John Liu: Rats, Broken Equipment, Still a Problem at Some NYC Playgrounds


Looks like some City playgrounds aren’t all that child-safe.

An audit released by City Comptroller John Liu’s office claims that the Parks Department was slow to fix dangerous conditions in some playgrounds — and might have missed regular inspections.

Liu, who’s still dealing with the fallout from the arrest of his campaign treasurer, said that the agency would sometimes neglect to fix nasty problems — such as rusted and broken equipment — even after they were “flagged for repair.”

Parks is supposed to randomly check out 205 playgrounds every two weeks, so that each site in the five boroughs gets inspected twice annually.

In July, inspectors visited 107 playgrounds — and “found problems were still present months after Parks’ own inspections brought them to light” and sometimes found more, undocumented problems.


This audit, which stems from these July stats, chronicles broken and deteriorated safety mats, missing bolts, rat infestations (in Tompkins Square Park), damaged benches, and “rotted and splintered playground equipment.”


The Parks Department, which gets to respond as part of the audit process, says it will conduct repairs ASAP, and prioritize them based upon severity. The office disagrees, however, that it had taken too long to fix problems.

For a list of problematic parks, visit the Comptroller’s website.

Most Popular