Gravel at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 – Good?

They’ve laid down some gravel over the blacktop on pathways at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1.  TK Small mentioned it earlier in the week and brought up the fact that it could pose a challenge for strollers and those in unpowered wheelchairs.  We found it to be a little tough on our tender feet – even in Doc Martens.  How about you?

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  • Ben

    I was on the new surface last night after the Brooklyn Union Gas Reunion Party and it was hard for me, I am disabled I walk with crutches or a cane, to navigate my left foot, my dropped left foot was caught two times on the gravel.

  • T.K. Small

    The other day when this topic came up, for some reason I thought it referred to Pier 6. Reading about this has definitely ticked me off! Specifically I asked Regina Myer to explain how the disability access issues were being considered and impliedly who was responsible. Apparently my concerns are being completely ignored. When I get back from my weekend in the Catskills, I will have more to say.

  • ABC

    This pisses me off. What are they thinking? I will happily hand my stroller over to Regina Myer to push around the park for a pleasant stroll around the park (especially up that hill) and see what she thinks.

    The stupid domes, Pier 6 with all those kids spaces and zero relief from the sun anywhere, this stupid idea… I just don’t think they care at ALL about the users experience.

  • jorale-man

    I was there this morning and surprised by how it covers the entire paved surface of the park. Apart from the (very legitimate) disability access concerns, the surface seemed to be a little impractical. Not awful, I just wonder if they could have come up with something a little more user-friendly, like a soft surface like the running path in Cadman Plaza Park.

  • JoanL

    I was really happy to see it and love the way it looks. I had been hoping that something like that would be installed–it is like the surfaces in the parks in Paris. I hadn’t considered, though, that it might pose a challenge for disabled individuals and am sorry to hear that.

  • my2cents

    Well, no more skating for me…jerks.

  • Mike

    Aesthetically pleasing, and it will discourage bikers and roller blades.

  • kate

    The gravel paths are problematic for a number of reasons. As mentioned in the post, navigating a stroller (particularly a non-luxury variety) over the paths is quite cumbersome. Similarly, while jogging on the gravel paths is not as difficult as pushing a stroller, it is much less comfortable than jogging on paved paths. As anyone who has frequented the park knows, stroller-pushers and joggers are among the most frequent users of this park. Finally, and most importantly from the perspective of a user of the Pier One Playground, the gravel migrates, polluting the playground and creating (yet another) hazard to small children using the playground. This morning, for example, small pebbles were strewn all over the ground of the playground as well as inside the various structures inhabiting the playground. This playground is clearly designed for small children, for whom pebbles present an obvious choking hazard. What were they thinking? What possible advantage is there to gravel paths? Was this brought to us by the same people who installed the blister domes?

  • epc

    I find it awkward to walk on, and spent half an hour cleaning tar out of my dogs’ paws after a walk down there this afternoon.

    TK: what they’ve done, which I didn’t realize initially when I thought it was loose gravel, is tarred the walkways and then placed the gravel atop the tar.

    Those of you who were hoping to drive dogs out of the park entirely: congratulations.

  • IMF

    There is a considerable amount of loose gravel spilled on the lawns. Gravel hit with a lawnmower becomes a dangerous projectile.

  • Matthew Parker

    I like the gravel, but my dog doesn’t.

  • hoppy

    Cats, on the other hand, seem to love gravel. Maybe it could be turned into a big “Cat Run.”

  • brooklynheightzer

    Pain to walk on but easy to maintain. The park designers/landscapers are now fixing the mistakes they made while designing the park (like removing the metal domes/slides that burnet babies – how stupid was that to put them there in the first place!) as well as making some new totally uncalled for changes like the gravel… I guess our taxmoney simply needs to be spent somehow by the city.

  • Bongo

    I had no idea we had so many “health & safety” fanatics in our midst. This is an obvious improvement, much nice than plan old blacktop.

    Looks like an excellent place to play petanque. Time to check the park regulations on that one!

  • Hicks on Hicks

    I thought that the asphalt wasn’t attractive, but while the gravel is much more attractive, it isn’t functional.. My dogs no longer want to walk in the park and biking will be atrocious. Who ever heard of a gravel bike path?

