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Rye Town Park Safety Issues: MyRye.com Citizen’s Report from Caroline Walker

Today we have a MyRye.com citizens report and update on Rye Town Park by Rye resident Caroline Walker. Walker hosted 50 citizens at her home in November to discuss concerns around overflow parking.

Rye Town Park - Joe Carvin, Kristina Bicher, Doug French 

(PHOTO:  Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, Kristina Bicher and Mayor Doug French (Caroline Walker not pictured). The four met January 12th to further explore ways to improve the safety of Rye Town Park.)

Walker's report:

I just want to give you an update on our progress on Rye Town Park safety issues — as you might remember, we've created a Rye Town Park Task Force and we are having our second meeting on January 21st to finalize our recommendations that we will present to the Rye Town Park Commission at their February meeting (they have told us the tentative date is Thursday Feb. 11th).  The recommendations will follow along these lines…

1) Proposing the installation of barriers to create a safe and secure separation between pedestrians and cars

2) Reducing the number of cars in the park

3) Streamlining operations and adopting best practices

4) Analyzing and revisiting beach and parking pricing by benchmarking against our peer beaches.

-Caroline Walker

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Point #1 is a safety issue. But the other three points?

    C’mon folks — you are trying to reduce the number of cars because you live across the street.

    Call a spade a spade, and your argument goes a lot farther (or is it further?).

  2. You moved into your house across the street from the park for the views. You don’t want to see cars there. That is how the park makes some money. If a car comes to spend a day at the beach and has 4-6 beach chairs, assorted sand toys etc. they will not want to take a bus from a park and ride. The park is not just for Rye residents and most Rye residents don’t go to Oakland Beach for the sun. Aren’t there more important issues in this town?

  3. I don’t live across from the park. I am not worried about the view. I am worried about the total destruction and disrespect of a very beautiful park. Parks are meant for walking, picnicking, reading, ball games, sunbathing and quiet contemplation. It is such a beautiful park and we are so lucky to have it. It should be treated with respect. Not torn apart but cars, rendering most of it useless, in the exact months that a park is most likely to be used. It makes no sense to me that this is the answer to the beach parking problems. We have limited parking in Rye. I often go into town and have to circle and circle to find a spot. I don’t get to park on the town green. Why is the town park any different? It is a total travesty that this has been allowed to happen. If I were in charge, once the parking lot was full then the parking lot would be closed. This is what happens at Yankee Stadium, at the beaches all over New England, and even at the Mall. Why do we do this to our beautiful park? I will never understand it.

  4. You call the destruction of grass “a safety issue???”

    I was by there this morning walking the dog. The grass looks fine. No major damage. As a matter of fact, when viewed from the sidewalk of Forrest, it actually looks pretty good!

    On the days when there are hundreds of cars, there still is the large area where people sunbathe, play Frisbee, etc. There truly is plently of room, even on the most crowded days.

  5. I don’t understand why you are so complacent about using what little green space this town has in such a way, average citizen. I said nothing in my previous post about safety issues. But with that said, safety issues should be more than enough of a reason to stop this horrendous practice.

    Why should a park be used this way? You have yet to sufficiently answer this question. We have limited space in this town, that is just a fact. In the morning when I drop off my son at Midland, there is often no parking. So should I park my car in the middle of the rye rec baseball field? Would that be acceptable to you? Why is this type of behavior not only something you accept but encourage? I find it confusing. It is presumably your park too. And tossing a frisbee in a park with cars driving around hardly has the same feel as if it were the green space it was meant to be. Thank God NYC, a place that has presumably the most limited parking on earth, doesn’t take your attitude. I’d hate to see what would happen to central park and other cherished green spaces if that were the case.

  6. RyeMom, First of all, I don’t see a safety issue at all. Can a child get hurt amongst the cars? Of course, but that is true anywhere (including the paved parking lot, right?). If there have been numerous instances, then I would say that there is a problem. And no, I am not saying “it’s not a problem until someone gets hurt.” Cars & people do not automatically equal problems.

    On most weekdays during the summer, the grass is hardly utilized. On weekends, it’s a different story – lots of cars. But on those days, is the beach packed to the point that the Park Rangers have to turn away bathers? Nope. And there is a limit (3,000 I believe) but I have never heard of that limit being reached.

