Saturday, January 23, 2016

Upper West Side Inclusive Recreation

Currently the NYC Parks Dept in conjunction with the Upper West Side  Inclusive Playground Taskforce  is developing a prototype Inclusive Playground at the Bloomingdales Playground on W 104th Street. The Parks department is designing this as a unstaffed fixed equipment playground.

 Planned Bloomingdales Inclusive playground(green pin)  and surrounding neighborhood

Here's a list of  22 special needs.  Given limits on space/budget at Bloomingdales  , I suspect the parks department  will not be installing  a great variety of recreation objects for each special need.

Bloomingdale Library

 It would be great if this playground could  also had  a staffed portable recreation equipment parkhouse that would be able to offer a far greater variety of special; needs recreation equipment.
But I was told  they have no staff funding so are not planning to do so.. However four blocks  south of Bloomingdale Playground(west 104th St) is the Bloomingdale library  ( West 100th St...)

Bloomingdale Library (red), Bloomingdale Playground (green)

By offering the loan of special needs recreation equipment, this library  could play the role of special needs portable equipment parkhouse for the new Bloomingddale inclusive park.

But further that that it could also  play the role of special needs equipment and/or locker key  lending facility  for  additional  public spaces in the neighborhood.

Public Spaces Surrounding Bloomingdale Library(red pin)

 Public Spaces

-Fredrick Douglas Playground (W 100th St/Amsterdam) 279 feet
-Happy Warrior Playground (W 98th St, Amsterdam) 465 feet
-Frederick Douglas Houses (NYCHA) (W 100th St, Columbus) (brown) 500 feet
-Central Park (W 100th st , CPW)/ .278 mile
-Bloomingdale Playground (W 104th St/Amsterdam)  ,288 mile
 - Lotus Community Garden (POPS) (97th. Broadway) (yellow)  .3 mile
-Riverside Park (W 100th st Riverside Drive).341 mile
-Joan of Arc School Playground (DOE) (W 94th St, Amsterdam)(blue)  .416 mile
-W 104th St Community Garden (W 104th St, Manhattan Ave) .442 mile
-La Cerla Community  Garden (W 104th , Columbus ave) .466 mile
-Bloomingdales Library(red)

 .   Bloomingdales Library key/lending/ equipment collection   would complement the Blooingdales Inclusive Playground  with a wide variety of portable equipment . Additionally this portable special needs equipment collection will  have the potential to transform many more public spaces, over a wider area into inclusive playspaces.

 The Bloomingdales Inclusive Playground is an expensive project. It will probably need $2.4 million in funding to be build. (Nov 2015 update update-actual funding of playground  is now set at 5.6 million dollars)

Cost of equipment and lockers for this idea will be a small fraction of the 5.6 million that is being allocated for the childrens playground. I suspect $100,000 would cover lockers in each park puls a wide variety of recreation equipment to store in those lockers.

Coverage Area

1/2 mile (10 minutes/blocks) is about the upper limit of a parks coverage area. If a facility is more then 10 minutes away it will be used far less often then if it is closer (actually if a facility is more then 3 minutes away it will be used far less often then if is is closer, but 10 minutes is a more accepted standard so will use that one)  That puts the Bloomingdale Inclusive Playground covering 94th Street to 114th Street. Leaving most of the upper west side without inclusive playground coverage.

I suspect at the price of building the Bloomingdales Playground , it will be awhile before additional fixed equipment inclusive playgrounds will be built on the upper west side. But here is an idea...

If the Bloomingdales Library Special Needs/Inclusive  Recreation  Collection is a success, this collection can be duplicated at the Riverside and St Agnes branch libraries I would suspect for  well under $10,000.

This would mean practical every resident of the Upper West Side will have Special Needs/Inclusive play equipment loan  facility  available the park closest to where they live.

Bloomingdale:110th St: 90th St to 110th St coverage
St Agnes:80th Street:  70th street to 90th Street coverage
Riverside:66th St:  56th St to 76th Street Coverage