Editorial: That’s some key (card)

Last week, Stuyvesant Town management opened a brand new fitness playground, the first of the complex’s playgrounds to be completely renovated and outfitted with a key-card entry system.

At the ribbon cutting, General Manager Rick Hayduk announced the other playgrounds would eventually follow, not only in being renovated but in becoming key-card access only. This is now Blackstone’s property and the owner can of course do what it wants to the playgrounds. However, before this plan is put into action, we hope management reconsiders completely shutting the playgrounds’ gates to outsiders.

Granted, for years, signs on each playground clearly state that Stuy Town/Peter Cooper is private property and the premises are intended for residents’ use. However, we see nothing wrong with the current system, where non-residents are still welcome to visit a playground so long as a) they’re not being rowdy, b) they haven’t confused some part of the property for a dog run and c) they’re not crowding out actual residents. A few years ago, management began having monitors check IDs at the busier playgrounds to prevent this from happening, and it seems to have worked. We realize a key-card access system is cheaper in the long run than having someone staff the playground so maybe having such a system at just the busiest playgrounds could be a good compromise. The rationale behind this key-card entry plan is to make residents feel safe. Another way to do this would be to have more boots on the ground, worn by public safety officers. The sight of more security people still seems, to us, less intimidating than gating off the community, bit by bit.

We are not knocking gates, by the way. They work well at some places, like Gramercy Park, where the space’s exclusivity is its main selling point. But ST/PCV isn’t Gramercy Park, and we’re pretty sure its accessibility — without the pressure of a guided visit by a leasing agent — has helped rent more than a few homes.

6 thoughts on “Editorial: That’s some key (card)

    • Still doesn’t mean that they should open up everything, especially when it comes to our kids. At least there’s some semblance of safety and security in what we have. If it’s good enough for the muckety-mucks in Gramercy – should be good enough for us, right? Plus, the author’s conclusion about increasing rentals – where’d they get that from?

  1. Actually there always was a check on residents, just wasn’t always enforced. I live over a basketball playground and there were more kids playing basketball from outside then from the development. The rec. dept. and security was supposed to check if people had keys to the buildings at one time, before they had cards. I have no problem with the security but like was said above some of the fences are so low jumping them is no problem and was no problem when I was young as were even the tall fences. Security does need to be improved and I think management is taking it seriously, albeit slowly. Yes there does need to be more boots on the ground to prevent problems not to investigate after they happen. Cameras are only as good as the people watching them. Two cameras at the entrances to Playground 7 and no one has come yet as many outsiders have entered the new set up. Finally management has put a minder to check ages and make sure users are residents.

  2. Considering that there are a lot of high-rise condos/co-ops going up and the population of the neighborhood is going to be greatly increased (putting a strain on the infrastructure and public transportation) I think it is a very good idea to make the playgrounds, indeed the entire property, accessible only to tenants and a limited number of their guests.

  3. Gimme a break. They can’t stop people, often with criminal intent, from tailgating their way into our front doors, but this is going to keep them out of that crummy “fitness park”?

  4. Ever wonder why that pizza or Chinese take-out delivery person on a high speed electric powered bike past baby carriages & seniors most often arrive at your door without checking in? How about all those move-ins or out that leave both entrance doors hooked open. Gimme a break about the “sight of security” because they’re either sitting in their cars or tooling around in that electric scooter. We don’t have doormen and the young people who live here are busy looking down at the mobile phones and let anyone in.
    The entire property should be Guard gated and accessible only to the residents and their invited guests.

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