Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high in the upper 80s and scattered afternoon thunderstorms. A wet Saturday gives way to a bright and pleasant Sunday.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sept. 7 (Labor Day). Read about the amended regulations here.
So, you’ve noticed more garbage piling up at your public park. You’re not alone.
Across the city’s sprawling park system, New Yorkers are trying to make the most of their hours outdoors, even if it is spent near shattered glass, charcoal heaps and overstuffed trash cans.
The issue is two-pronged: More New Yorkers, deprived of their usual time inside bars, reception halls and friends’ living rooms, have been descending on the city’s public lawns. But the Department of Parks and Recreation has fewer resources to keep up with trash management.
In a recent article, my colleague Sarah Maslin Nir explored why the parks are receiving less care at a time when they seem to be in greater demand. Here’s what she found.
Increased park use and budget cuts are to blame for trash pileups.
Even in normal times, an uptick in park use like the recent one would have made it harder for workers to keep the green spaces clean. But the city’s fiscal crisis, which was brought on by the pandemic, led to an $84 million cut to parks department funding this fiscal year. That’s a seventh of the department’s total budget.
As a result, the department’s staff has been cut by nearly half. Maintenance hours have been shaved by 25,000 hours per week, too, so crews are able to attend to 400 fewer sites each week.
And earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the department was likely to see more cuts this fall.
Some worry that unsightly parkland is a sign of a teetering city.
“Parks occupy 14 percent of the entire land of the City of New York, so if they are looking rough, the city looks rough and runs the risk — the fear — of going back to the way it was in the ’70s and ’80s,” Adam Ganser, the executive director of the nonprofit New Yorkers for Parks, told Ms. Nir.
“If they are not well taken care of,” he added, “then it feels like the city is not taking care of its citizens.”
Major crimes within city parks, however, were down by about 50 percent between April and June, according to Police Department data.
Now the onus is on New Yorkers.
The parks department has started an awareness campaign urging people to clean up after themselves. City employees will also begin handing out garbage bags to park visitors.
City leaders and neighborhood groups are also working to aid parks. In the Bronx, Ruben Diaz Jr., the borough president, and dozens of volunteers clean up litter on Mondays at Soundview Park. Mr. Diaz calls them “Meaningful Mondays.”
Some New York pizza shop owners are reconsidering having the signature slice on their menu. [Washington Post]
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 27, 2020
What should I consider when choosing a mask?
- There are a few basic things to consider. Does it have at least two layers? Good. If you hold it up to the light, can you see through it? Bad. Can you blow a candle out through your mask? Bad. Do you feel mostly OK wearing it for hours at a time? Good. The most important thing, after finding a mask that fits well without gapping, is to find a mask that you will wear. Spend some time picking out your mask, and find something that works with your personal style. You should be wearing it whenever you’re out in public for the foreseeable future. Read more: What’s the Best Material for a Mask?
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness — many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, though some people don’t show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and received supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one’s sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes — nicknamed “Covid toe” — but few other serious symptoms.
Why does standing six feet away from others help?
- The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther…
Read More: Why Trash Is Piling Up at N.Y.C. Parks