Delayed renovations to JJ Byrne Playground (aka Washington Park) will finally begin tomorrow, the Park Slope Patch reports. New features to the open space on Fifth Avenue between Third and Fourth streets (you know, that strip of park across from The Gate…the one with The Old Stone House in it), will include play areas segregated by appropriate age group and “cafe tables” for adults to sit down. At the same time, the DOT is looking to expand car-less hours on neighboring Fourth Street, which dead ends west of Fifth Avenue into a school. (Currently, it is a “playstreet” Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Such an expansion would effectively increase the size of the park, and also provide a location for the Fifth Avenue Farmers Market.
Who opposes it? Automobile owners, of course.
The reasonable response to hearing a small street between a park and a school has been converted to a playground for children is the following:
“I always lament the loss of parking, but this is between a school and a park — it just makes sense.” (So said a member of the local community board, as reported by the Brooklyn Paper.)
Here’s the unreasonable one:
“I don’t think it’s good for the neighborhood,” said David Ma, who rents apartments and space to businesses like the nearby Stone Park Café. Ma feels it’s already too hard to find viable spots on nearby parking-crunched streets.
“This affects everybody,” he said.
The city’s change on Fourth Street will likely be seen as another blow to motorists, who increasingly complain that roadway space is being taken for cyclists and park users.
Yeah, motorists have it tough. Just like white males, who can never catch a break.