    I apologize if I am putting words in your mouth, but it’s my impression that your main concern is the environment. I too care about the environment, but I’m sure not to the same degree that you do. Nothing wrong with that. Have you walked over to the parking area lately? I do not see large worn areas from autos. The park is very green. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the current condition of the grass (not what it will look like after years of abuse).

    As for your Frisbee comment, I think you are totally off-base with that one. If you use the park even slightly on a weekend, you would know the area I speak of. No cars park there and it is enjoyed by many who choose not to go onto the beach area. And it isn’t close to being crowded. By this point I mean that even with the overflow of cars, there is plenty of room on the grass area (between the gravel road and where the cars park) for sun worshipers to enjoy the park.

    If you limit the amount of cars to just the paved area, the cost of parking/beach entrance would be prohibitive. The only way you could keep the cost down would be to have Rye & Port Chester increase their subsidies. But that is just a code word for “raising taxes.” Are the mayors of Rye and PC ready to increase taxes even more? I think (hope!) not.

  7. “It should be treated with respect. Not torn apart but cars, rendering most of it useless, in the exact months that a park is most likely to be used.”

    Average Citizen – you’re being waay too kind to ryemom. Just look at the above clueless ideological blather based on absolutely nothing. There are REAL AND SERIOUS environmental issues needing attention here in Rye – issues that certain vested interests want ignored, covered up, dismissed. Perhaps ryemom is part of those interests – or shares the newfound frustrations of them at mutual park dog walking sessions. In any event I’m sure rational heads at the joint administrative table will quell this minor manufactured tempest in short order.

  8. Ted C, I am not sure why you are suggesting that avg citizen be unkind to me, but I guess you don’t like people who don’t agree with you.

    First, let’s be clear. Short of publishing my identity, which I won’t, because reading through these blogs I often question the mental stablity of some contributers, I can promise you I belong to no group. I don’t own a dog. I don’t know Caroline Walker or any of the people working with her. The most political thing I have done here in Rye is vote for mayor, and I voted for Doug French. As far as being a environmentalist, I am a luke warm one at best.

    My problem with the cars on the park, is that the presence of them seem to be directly opposed to the spirit in which the park was created. Most parks are created to provide a refuge, a place away from the hustle and bustle of busy towns and roads and pollution. I just think it is sad to see our beautiful park used this way, and can’t help but wonder why parking limitations are solved this way in this case, while other parking in town (train station comes to mind) remains limited, and no creative parking is allowed.

    There are plenty of times that I want to take my two youngest children to the library, and there is absolutely no where in the vicinity to park. Like avg citizen’s beach goer with lawn chairs, do you know what it is like travelling two blocks with a baby, a toddler and all of their gear in tow on a cold, rainy day? I would like to see what would happen if rather than endure this, I parked on the Town Green. I am sure I’d be ticketed and towed in no time, and probably charged with a crime. But I can’t, so I walk. I promise you, a shuttle from town would be a VERY welcome sight.
    Why is using the green space in the park any different? No one has addressed this.

  9. Rye Mom,
    ” mental stability of some contributers”

    I cant help but to LMAO @ this one!

    Please, unless you want to end up like Mr.Amico DO NOT park on the City Hall Green…I’m sure the Commissioner will find something false to charge you with!

  10. Ok let’s focus in a little more ryemom.

    “torn apart but cars, rendering most of it useless”

    Please expand as to what you mean by this statement – where exactly, when exactly – because it is apparently nothing but pure ideological blather.

    And btw were you aware of the necessary subsurface construction last year to repair and replace the conduit funneling the buried stream to the duck pond? Could the surface scars be part of what you’re referring to?

  11. Cars don’t belong in a park Ted. That is the sum of my argument.
    I haven’t noticed any damage, and I think the duck pond looks ridiculous with that half-assed fence around it.

