During a public hearing at a Coney Island NYCHA complex last month, Councilman Mark Treyger listened to complaints about heat and hot water failures attributed to Superstorm Sandy replacement boilers from the residents of O’Dwyer Gardens and 15 other housing projects. Residents also told him about the unsafe conditions of the playgrounds in that area, according to the Daily News.
Sheila Smalls and other residents have pleaded with New York City Housing Authority officials to repair unsafe play areas and replace old equipment, but so far nothing much has changed.
Old mattresses have replaced trampolines and rickety scaffolding subs for jungle gyms for the deprived youth of Coney Island’s O’Dwyer Gardens, where angry residents claim that calls for repairs have gone unanswered for decades.
Layers of chipped paint, fading rubber mats where toy horses once entertained tots and fenced-off jungle gyms have plagued six playgrounds at the New York City Housing Authority complex ever since Hurricane Sandy struck.
“This is outrageous. I will be committing funding to rebuild the O’Dwyer playgrounds,” promised Treyger.
NYCHA officials insisted that damages to the play area were not the result of Superstorm Sandy – which I guess makes it okay or something. At least they disclosed plans for placing new rubber mats at three area playgrounds, which will make for a more comfortable fall from a rusty swing set.
“Work is underway at three play areas in O’Dwyer Gardens and we expect repairs to be completed by this summer,” a statement said, via the Daily News.
Overall, residents including Smalls are getting fed up with the ever-worsening conditions at O’Dwyer and other Coney Island public housing units.
“Everything used to be so beautiful and so green,” said Smalls, who is 54. “This used to be the elite of the NYCHA buildings, and now it’s like a prison.”
Fellow O’Dwyer resident Yvette Borrelli says she doesn’t know where to take her six grand kids when they ask to go to the park. Some residents worry that the lack of playgrounds lead to violence among local youth.
In other news, Brooklyn Bridge Park cost taxpayers $226 million. Not that we’re insinuating anything here.