notified via automated text that a major accident had occurred.   

The accident happened a few blocks away from  Elmhurst Park.

Woman, 24, Choked & Robbed In Central Park By Two Assailants


A man and a woman assaulted and robbed a park-goer inside Central Park Wednesday night, putting the victim in a chokehold as they took her purse and then ran away, police say. 

The 24-year-old victim, Lisa Karanz, told NBC 4 New York she was taking her normal route home along the northernmost path of the park after getting off the subway at 110th Street near Lenox Avenue just before midnight.  

"I was grabbed, put in a chokehold, brought to my knees, brought to the ground," she said.

The man and woman took off with Karanz's handbag.

Police released grainy surveillance video of the suspects Thursday. 

Karanz said police told her the man and the woman had been following her along the well-lit path before ambushing her.  The purse was found along a subway platform later in the night, with everything intact, but the traumatic event has left Karanz shaken, and she said it's difficult to feel safe.

 "It's nerve-wracking to be here," she said at the park Thursday night. "Today I was walking in broad daylight and constantly looking over my shoulder." 

Karanz said it was a difficult lesson for her. 

"Don't let your guard down for a second because when you do, you never know what can happen in a city like this," she said. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. 

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WNBC - November 20, 2014 - By Brynn Gingras

Central Park Ambulances Destroyed In Garage Fire

"We can't just go out and buy another bus. While we do have insurance on the vehicles, the cost of replacements ambulances and the necessary equipment to stock them will far surpass what we expect to recover."  -  Central Park Medical Unit

Two volunteer Central Park Medical Unit ambulances were destroyed in an early morning fire in a public garage yesterday.  The non-profit group  has been providing free emergency medical services in the park since 1975 and responds to more than one thousand calls annually. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge


A Total Loss. The interior of an ambulance reveals the charred remains. (Photo:  Rafael Castellanos courtesy of Central Park Medical Unit)

By Geoffrey Croft

Two custom designed ambulances belonging to the Central Park Medical Unit were destroyed in an early Thursday morning fire on the upper west side. 

The all volunteer unit lost two of its three ambulances in the two alarm fire that broke out at 3:30 am in a public parking garage at 143 W. 108th St., between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues owned by E&B Operating Corp.

The group's oldest and newest ambulances were lost in the blaze which also claimed  dozens of other vehicles parked in the commercial garage. 

More than one hundred firefighters responded to the scene. The fire took a little over an hour and a half to get under control according to  FDNY officials.

Five firefighters were treated for minor injuries at nearby St. Lukes Hospital and released.

The  cause of the fire is under investigation.

The loss for the group is of particular concern because the specially designed $ 150,000 vehicles are built lower than normal ones which allow them to pass through and under all of the park's low tunnels and bridges. This provides greater access through the many miles of passageways  helps increase responce time.

(Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge

While other ambulances are not able to pass through several locations the Central Park, which happens periodically the Central Park "buses" have two or three inches of clearance.

The unit operates within the Park and its members have an expert knowledge of the geography of the Park.  

"This facilitates our rapid response times, regardless of a call's location," said Greg Levow VP Administration Central Park Medical Unit who notes their average response time is 3 minutes.

The charred remains of  the interior of an ambulance.
(Photos: Rafael Castellanos courtesy of Central Park Medical Unit) Click on images to enlarge

Response times for the unit could be increased since they are down to one working ambulance. 

The non-profit has approximately 150 volunteers who donate approximately 6,000 hours per year.   The group has never charged a single patient for their services since beginning in 1975 and relies on public donations.

"We can't just go out and buy another bus," said Greg Levow VP of administration for the Central Park Medical Unit.

"We are raising funds to help us restore our operations as quickly as possible. While we do have insurance on the vehicles, the cost of replacements ambulances and the necessary equipment to stock them will far surpass what we expect to recover."

The "Crowdrise" tool on their website allows people to donate.   

The parking garage onwed by owned by E&B Operating Corp. is located on 143 W. 108th St., between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues.    (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge

The 100% volunteer Unit operates in complement with FDNY and the other commercial ambulance services and its members hold the same certifications as FDNY and commercial EMS providers, NYS EMT and NYS Paramedic.