  12. @Rye Mom,

    I don’t know if we’ve met or not, although I certainly understand you not wanting to use your name.
    I haven’t visited this site for a while so I also don’t know if you’ve just begun to post.
    I will tell you that the nastiness you are experiencing from Ted Carroll and some of the anonymous “regulars” on this blog is nothing unusual.
    This handful of men — with an entire wood shed full of dull axes — dominates this blog with their coarse language and hair trigger attacks.
    As I have said before,( if you click on my name you can see my prior contributions) Rye needs a public forum of this sort. The best defense against hateful speech is more speech. I hope you will not be deterred from voicing your opinion by Ted and the other cowards.
    I live on Midland so I imagine you pass my house taking your kids to school.
    Feel free to knock on my door sometime and we can talk about Rye, the park and the blogging bully boyz over coffee. I brew Dunkin Hazlenut. 😉

  13. “Hateful speech?” “Coward?”

    Charmian you, Steve and others from the losing slate need to review the laws surrounding public discourse and criticism of public figures and public officials. Just a cursory read of today’s Journal News will reveal one of your slate’s costly secrets coming to light. More to come I bet.

    To paraphrase Saul Alinsky – many writers here that you distain have simply “banded together to improve (our) lives.” What could be more progressive?

  14. Jimmy, of course you’re welcome for coffee too. And I spelled Hazelnut wrong. I have an excuse – I’m typing with my right hand.
    Still can’t get over “Adam”. My first love.
    Then I moved on to Tom Jones and Barnabas Collins.

  15. Thanks for the hospitality Charmian!

    I did click on your name and clearly there is a lot of emotion swirling around out there. Of course I have heard of Mr. Amico and have always had nothing but sympathy and empathy for him, but outside of that, I wasn’t aware of the strong feelings that exist about the way Rye is run. Anyway, I am truly not connected in anyway to this park committee, but I do agree with them. I also agree with all of Mr. Amico’s Midland Avenue initiatives…even though they seem unpopular. I am happy to learn that a pedestrian crosswalk is being built there. That is good news.

  16. Rye Mom,

    Everyone that knows Jim Amico knows that he is not the man his nay sayers portray him as.
    Unfortunately, it seems the subject of Midland Ave. has become more about the man than the problem at hand!

    I am happy to have Jim on our side.

    As Councilman Sack put it “at times Jim can be more than a little rough around the edges”

    Financially speaking, the world couldn’t be in a worse position, Jim and his family are no exception to this.
    People are taking their own lives over money.
    Jim could have stuck his head in the sand along time ago and called it a day, most people in his position probably would have but instead he fights for all of us and our children, for this the Otis Administration and the RPD have rewarded him with lies, political bs, smokescreens, and of course most recently an ARREST!
    As if that wasn’t enough the Rye Record has now joined in with that PATHETIC police blotter written about him!

    Is this what Rye has become?
    Point out the obvious as you try to make a difference and you get all that in return? We all know and agree with Jim’s assessment of the RPD, we are just too afraid to speak up in fear of retaliation, as we all just witnessed!

    I wonder how much this Law Suit will cost the Tax Payers?

    Mayor French,
    How much longer before you address the PD issues? How many more Law Suits will it take?

  17. Hi Mr. Jones-

    Again, I am woefully ignorant of Rye PD issues, political issues, etc. But I do know bad taste when I see it, and I totally agree with you about the police blotter in the Rye Record. That seemed so unnecessary and mean-spirited. I am not sure who writes the blog, but I am often surprised at the things that this person finds funny and suitable for ridicule.

    Anyway, the one thing that puzzles me is the amount of anger out there. What is the source of it? I know Mr. Amico is often criticized, but his anger is the only anger I can understand. Presumably, we all live in Rye, so right there, that makes us more fortunate than 99% of the planet. So what has happened to the others that has made them so angry, that rational discourse is impossible? Is it all about money? Is it based in class warfare? As a relatively sheltered Rye resident, I am just curious.

  18. Rye Mom,
    I remember back in June of 2006 when Jim first approached Mayor Otis and his Council.
    Jim spoke with a very heavy heart which I am sure could not have been easy for him. He was soft spoken and asked for help. There was not one sign of anger in that man!

    Quite frankly, I still don’t understand the course of INACTION from Otis,his council, & the Rye Police Dept.

