New York City has more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities
throughout the five boroughs. With more than 28,000 acres of land including national
monuments such as The Statue of Liberty, safety is always an issue. New York City
already has a reputation for their incredibly high crime rates and many of these crimes are
committed in public areas such as parks. There are many murder and rape cases in the big
parks where there are many joggers. One of the more famous cases is the rape and attack
on a white female jogger in Central Park on April 19th, 1989. Many people are frightened
by incidents such as this one but there are many ways to prevent instances like this from
occurring. The New York Road Runners Club offers group runs where they put you in
groups of people with your talent level so you don\u2019t get left behind and assaulted.
Another way is to map out your route. Always run in clearings where everyone can see
you. Do not run where there are many bushes so people can hide there and attack you
Another safety issue is playgrounds for little kids. In a city like New York, many
people don\u2019t have the luxury of a backyard so they have to depend on a local playground.
The leading cause for death in playgrounds is strangulation and falls. Many times, the
designs of the equipment is flawed therefore many states has formed together to create
safer parks. Playgrounds must have protective padding to absorb impact in case of falls.
In playgrounds with monkey bars, the padding might not be enough. From personal
experience, falling off the monkey bars with the protective padding can still fracture your
Testing of the equipments can be very difficult because of the size of the child,
the clothing that he/she is wearing, etc. Sweaters and jackets that have strings protruding
can be extremely dangerous if it gets caught. During a survey of New York State Parks,
they found that 68% of parks have hazards such as peeling paint and pressure treatment.
The peeling paint poses a threat of lead paint. After thorough testing to see if there is
lead, you have to determine if the amount of lead present will pose a threat to people
especially children under the age of 6. Pressure treatment of wood is dangerous because
the wood is treated with arsenic which is a toxin which can affect the endocrine system.
This can lead to infertility in humans and animals.
The issues that I have talked about are all very important issues and the
government is working very hard to solve these problems but there are many problems
that are much more obvious being ignored. During eighth and ninth period when I have
my major Environmental Science, we occasionally have trips to Fort Greene Park to
study human impact on the environment and I see many problems being ignored.
Anybody can plainly see the potholes and cracks in the running path and with the huge
number of joggers at the park; it is very surprising that they didn\u2019t get the path fixed up
after such a long period of time. As part of the Tech track team, we run there daily during
the Cross Country season and I have seen more than one teammate twist their ankles in
holes deeply covered by grass. Instead of using their budget to fix these paths, I see
workers planting new shrubs and building fences to prevent soil erosion.
I believe that if the paths were fixed up, the joggers will be glad to fork over the
few tax dollars to restore the beauty of the park. I know that the park has a lot of
historical value and the beauty is very important but having a nice looking path can also
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