In addition to the ambulances e group has two Bike EMS teams and a six-wheeled off-road vehicle.  

In recent years we've had several high profile rescues, saves, and incidents:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Central Park Speed Limit To Be Lowered

The speed limit in Central Park will be reduced to 20 miles per hour and new barricades will be installed in four areas.  (photo: NYC Park Advocates) click on image to enlarge


By Geoffrey Croft

The De Blasio administration will lower the speed limit in Central Park as part of the Vision Zero plan NYC Park Advocates has learned.

The speed limit will be reduced by 5 miles per hour to 20mph.

The move comes after two people were killed and three suffered fractured skulls this year alone as a result of being struck by cyclists in the park. 

Police in the park have dramatically increased bike enforcement and education.

The Central Park Pct. has so far issued 865 tickets to cyclists this year compared to 212 over the same period last year as of November 12th.  

The top four categories for tickets issued: 386 for Failure To Yield To Pedestrians,  164 wearing head phones,  117  biking on pathways, and 94 summons for running red lights. 

Some people were stopped for multiple infractions but given only on summons according to police.

Last week two off-leash dogs were run over and killed in the park by motor vehicles.  

Starting on November 7th the speed limit on all New York City streets was lowered to 25 MPH unless otherwise posted as part of Mayor De blasio's Vision Zero plan in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries in the city.  

In the early 90's police briefly enforced a separate speed limit for cyclists in Central Park under then parks commissioner Betsy Gotbaum, who instituted a 15 m.p.h. limit.  

Issues involving speeding go back to when the park first opened in the 19th Century as horse-drawn carriages accidents were prevalent.


New items include park-wide speed limit reduction from 25mph to 20mph, barricades further separating pedestrians from cyclists and enhancements to key crosswalks

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, NYPD, and the Central Park Conservancy today announced immediate safety enhancements along the Central Park Drives. In addition to a reduction of the speed limit inside Central Park from 25 to 20 MPH for all modes of transportation, four key crossings across the park will receive substantial enhancements, including highly prominent “Pedestrian Crossing” warning signs at the intersections, advisory 10 MPH speed signs, and advance pedestrian crossing signs before each intersection.  The advance signs will be reinforced with roadway markings near the sign locations, refurbished crosswalks and clearer lane use markings.

Barricades will also be installed to shorten pedestrian crossing distance on the West Drive at two crossings (at Sheep Meadow, near W. 68th Street, and at Heckscher Ballfields, near E. 63rd Street) where the drive is significantly wider than typical. The barricades will be placed in the west-most motor vehicle lane during car-free hours. At Delacorte Theater (near W. 81st Street), a barricade will be installed between the pedestrian and bicycle lanes to better guide pedestrians to the crosswalk and to improve their sightlines to cyclists.
The Central Park Precinct will continue its public awareness campaign in the park to inform every one of the rules and regulations as it relates to traffic and pedestrian safety.  Individuals found in violation of the rules will be cited accordingly. 

        “Central Park is for all to enjoy in a safe and enjoyable manner, no matter how you choose to experience it,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These immediate safety enhancements, worked out in partnership with our sister agencies, augments that experience by calming traffic, improving crosswalks and further reinforcing the appropriate lane assignments for all users.”

“Public safety is our highest priority and the new safety enhancement measures being implemented in Central Park will surely provide its millions of visitors with a safer experience,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.  “I commend the NYC Department of Transportation, the NYPD, and the Central Park Conservancy for partnering with us to ensure enhanced safety conditions for all of the park's pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.”

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said, “The New York City Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of all those who use Central Park as a means of transportation and recreation.  We will continue to collaborate with our partners from the Central Park Conservancy, NYC Department of Transportation and the Parks Department to make our streets safer for all New Yorkers and visitors alike.” 
“There’s no question; slower traffic will mean a safer park” said Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of Central Park Conservancy. “We applaud the DOT’s leadership role in lowering speed limits and adding signs and barricades, and we urge all  park users to know the new rules of the road.”