    You said; “the amount of anger out there” & “what has happened to the others that has made them so angry”

    Not sure who you are referring to and exactly what anger? Can you explain this a little better for me so I can answer it best?

  19. Well Ted C kind of blew my hair back a bit. I was surprised at the hostility in his post. He seemed to assume that I was connected somehow to the park committee or the past (or maybe the present?) council. Then Charmian gave me a little tour of the myrye blog and it seems that there is a lot of hostility from and toward Mr. Amico, Ted C, the Tartaglione guy and a couple of others. People seem well versed in the action or inaction of the police department, Otis and his admin, etc. There seem to be some conspiracy theorists out there. Granted, this after just a quick perusal of Charmian’s rebuttals to some posts. Sorry if I misspoke. Maybe I am misinterpreting anger for passion?

  20. No, there is more than a fair share of anger out there. It is rare that a topic doesn’t include some form of name-calling, or accusations that if you don’t agree with a poster’s view, then you must be (take your pick): from the Otis Camp; from the French camp; a Rye policeman; a Rye Lt, a tree-hugger; a tree-hater.

    I think you are close when you say maybe you mistake passion for anger. It is the more passionate topics that bring out the insults. But, come on folks! We’re all adults (I hope)! Do we really need to call people names, accuse them of being _______, or bring up past indiscretions?

    Even when you and I were discussing RTP, we both made our points. Civilly. I didn’t expect you to change your views; I just wanted to point out mine.

    Sometimes I worry about what the internet/blogs have to offer in their anominity. I believe it causes people to say things that they wouldn’t say in a “normal” setting, such as if we were discussing a topic at Poppy’s.

    That’s all.

  21. Cars belong in the park during overflow periods, they’ve always been there since the park was created, Rye Historical Society and RTP files have many photos showing this decade after decade, new park management has been doing a generally good job of controlling them in the past few years, seasonal grass damage from automotive traffic is negligible – permanent damage almost non existant, most people now complaining about the grass damage don’t seem willing to acknowledge the effects of the recent heavy subsurface construction in the newly brown area along Forest Avenue, most taxpayers in Rye City are very pleased that new management has reduced the financial bleed and are hoping to see it finally eliminated, the park’s beach going constituents (who arrive mostly by automobile) vastly outnumber the Rye City concerned citizens who now presume to direct them to distant off site lots affording the mass of them no protection from the hazards of a not infrequent sudden summer storm.

  22. Hi Ted-

    I’d love to see these photos. What year are they from? Were there hundreds of cars like there are now? I have been living in Rye for 8 years myself, and I think it has only been 3 years that cars have been allowed on the park. I don’t ever remember cars on the park my first few years in Rye.

    And on a more personal level, why are you FOR cars parked in the park? Outside of just being angry that relative newcomers are taking this on as a cause, I just can’t see any rational reason to be for this type of parking. Can you explain?

  23. Rye Mom,

    I really have no opinion either way on this.
    As you probably know by now, I have been here 47years and I can honestly tell you that cars parking on the grounds has been going on for a very long time, definitely without a doubt way longer than 8 years.

    BTW-Thank You for your support, kind words and understanding my anger and passion. I have written so much over the time and can’t remotely remember how much anger I might have displayed although I’m sure most of it was provoked.
    There has been a lot of nasty things said to me that I just refuse to tolerate, I make no excuses for defending myself and my family.

    In spite of what you read or hear about me, please keep in mind there are always 2 sides.
    I at all times will give you 100% truth. I do not lie and find nothing to gain in a lie, I do not hide from my words and feel an identity strengthens the words!

    Again, Thank You!

  24. Hi Mr. Amico-

    I can assure you that most people I know only have sympathy, empathy and heavy hearts for you. Unfortunately, those voices aren’t the loud ones.

    At any rate, I appreciate your information on this subject. I truly don’t recall cars being on the park. Maybe a handful on busy days but in the last couple of years it seemed as if half the park was covered in automobiles. I am sure a compromise can be reached. Hopefully rational, reasonable people are working on it and will come up with a resolution everyone can feel good about.

