Kips Bay residents ask for temporary dog run

At a Community Board 6 meeting, delays on getting the funding for the dog run for Bellevue South Park were explained. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Dog owners in Kips Bay are pushing the Parks Department to consider a temporary solution for the lack of a dog run in Bellevue South Park. Members of multiple neighborhood groups made their case at a recent Parks Committee meeting of Community Board 6, arguing that a temporary run near the basketball courts would give residents an immediate place to play with Fido instead of having to wait at least five years while the Parks Department completes additional renovations on the park.

Kips Bay Neighborhood Association member Karen Lee said at the meeting that there is an area north of the basketball courts that is already fenced in and the group has submitted an application for a grant for $280,000 from Borough President Gale Brewer’s office to make changes to the space, such as an access ramp, a nonskid surface and automatic openers for the entrance gates. Lee said that the funding is mainly necessary to make the space accessible for residents with disabilities, which she said is one of the main motivations for pushing for the dog run in the first place.

“Dog runs in the city aren’t ADA compliant,” she explained prior to the meeting. “This would be the first dog run in the city that is ADA compliant. Hospital row is right there and there’s a huge community of disabled people in this neighborhood who already use this park.”

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Neighbors concerned over proposal for floodwalls by two playgrounds

Murphy's Brother's Playground (Photo courtesy of Parks NYC)

Murphy’s Brother’s Playground (Photo courtesy of Parks NYC)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Community residents voiced their concerns about a plan to redesign two local playgrounds around a floodwall that’s part of the coastal resiliency project planned for the East Side.

They got a chance to provide input on changes for Asser Levy and Murphy’s Brothers playgrounds in a meeting last Thursday. This was the second public meeting on the subject.

Meanwhile, some residents were frustrated that the proposals from the mayor’s officer were the same as those presented at the previous meeting, held last November. Carrie Grassi, deputy director for planning at the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, explained that this meeting was primarily scheduled to give residents a second chance to provide input at a more convenient location, since some had complained the previous meeting was held too far from the actual project area. The most recent meeting was held directly adjacent to the affected area at the VA Medical Center, while the previous meeting was held at Washington Irving High School.

“We wanted to give more people the opportunity to see the presentation with fresh eyes so they were unbiased in their feedback,” she said.

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Community garden update: Plaque for ‘Mayor of 24th St.’, tree pits planted across PCV

This plaque was recently installed in memory of a Kips Bay resident. (Photo by Claude L. Winfield)

This plaque was recently installed in memory of a Kips Bay resident. (Photo by Claude L. Winfield)

By Michelle Deal Winfield

Several floral beds along tree pits near Peter Cooper Village and along East 24th Street were planted over the summer thanks to neighborhood volunteers.

Anthony “Tony” Jacoma, affectionately known as the Mayor of 24th Street, had requested a tree guard to prevent dogs from digging and soiling a tree he watered weekly.

On April 27, 2016 at the age of 93, Jacoma died. However, a coalition consisting of the Kips Bay Neighborhood Alliance, KBNA, Community Board Six, Manhattan, Amalgamated Bank and the New York City Parks Department later joined forces to erect a tree guard, plant seasonal flowers and install a plaque which is dedicated to the memory of Jacoma. The tree is located on 24th Street between Second and Third Avenues.

Meanwhile, across from Peter Cooper Village, four of the pits surrounding trees next to the bike lanes from 20th to 22nd Street have also gotten a facelift thanks to Vivian Dearie, a PCV resident.