    I agree that there have been some critical design lapses with regards to this park.

  • Mike

    Who said it’s a bike path? It’s not for roller blades. It’s for walking. It looks fine, and there are plenty of other place to walk the dogs.

    What a bunch of whiners.

  • william

    It is not a park. It is a community development project. They don’t want non-residents there. Keep your baby strollers and wheelchairs out. They are wasting money on construction and maintenance to justify their desire to build more condos.

  • Robyn

    Also, I don’t think dust from the gravel is good for your health, especially if it gets up in the air by wind or kids – just common sense. The gravel & dust will get all over the grass and that will not be pretty. But whoever designed the park obviously has no common sense. NOT whining just common sense….

  • Teddy

    It reminds me of some parks in Europe. I do recall seeing quite a few dogs in one particular park in Germany with gravel paths, but no strollers or joggers.

  • Obama?

    Now there are almost as many rocks on the ground as there are in the project-designers’ heads!

  • jorale-man

    I don’t think it’s the kind of gravel that gets kicked up in the air and full of lose particles and dust. As an earlier commenter noted, it’s held down by a tar surface and is more like walking a textured concrete than anything else. I do like the fact that it will keep skateboarders and renegade bikers out. It’s not the kind of park designed for serious biking — at least not until the whole park is finished and maybe then there’ll be devoted bike paths.

  • lee

    Didn’t anyone notice that it is much cooler with the gravel then it is with the black top. There isn’t any shade in the park and the light color of the gravel does keep the temperature.

  • lee

    …cooler by the benches (I didn’t finish my sentence, sorry).

  • Jg

    I’m surprised and disappointed. As someone who has been fairly involved with the park, I kinda feel this was an ill-conceived afterthought. I live in the neighborhood and now my little dog doesn’t know where to walk. Pier 1 was already open.. does anyone know the rationale behind the gravel?

  • nabeguy

    Great line Obama. I have yet to experience this new “upgrade” to the park, but it seems to be another one of those BBP instances of form going head to head with function.T.K. certainly makes a compelling case regarding wheelchair and stroller accessibility while the arguments relating to diminishing the heat by employing lighter colors are also valid. If you’re familiar with the work currently being done on Squibb Park, the solution rests in the colored latex surfacing that has been applied over the asphalt. Perhaps not the same European experience as gravel, but certainly a reasonable middle-ground.

  • nabeguy

    BTW, can anybody say whether they used tar or asphalt as a sub-surface?Hopefully not the former, as it’s likely to harden and shrink come winter, meaning much of the gravel may come loose.

  • ABC

    “as seen in europe” seems to have been the watchwords for these planners. those domes are in kids’ parks in Germany! of course, in this day and age we can google the manufacturer who clearly states the domes are not to be installed in direct sun. and we’ve probably all been in european gardens with gravel. of course, those are on dirt paths so the rocks are set and don’t move all into the grass.

    it just all seems so damn dumb.

    (heat reduction could also be caused by the 20 degree drop in temp)

  • bkre

    I was talking to folks who work in the park and learned the following:
    1) This is not a new idea. It was always theplanned surface for pier 1, the weather was just too cold to apply the surface when they opened pier 1 in march. You’ll notice that the same surface has always been there on pier 6.

    2) This is not the finished product. After the gravel has had the chance to “set” in the tar or whatever, the remaining loose gravel will be swept up. I suggest you take a look at pier 6 where the surface has already set and been swept several times. It is much easier to walk, bike, push a stroller, and I suspect a wheelchair too.

    So to all you whiners, I say wait a couple of weeks until the process is finished until you judge. This reminds me ofll those people who were complaining about the lights when they were first installed before they were even aimed.

  • Flashlight Worthy

    bkre above is correct — this is a work in progress.

    Go walk from Pier 5 to Pier 6. You’ll see how the surface changes dramatically just as you pass the water park. It goes from tons of annoying, difficult, loose gravel to a much, much better surface where there’s nothing loose — just the bits of stone embedded in the tar.

    I expect that this serves a number of purposes that once finished will result in a nicer park. Be patient.

  • ABC

    or all those people who complained about those domes.

    wonder how that lawsuit is coming along?