Opinion: Turning over a new leaf at Bellevue Park South

Bellevue South Park (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Assemblymember Harvey Epstein

For almost four decades, Bellevue South Park has provided Kips Bay residents a much-needed oasis for recreation and relaxation in an area otherwise starved for green space. Unfortunately, in recent years, the park has become a hotspot for illegal activity that includes drinking and drug use. These behaviors make the park unwelcome and unsafe for the families in the neighborhood. We must address these problems as a community and make the park a safe and enjoyable place for all.

Bellevue Hospital, which operates over 300 psychiatric beds, and the 850-bed 30th Street Men’s Shelter are just steps away from the park, making it a natural hang out spot for homeless individuals as well as those with mental health issues. Often these groups overlap, creating even greater challenges with providing services. Further complicating the situation is the nearby The Children’s Center, whose clients are city’s most vulnerable children waiting to be placed with a foster family. Teens in the facility face incredible emotional stress and unfortunately have a history of being involved in violent incidents around the neighborhood.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Pedestrian killed on Sixth Avenue at West 23rd Street

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Police reported that 60-year-old Michael Collopy was killed after he was reportedly knocked down by a cyclist in bike lane at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street on Wednesday, July 31 at 11:53 a.m. EMS transported Collopy to Bellevue Hospital and he succumbed to his injuries there on Monday, August 5.

The NYPD initially reported in a notice sent on Wednesday, August 7 that a preliminary investigation conducted by NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad found that a bicyclist was traveling north on Sixth Avenue in the bike lane when he hit Collopy, who was allegedly standing in the lane. Police said that the bicyclist did not remain on the scene.

The NYPD claimed last Wednesday that the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be the result of a pedestrian being struck by a bicyclist, but multiple news outlets reported that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner disputed this assessment. The New York Daily News reported that the medical examiner said the “cause and manner of death in this case is pending determination.”