Delayed Repairs Leave Kids Climbing Over Fences At Bay Ridge Ballfield

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Children and parents in southern Brooklyn are climbing over a fence to play ball in Bay Ridge, even though they are putting themselves in danger by doing so.

Despite warning signs and a more than 4-foot-high fence, adults and children alike have been scaling fences to get to the ramp to the ballfields at Shore Road Park in Bay Ridge.

The ramp has been closed since last summer when a large hole opened up, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported.

“I have used the alternative methods to get down to the field, yes,” said baseball coach Michael Wood.

CBS2 watched as a 10-year-old boy hopped over the fence. His mother then handed him his sports equipment and watched as he maneuvered around the hole.

“For practices, a lot of them have been jumping over just to get to practice faster,” said mother Christine Maxwell.

Even though it’s dangerous, parkgoers said it is just a much more convenient entrance. The others are blocks away and have stairs.

“So if you’re coming down with a baby stroller, or you have older people with you, it’s really hard to get them down,” Wood said.

But more than a patch job is needed to fix the ramp.

“The damage was much more extensive, requiring complete refurbishment,” said Josephine Beckmann of Brooklyn Community Board 10.

Beckmann said the board has pleaded with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to make the repairs fast before someone else gets hurt.

“The good news is the money has been allocated. it is being fast-tracked,” she said.

But parkgoers said they have waited long enough.

“I understand that there’s reasons why and it takes time, but it’s taken an awful long time,” Wood said.

The Parks Department said it hopes to have the project completed by early summer. But not everyone believes it.

“I think I will be long dead before this gets repaired,” one woman said.

The Parks Department said the new ramp will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, but that does make the project more complicated than originally planned.

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