Brooklyn playground takes heat for equipment temps

The News Leader

April 7, 2010 3:30:52 PM PDT
The gorgeous weather had a lot of people heading to the park. But the sun is creating a dangerous situation at a new playground in Brooklyn. It's making some of the structures too hot to handle. The newly completed Pier One of the Brooklyn Bridge Park is certainly a welcome addition to the waterside community. But some parents say parts of the new playground are anything but child-friendly.

Specifically, several steel play domes meant for climbing are often too hot to touch on sunny days.

"I just don't think that enough planning has gone into this playground," parent Roula Fokas said. "I think they're extremely hot. You can fry an egg on them."

With Wednesday's summer-like temperatures, parents on the playground were keeping their children well away from the sizzling metal domes. In fact, park officials have posted signs warning people to exercise caution.

"I noticed the sign coming in, which was helpful," parent Sarah said. "And I checked them out and I told (my daughter) not to play on them."

But critics say that's not enough. The president of New York City Park Advocates, Geoffrey Croft, measured the dome temperature Wednesday at more than 127 degrees.

"No child should be subjected to possible burns inside a playground," Croft said. "Our playgrounds are suppose to be safe."

By mid afternoon, when the dome was simply too hot to touch, workers began erecting small tents over each of them to try and provide some shade.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy also says it expects that trees planted around the play domes will soon provide enough shade of their own alleviate the heat.

But some parkgoers insist removing the domes would be the smart thing to do.

"I wonder who the idiots were, to put it nicely," Brooklyn Heights resident Melanie Simon said. "You gotta know that metal's gonna get hot."


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