Community Board 2 Washington Sq Park Task Force Meets Thurs. July 17th

After a long hiatus, Community Board 2’s Washington Square Park Task Force meets this coming Thursday, July 17th, at 6:30 p.m. NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Place, Room 520 (ID Required). I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that it’s being held in an NYU Building (although it would be more reassuring if it was in a different location).

This is the agenda, as posted on Community Board 2’s web site:

1. Status report on phase 1 construction.
2. Status report on phase 2 planning and design, including initial report on dog run design.
3. Status report on comfort station and maintenance building planning.

4. Design of playgrounds including “mounds” area.

When I encountered Council Member Alan Gerson at the City Council Parks Department Budget Hearing in May, he alerted me that the Task Force could weigh in on the pathways and design elements (planters, benches, etc.) which are clearly already underway at the Park. And not just the playgrounds and the “mounds.” (I would call Council Member Gerson’s office to clarify this but, as his office does not return my phone calls, I have no way of getting his take on this.)

Is that not so? None of the items on this agenda seem to have any empowering aspects to them or any regulation over the look or design of the park. (For those who have been entrenched in this issue for the long haul, I realize that may sound naive.) It’s not the playgrounds that are going to change the entire character of the Park.

What do we want this Task Force to be doing? What should the Community Improvement District be asking for? The Community Board has a tendency to shirk back and then attribute this to their “advisory” status (which is also used as an excuse for not taking stronger positions), now it’s time for them to step forward.