The four locations to receive these treatments include:

•       West Drive at Delacorte Theater (near W. 81st Street)
•       West Drive at Sheep Meadow (near W. 68th Street)
•       West Drive at Heckscher Ballfields Crossing (near E. 63rd Street)
•       East Drive at Terrace Drive (near E. 72nd Street)

The agencies will follow up the enhancements with stakeholder outreach and will be distributing DOT’s Bike Smart Brochures and Central Park-specific brochure geared toward cyclists and pedestrians.

Read/View More:

 New York Daily News  - November 19, 2014 -  BY Erin Durkin

CBS - November 18, 2014 - By Dave Carlin 

New York Daily News  - November 18, 2014 -  BY Erin Durkin

WCBS 880 -  November 18, 2014 -  by  Alex Silverman

New York Post  - November 19, 2014 - By Amber Sutherland and Yoav Gonen 

gothamist -  November 18, 2014 - Christopher Robbins

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bono Injured In Central Park Bike Accident


The lead singer for the Irish band U2 was injured in a bicycling accident.

Paul Hewson, better known as Bono,  took a spill while riding in Central Park that will require surgery the band announced on its website on Sunday.

"It looks like we will have to do our Tonight Show residency another time - we're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding."

The singer lives across the street from Central Park in Steve Jobs’ old penthouse apartment at the San Remo.

$ 170 Mil. Secret Pier 55 Deal: Barry Diller To Create Park & Entertainment Complex

This rendering of the proposed Pier 55, which will be built between the soon-to-be-demolished Pier 54 and the already demolished Pier 56, calls for undulating lawns and an amphitheater.

The Hudson River Park Trust finally found a solution for the crumbling Pier 54 delema - get a billionaire to foot the bill and exclude the public from having any say.  The proposed 
$ 170 million dollar Pier 55 project will be built between the soon-to-be-demolished Pier 54 and the already demolished Pier 56 between 13/14th Street in the West Village.  (Renderings: Heatherwick Studio) 

The Barry Diller-Diane von Furstenberg Family Foundation will contribute $ 130 million dollars to design and build the off-shore pier then lease it from the park trust for 20 years.   The city and state are contributing $39 million for construction.  The nonprofit Pier55 Inc. will run the pier’s programming and fund day-to-day operations. 

The unique space will feature lush lawns, gardens and several performance spaces. 

See how a confused Madelyn Wills, president and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust attempts to get around a reporter's question regarding whether the deal was done behind closed doors and misrepresents that it was discussed with many in the community including elected officials and contradicts herself all in a matter of seconds.

"The funding of this, although discussed with many in the community and many electeds was obviously a funding agreement is done not in the public….   

"The Trust also said they kept and elected officials and community leaders apprized during the process," WCBS's Dick Brennan reported.

Area representative State Assemblymember Deborah Glick's has a differant view on this subject according to the NY Times.

Elected officials weren't the only ones left in the dark.

Several members of the Trust's own Advisory Council have expressed not knowing as well.

The Hudson River Park Trust continues to push the Bloomberg public/private partnership agenda to abdicate its responsibility for caring for its public spaces.  They approached billionaire Barry Diller more than two years ago and have been negotiating behind closed-doors since. 

“Somebody’s got to pay for it. We don’t have the money,” Diana L. Taylor, the chairwoman of the Trust told the NY Times.  

That statement is true because people like her partner former Michael Bloomberg and other elected officials simply refuse to allocate the necessary funds. Over the years several media outlets have erroneously reported that Hudson River Park is supposed to be self-sustaining.  

Ms. Taylor famously told a group of public school parent representatives hoping to include a school during a meeting regarding the stalled redevelopment of Pier 40,  "I don't give a shit I don't live around here."   

The deal was supposed  be announced today by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mr. Diller.  

 - Geoffrey Croft


The Hudson River is about to get a spectacular new floating park, thanks to media mogul Barry Diller and his wife, celebrity fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, according to the New Yor Daily News. 

The couple has partnered with the Hudson River Park Trust to build a $130 million pier and performance space to replace the unused and decaying Pier 54 at W. 13th St., Diller told the Daily News. 

 "There is no performance center in New York with these kinds of aspirations," said Diller, who heads media conglomerate IAC. 

The plan calls for a square pier the size of two football fields to rise on stilts between the existing, but decrepit, Pier 54 and the remains of Pier 56. Both piers’ pilings will remain as a habitat for fish.  