    RM

  25. ryemom –

    Grass roots movements need do their research before bringing charges of municipal malpractice especially when our city is not sole owner or manager of the property. I couldn’t personally care less whether the people raising the issue live in Rye or Port Chester for 50 years or 50 minutes. It’s the broad righteous claims of this newly formed group that create a familiar ring to those of us well accustomed to being accused of being Rye City elitists by the other constituents in the RTP. One look at the post-construction brown area pictures used to try and build their overall case on their website is enough. As far as “angry to newcomers” please don’t bother following the petty demonization tactics employed by the failed professional political operatives among us. Their days of covering up a plethora of municipal sins just ended. If you will refrain from employing scientifically unfounded ideological blather I will not see a reason to call it by its proper name.

  26. Ted,

    I am unaware of any charges made by the park committee people. I am not sure what you are referring to. I also don’t know what “ideological blather” you are referring to, as I have repeatedly said I am not an ideologue. I don’t know what I have said that has led you to believe I am attached to a particular ideology.

    Also, I think I have confused you with somebody else. And I apologize. One of the people here made repeated reference to Caroline Walker’s newness in town and her view of the park. So in trying to understand what is driving the pro-parking sentiment, I hypothesized that it was a manifestation of class war-fare or old vs. new Rye. If I am wrong, I accept that.

    It seems clear that parking has been allowed in one form or another on the park for sometime. I will admit I thought this was a new thing. I am still certain though, that the number of cars allowed has increased dramatically in the past couple of years. Before, it seemed like they were confined to a small area, which did not impose at all, to such a large area that it created a huge change in park environment. And when I use the word environment, I mean the park atmosphere you expect when you step off of a sidewalk and enter a park. The last thing you expect to encounter once your foot hits the grass is a car. Anyway, I am still curious about why you are FOR this type of parking. I enjoy your writing but I wish you would just answer me plainly.

  27. “why you are FOR this type of parking”?

    Because it does no lasting damage to the park and it serves the interests of the park’s largest group by number of constituent stakeholders – summer beachgoers. Their dollars afford us year-rounder’s the luxury of having the park mostly to ourselves the rest of the year. We are grateful (I am grateful) for their patronage and am hopeful that the new park management continues on its path to financial solvency.

    In a prior post I indicated that early century photos show what appear to be Ford Model A’s and T’s stacked up around the park like piles of firewood. These images reside in the same Rye Historical Society that one of the new movement’s founders hails from. Lest a claim arise that they somehow cannot be found, Port Chester also has these pictures as likely does The Journal News – successor to The Daily Item – a newspaper formerly based in Port Chester itself.

    Those photos plainly show well over a thousand vehicles in the park on a peak day. Some of the photo cutline’s I’ve seen indicate seemingly impossible numbers of attendees to Rye Beach in early years but old timers told me it was true and how lucky I was that (this said in the 1960’s) “many of those folks can now drive out to the new Long Island beaches carved out by Robert Moses.”

    So ryemom, do the research, see the park history files and photos and ask if this isn’t a much better state of affairs than existed before. Can it be improved? Yes – everything can. Do we need radical change here? Absolutely not. And please join me in suggesting the organizers label their post construction photos honestly…

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Today we have a MyRye.com citizens report and update on Rye Town Park by Rye resident Caroline Walker. Walker hosted 50 citizens at her home in November to discuss concerns around overflow parking.

Rye Town Park - Joe Carvin, Kristina Bicher, Doug French 

(PHOTO:  Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin, Kristina Bicher and Mayor Doug French (Caroline Walker not pictured). The four met January 12th to further explore ways to improve the safety of Rye Town Park.)

Walker's report:

I just want to give you an update on our progress on Rye Town Park safety issues — as you might remember, we've created a Rye Town Park Task Force and we are having our second meeting on January 21st to finalize our recommendations that we will present to the Rye Town Park Commission at their February meeting (they have told us the tentative date is Thursday Feb. 11th).  The recommendations will follow along these lines…

1) Proposing the installation of barriers to create a safe and secure separation between pedestrians and cars

2) Reducing the number of cars in the park

3) Streamlining operations and adopting best practices

4) Analyzing and revisiting beach and parking pricing by benchmarking against our peer beaches.

-Caroline Walker

Do you have a citizen's report on an important Rye issue? Tell us!