Staying safe in local parks: What you can expect

Even with the neighborhood half empty, things are already getting tense on the bike paths and lawns of Hudson River Park and Battery Park City parks, especially when the temperature goes above 60. (Though not as tense as some of the encounters going viral on social media between police and residents in other neighborhoods.)

The rules remain — by the governor’s “New York State on Pause” executive order — that if you cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from another person, you must don a mask. (The order gets extended every couple weeks; this current one goes through May 15.)

But the enforcement of those rules are left to NYPD alone — the Parks Enforcement Police hired by Hudson River Park and Battery Park City’s own patrol officers are not allowed to give summonses. PEP will remind people to stay 6 feet apart and are handing out masks when they can. But they are not omnipresent: for example, HRP only has seven officers per shift for the entire park. After the throngs appeared last weekend, Pier 45 and 46 in the Village will be controlled for crowding by the NYPD, the mayor announced.

BPCA has posted signs as a reminder to parkgoers, and the authority’s “safety ambassadors” — who wear bright yellow — and NYPD officers have been out on weekends handing out masks at pinch points. You can report violations to the BPC Ambassador Services by email, by phone 212-945-7233, or at the Command Center at 200 Rector Place.


The mayor just announced a new text service for social distance violations: you can text a picture to 311-692 to get police to respond immediately. You can also call 311 or use the website, and while neighbors report that these do not seem to have an immediate effect, CB1 does track these calls and can use them as data in meetings with the police.

Unfortunately the city’s 40 miles of street closings have yet to hit the Westside downtown (the closest ones to us are on the LES: Ludlow, Stanton, Essex and Rivington); DOT is not saying what’s next.



  1. I wish they would open a lane on the westside highway for bikes and make the bike lane a jogging lane. It would give us families and walkers space to walk . And since joggers and bikers don’t wear mask it would keeps us safer.

    • Yeah, let’s make it even harder for vehicles to navigate this city. Meanwhile, you know what I want? I want the arrogant bike riders to obey their bike lane traffic signals, especially at the Houston St. entrance to pier 40.

    • I thought of using that far west lane too Toni. It’s a terrific idea and requires no infrastructure. Let’s write to Jumaane Williams office and, who else…?

      • Well, if the bikes were on the highway they would have to stop for the light and then you can cross. Bikers don’t stop for anyone. This is a no brainer for the time being. I will write to anyone to get it done. Because as soon as the weather gets warmer and kids don’t have school nor camp and no play grounds, there will be more and more people on the path. Lets try and make it safe for everyone.

    • That would be too easy Toni. Remember: what is elementary never gets done or only gets done when someone gets injured or killed. That is the rule of Bloomberg and now De Blasio.

      De Blasio is an idiot. It takes eight people being mowed down and killed in that bike line for him to install bollards. He closed NYC public schools in early-middle March not before March thus put thousands of children and adults in harm’s way. He has the Great Lawn open when it should be closed. He will reopen that stupid pedestrian mall in Times Square. He will cut down on subway cleanings. He’ll think we’re in the clear and act accordingly. He’s just as useless as Trump.

      He is an incompetent fool – see everyone including myself turning to Governor Cuomo for information and assurance. No one wants to hear from or even see De Blasio – I know I don’t. I can’t wait til he’s out of office. We need a truly progressive mayor not a developer’s shill like DeBlasio.

      You know who else needs to go? Jerry Nadler, Margaret Chin, Deborah Glick, and Brian Kavanagh – four total zeros none of us ever hear from. Seriously when was the last time Deborah showed her face anywhere? Brian? (who was selected not elected – true story look it up he was appointed by the NYS bigwigs then “elected” against a typical idiot GOP sacrificial lamb.)

      • If you’re interested in hearing from Jerry Nadler, there is a town meeting call in tonight:

        Dear Friends,

        As our city continues to grapple with the devastation of COVID-19, I know that many of you have questions about how we’ll recover from this crisis and what the federal government has been doing to support New Yorkers. That’s why I’m inviting you to join me for a telephone town hall tonight, May 11th, at 6:00 PM ET.

        During the town hall, I’ll share useful resources available to New Yorkers impacted by the pandemic and answer your questions about the issues and concerns important to you. To join the town hall, simply dial 833-380-0697 a few minutes before the call begins and you’ll be joined to the call.

        As always, my office is continuing to work for New Yorkers—if you have any questions or require assistance, please call us directly at 212-367-7350.

        I look forward to speaking with you tonight.


        Jerrold Nadler

    • This is a great idea. Cars traffic is down substantially and summer traffic is light even without a pandemic.

    • This article is the best thing I’ve read in weeks, thanks for sharing. Haha!

    • Those texts are disgusting!

      People don’t seem to get that these restrictions have nothing to do with an infringement on personal liberty: they have been imposed to protect the mask-wearer AND everyone he or she comes in contact with during a world-wide pandemic!
      I heard one guy on the news say that wearing a mask gave him anxiety attacks, so he wasn’t wearing one, even in the grocery store, because he was not afraid of getting the virus. This is just ill-informed and so dangerous for everyone else!

  2. I have a serious question. Why are some people not wearing masks?
    – infringement of personal liberties?
    – they are asymptomatic so not worried about spreading it?
    – they forgot their mask?
    – they don’t have a mask?
    – they think you can’t spread the virus outdoors?
    – its uncomfortable?
    – hard to pant and huff while running and biking in a mask?

    Still about 30%-50% of people on the bike path or local parks are not wearing masks and I really was curious.