The new pier, to be known as Pier 55, will feature undulating gardens, lush lawns and pathways and a 700-seat waterfront amphitheater.

Pier 55 gets $130M bid to create an ‘island oasis’
The platform would sit atop 300 mushroom-shaped concrete columns that are to range in height from 70 feet above the water to 15 feet above.

It was designed by Heatherwick Studio, the same company behind the flaming cauldron at the 2012 London Olympic Games.  

"New York has always reminded me of Venice, so I am happy the time has come to properly honor its waterways," von Furstenberg said.  The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation will design, build and maintain the pier — then lease it from the park trust for 20 years. 

Oscar-winning movie producer Scott Rudin, theater director Stephen Daldry, and playwright George Wolfe are all on board to select acts to perform on the pier.  The city and state are contributing $35 million for construction, but most of the financial burden will fall on the famous couple.

“We are so lucky as a family that we get to do this,” Diller said. 

 One park watchdog was more critical, saying such a project should have local input. 

 “Diller is obviously being extremely generous, but private citizens are being able to dictate public spaces,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates.

 “The public has been completely left out.”  But the Hudson River Park Trust defends the partnership.

"This is not privatization," said Madelyn Wils, president and CEO of the trust.

 "They're going to be operating in a public park so the park has to remain open and accessible."  

The lease still must be approved by the trust’s board, and will undergo a 60-day public review. Plans will be presented to Community Board 2 next month. 

For Croft, it’s too little, too late. 

“It’s already a foregone conclusion,” he said. 

If approved, work will begin next year with a scheduled completion date of late 2018 or early 2019.

This rendering of the proposed Pier 55, which will be built between the soon-to-be-demolished Pier 54 and the already demolished Pier 56, calls for undulating lawns and an amphitheater.

Barry Diller, chair and Scott Rudin, vice chair of nonprofit Pier55 Inc. will run the pier’s programming and fund day-to-day operations under a 20-year lease with the Hudson River Park Trust.

The crumbling Pier 54, which juts 875 feet into the Hudson River will be demolished and replaced by a 2.4 acre off-shore park and performance spaces.    (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge

The Hudson River Park Trust has rented out the former Cunard-White Star pier for events including concerts and the annual Gay Pride dance each June.  In 1998 it became part of Hudson River Park.   

The rusting Cunard & White Star arch at the foot of Pier 54 will be restored under the plan and will provide one of two access points to the park which will be 186 feet off-shore. 

Read More:

WCBS - November 17, 2014 - By Dick Brennan

New York Daily News -  November 17, 2014 - By Katherine Clarke  

New York Times - November 17, 2014 - By Charles V Bagli AGLI and Robin Pogrebin 

New York Post - By Steve Cuozzo  November 17,  2014 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Trump Run Lasker Ice Rink Closed - No Signs Posted - Information Removed From Webpage & Social Media

"How can you delete all the messages about being closed from here AND your website? Do you know how many people will show up only to be disappointed? Put the message back so at least people know." -   Facebook 

The Donald Trump run Lasker Rink located at the north end of Central Park, opened for the season on October 27th but a message posted on the Lasker Facebook page on Friday afternoon said it had been closed down.   (Photo: Michael Appleton for The New York Times)

"The City engineers have been through our facility and realized the refrigeration plant must be replaced. Lasker Rink will not be open during the 2014-2015 skating season," the message said as first reported by NY 1. 

By Saturday however  announcements on the Facebook page and the rink’s Trump website had mysteriously disappeared.  And no reference of the issue can be heard on rink's voice mail message.

No signs were posted at the rink about the closing.

The Times reports that last night the Parks Department said  it would attempt to fix the rink’s concrete slab and valves to identify and repair the source of a leak “in the hope of reopening the rink to the public later this season.”


The day after the skating rink at the North end of Central Park abruptly announced that it was closing for the season, the parks department said on Saturday that it would try to make repairs so that it could reopen at some point this winter, according to the New York Times.  

The site, named Lasker Rink and operated by the Trump Organization, announced on Friday that city engineers determined that its refrigeration plant needed to be replaced. Rink management notified the various hockey groups that used the rink of the closing, sending them scrambling to find other places to play. 

