Bensonhurst Park is looking pretty gritty these days.
We stopped by the park over the weekend to scope out the situation, and found it to be rife with hazards. Benches were collapsed and broken, the sidewalk was full of tree stumps, potholes, and loose bricks, and caution tape was everywhere. The restroom area was still bombed out and shuttered from a fire that ripped through it in October of last year.
Damaged equipment and obstructed pathways pose real dangers to park goers, particularly seniors and children. Earlier this month, a report released by the Comptroller’s Office found that Bensonhurst Park was among those that racked up the highest number of playground injury lawsuits within a 10-year period.
The report also found that, city-wide, 30 percent of playground injury lawsuits were related to improper surfacing – including missing or defective matting, cracked or broken surfaces, holes in the ground, and rubber mats that burn too hot in summer months.
Community Board (CB) 11 recently put in a request for funds in the 2016 capital budget for a long-overdue, full renovation of Bensonhurst Park. While the request was denied, district manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said she was told that the Parks Department “will try to accommodate within existing resources.”
Repairs to the benches, bricks, and taped off area are expected to be made within the next two weeks, Elias-Pavia said.
Update [5pm]: A spokesperson for Parks Department has addressed the delay in repairing the restrooms and the tree stumps.
“Parks is currently working on repairs to the comfort station at Bensonhurst Park and addressing stump removal and tree replacement citywide. While there are currently no plans for a larger renovation at this park, Parks is always open to working with the community board and local elected officials to identify further opportunities for development,” said spokesperson Maeri Ferguson.