Well, just, yes. The early weekend curfew of 10 p.m. at Washington Square Park didn’t make sense; it wasn’t the right way to handle any issues going on at the park. It only inflamed the situation. Now, due to public push back, the curfew has been rescinded.
Although Mayor de Blasio on Brian Lehrer’s show earlier Friday, June 11th acted clueless as to whether the earlier curfew would continue; later that night, the NYC Parks Department told NY1 that “there was no plan to implement the 10 p.m. curfew.”
Yay. The curfew ending has reverted this park’s closing time back to 12 midnight. The curfew began over Memorial Day weekend but was not enforced after last Saturday’s closing where people pushed back which involved police in riot gear and resulted in 23 arrests.
Washington Square Park’s weekend curfew is midnight again, for now
On Friday, NYC Parks officials told NY1 that there was no plan to implement the 10 p.m. curfew that had been enforced at Washington Square Park for the last two weekends
Mayor de Blasio on Friday addressed criticism of the curfew, said there was never any plan to make it permanent. …
The decision to close the park two hours early came after community members complained about illegal activity and loud partying after dark in the park.
Park patrons who spoke with NY1 on Friday said that they didn’t appreciate being sent home early.
“It should be open forever. It’s a park. You can’t limit, like, a public space. I don’t agree with that,” said “Crackhead Barney,” the host of a talk show on social media called “Crackhead Barney & Friends.”
Some park patrons also took issue with how the NYPD enforced the curfew. The enforcement, over the last two weekends, led to a number of arrests and some criticism.
Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed some of those concerns during his weekly radio interview on WNYC.
“After a lot of attempts to mediate and all, there were folks in the park who were not willing to abide by the rules,” de Blasio said on “The Brian Lehrer Show” about the reason the curfew was implemented.
The mayor also said during the same interview there was never any intention on making the curfew permanent.
The city parks department on Friday told NY1 that the curfew, for now, had been rescinded.
The department also said it would “continue to work with the PD to find the right balance of education and enforcement against illegal and after hour activities that impact the park and the neighborhood … Across the city, we lock and close hundreds of parks daily without issue.”
News that the curfew had been suspended came as a relief to some park-goers who said they were expecting another contentious evening with police to transpire.
“I’m actually glad to hear that because after the preceding incidents, that the NYPD took upon themselves to try to force people out of the park last week, I find that disgusting,” said Steven Lopez, a Washington Square Park patron.
Likewise, the NYPD has said that officers trying to implement the curfew have come under attack themselves.
One man who has lived near the park for more than 40 years told NY1 that he hopes the tension between police and park-goers will go away now that the curfew is gone.
“I don’t think the curfew ever made sense,” said Stanley Weinberg, who lives across the street from the park. “Essentially, [young people] were using parks for what parks were for. But things were starting to get a little out of control.”
Previously at Washington Square Park Blog: