Bikers arrested in Washington Square as skateboarders avoid fines – The Village Sun
BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Easy riders …do not.
A group of cyclists got this deflated feeling on Tuesday as they received tickets of at least $ 50 for passing through Washington Square Park.
Meanwhile, the skateboarders were bypassing the tickets. They are “educated” on the park’s ban against shredding, but allowed to skate without fines.
Photographer Jefferson Siegel was walking around 5 p.m. when he spotted a trio of arrested cyclists being reported by park police officers and a cop at the park’s south entrance at LaGuardia Place. A skateboarder and a friend were nearby, apparently talking to PEPs.
In total, there was a net of about six PEP officers and at least one police officer there.
In a hurry to get somewhere, the photographer took a few shots with his iPhone and rushed off, not thinking about confirming if they were actually getting summons. But that’s definitely what it looked like.
“The boarders were really young and looked a little stunned / surprised,” Siegel reported. “The cyclists were sort of like, ‘OK, you got me’. “
While Siegel noticed law enforcement at the south entrance to the park on Tuesday, he said cyclists and snowboarders were not stopped at the north end of the park.
Neighbors have raised an uproar over loud noise late at night and drugs in the park. Police, for their part, say there has been a group that regularly refuses to adhere to the curfew at night and to leave the premises.
As a result, police and the Parks Department recently agreed to shut down Washington Square earlier than usual – at 10 p.m. – Friday through Sunday for the next several weeks. In addition, the park’s main drug spot, the northwest corner, is fenced off for a few weeks.
Now it appears that Parks and the police are dealing with another complaint from local residents, which is that bicycles, skateboards and electric scooters are illegally circulating in the park.
However, while cyclists face real fines, skateboarders are only “educated” on the rules of the park for now. This education involves a combination of new signage and speech from PEP agents.
In a statement to the Sun Village, Parks Department spokesperson Charisse Hill said, “Our Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers are working with the NYPD on efforts to educate park visitors about rules of skateboarding and to strengthen their application. We have installed new signs in Washington Square Park that communicate these rules at every entrance.
“Failure to comply with bicycle traffic restrictions in parks results in a penalty of $ 50 to $ 75,” she added.
In terms of issuing summons, Hill explained that the first action of PEP officers would be to educate skateboarders on the rules of the park. If the rules are not followed, the next step would be to issue a subpoena, and only in extremely rare circumstances would there be an arrest.
The spokesperson also noted that the department has a number of dedicated skateparks throughout the city that skateboarders can use instead of Washington Square Park.
According to a source, in addition to setting park rules for skateboarders, concrete steps are being taken – namely, new planters are being installed in certain areas to discourage skateboarders from grinding and jumping.
Meanwhile, it was reported to The Village Sun that on Monday night there were more late-night parties in the park, which left a mess on Tuesday morning. There was also vandalism – someone allegedly graffiti the ark. The iconic monument is made of porous marble which absorbs paint and can be difficult to clean.