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City’s snow pile blocks park entrance

Inaccessible: Marine Parker Jim Halloran had to trek through mud and snow to get onto the Marine Park walking path from the parking lot, which is now blocked by mountains of snow.
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The complaints are piling up!

Marine Parkers are demanding the city stop stacking snow on handicap-accessible parking spaces and walkways in the neighborhood’s namesake park. The Department of Sanitation dropped mounds of mush left behind by Winter Storm Niko in the Marine Park Oval’s parking lots — in one case, blocking parking spots for disabled people and the only path into the park itself. It seems crazy that the city would cover up a sidewalk considering how much open, grassy space there is for snow to melt on, one park-goer said.

“A lot of elderly like to walk around the park — even in bad weather — and now they can’t get to their cars. It’s not impossible, but it’s just very inconvenient and a little more logic in the Parks Department should have been used,” said Stephanie Asaro.

The oval has been a designated snow-dumping site for years, according to Parks Department officials. The Department of Sanitation dumped 10 dump-truck-loads of snow in the park after the Feb. 8 storm, officials said — leaving a park-adjacent, E. 33rd Street parking lot inaccessible for handicapped travelers.

But mountains of ice blocking a park entrance has never been a problem in the past, another local said.

“I’ve always been able to walk up that entrance where the snow is. You have to walk through the mud, first of all, to get to the sidewalk and I prefer to walk right up into the walkway,” said Jim Halloran.

Another lot on Avenue U contains snow piles too, but it remains navigable, locals said.

New York’s Strongest will clean up the melting snow piles and sweep up any remaining debris, once the weather warms — and next time, they won’t block the pathway, a department spokesman said.

“In the future, we will look to work the opposite side of the lot first when establishing a snow dump.” said Vito Turso. “We regret any inconvenience to local residents.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

Posted 12:00 am, February 16, 2017
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