Why the DOT should not be in the landscaping business

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Update: DOT to make corrections to Tire Swing Park

August 7, 2010

As a result of the BatteryPark.TV report on the construction flaws and suboptimal management of the lawn of the newly opened $9 Million Tire Swing Park on West Thames Street, the DOT will me rectifying the situation. New drainage pipes will be installed to alleviate the poorly draining kid shower and fountain (see below), and the sprinkling schedule of the lawn will be curtailed. A DOT official was scouting out the area on Saturday.

To see what the lawn looked like just one month ago, click here.

August 4, 2010

The new grass lawn adjacent to the West Thames Tire Swing Park is deteriorating rapidly. Normal recreational use that should be easily withstood by a grass field is causing worn out mud patches. BatteryPark.TV has learned that this is due to some design problems.

During construction, heavy equipment weighing many tons was used and this compacted the soil causing poor drainage of the field. In addition, the soil mixture of sand versus organic matter was likely improperly chosen for an “active use” field. To compound the problem, the sprinkler system is being activated when the field is already excessively moist.

Another problem leading to grass death is caused by dog owners crossing over the footbridge and allowing their pets to urinate on the lawn, causing circular dead spots of grass. A fence was suppose to go up, but for unknown reasons was not placed.

None of these problems are insurmountable and could be alleviated easily. If half of the lawn were closed once a week on a slow day, such as Monday, as golf courses do, it would allow the dead spots to regenerate. A short area of fencing by the steps of the bridge would divert the dogs, and the sprinklers could be more optimally scheduled.

The BPCA has not yet taken full custodianship of the care of the park and the State DOT is the agency responsible for the care of the field to date. As with many government agencies, the DOT is dropping the ball and the expensive new lawn is falling apart before our eyes.

Dead grass spots caused by dog urine

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One Response to Why the DOT should not be in the landscaping business

  1. Adam Levine says:

    NYSDOT constructed the lawn in accordance with Battery Park City Parks Conservancy specifications and is currently working jointly with Parks and turf consultants to address the lawn issues. Currently, NYSDOT is responsible for lawn irrigation and Parks is responsible for management and mowing. The lawn is a highly popular spot and receives an incredible amount of daily use. Thank you for your observations, concern and input, and have a good night.
    – Adam Levine DOT

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