 But on Saturday evening, the parks department said in a statement that it would attempt to fix the rink’s concrete slab and valves to identify and repair the source of a leak “in the hope of reopening the rink to the public later this season.”  

Facebook post on Sunday morning.

“In the meantime, the Trump Organization, along with NYC Parks, will work with the community and other area rinks to try to accommodate hockey and skating groups who call Lasker Rink home,” the statement added. 

“Refunds will also be issued to any organizations who reserved and paid for use of the rink during the time that it will be closed.”

The closing stunned those who use the rink regularly. 

 “It’s nothing short of devastating right now,” said John Sanful, the executive director of Ice Hockey in Harlem, a nonprofit that has used the rink for years.

 “There were 240 kids scheduled to be in the program, and we’re still hoping to get them on the ice this year.”  Mr. Sanful said that on Saturday, a group of 9- and 10-year-olds and the organization’s girls’ hockey team had gone to a rink in Brewster, N.Y., about 50 miles north of Manhattan, to practice.  

The Lasker site operates a public swimming pool in the summer. In the colder months, it has two outdoor rinks that host youth and adult hockey leagues as well as public skating sessions. 

The rinks opened for the season at the end of October, but a message posted on the site’s Facebook page on Friday afternoon said they had been closed down. By Saturday, the announcements on the Facebook page and the rink’s website had been removed.

The rink’s management did not return requests for comment.  

On Saturday afternoon, the rink, which is near East 106th Street, was empty, with pools of water gathering on the surface. No signs were posted about the closing. Finding the gates closed, would-be skaters departed to make other plans.

Blank.  By Saturday, the announcements on the Facebook page and the rink’s website had been removed.

Read More:

New York Times - November 15, 2014 - By Emma G. Fitzsimmons 

Refrigeration woes to close Central Park’s Lasker Rink for winter season
New York Daily News November 15, 2014 - By Larry McShane  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Central Park: Second Off-Leash Dog Run Over and Killed In Week


By Geoffrey Croft

For the second time in a week an off-leash dog was struck and killed in Central Park NYC Park Advocates has learned.  

The latest incident occurred on Tuesday at 8:30am when a Shih Tzu darted out and was run over by a vehicle traveling south bound on the Parks's west drive near 86st Street.

Last Wednesday an unleashed dog was run over and killed by a Parks Department truck.

The canine was struck by a vehicle driven by Parks Department supervisor traveling southbound near 100th st. & west drive last Wednesday morning before 8:00am.

“I was running by and as i got there you could hear the owner sobbing from a far," a woman wrote on the West Side Rag website. 

"seemed like the dog was off the leash and was hit by a garbage truck. The truck stayed on the scene  – there were tons of police and fire trucks. Very devastating. 

Keep dogs on the leash even when you are allowed to take them off the leash.”

The Parks Department's press office refused to respond despite repeated attempts seeking comment. 

Both incidents occurred during the city's controversial off-leash hours that allow dogs to be off-leash in certain designated  areas provided all general rules, including having the dog under control at all times are obeyed. 

In Central Park dogs are allowed off-leash when the Park is open from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am when the Park closes according to the policy.  

The Parks Department’s “courtesy hours” policy were formalized by the city in 2006 after a lawsuit challenging the policy was filed. The suit was dismissed. The rules are now part of Park Rules and Regulations. 

Injuries caused by off-leash dogs continue to be an issue in the city including several incidents that have occurred in Central Park.

In July 2012 a bike rider was attacked by two vicious dogs who were not on their leashes.

In 2011a bike rider sued the City and the Central Park Convervancy after colliding with an off-leash dog in the morning. 

Tragedy Strikes.  A distraught dog owner clutches his dog in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on  March 10, 2011 after the unleashed canine darted out into traffic and was struck by a car and killed. The beloved dog and owner had been in the lower Eastside park when tragedy struck.  (Photo: © NYC Park Advocates)

In 2006 the Juniper Park Civic Association in Queens sued the Parks Department over its "courtesy" off-leash hours and its lack of enforcement of existing leash laws. The City in turn amended its health code and made off-leash hours official.

Read More: 

A Walk In The Park - November 10, 2014  - By Geoffrey Croft