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Streetsblog Gets Action: Cops Pull Out of Carl Schurz Park

12:02 AM EDT on June 19, 2020

Looking south, the NYPD had put barricades inside Carl Schurtz Park, confusing pedestrians and riders who had just exited the ferry and wanted to walk south. Photo: Steven Vago

Call it a bad barricade breakthrough.

Ferry riders can now exit the 90th Street pier without having to walk many blocks out of their way because of a police barricade in Carl Schurz Park, a change in policy that came only after Streetsblog reported on the NYPD open space thievery, and possible racial bias and its execution, near Gracie Mansion.

schurz story
How we covered the story.
How we covered the story.

“It's a massive improvement in their posture towards commuters. Thanks for your efforts,” noted a tipster after the change in police tactics.

The move to open up the entrance at 90th Street comes after the NYPD seized sections of Carl Schurz Park near the NYC Ferry entry points — the southeast side of John Finley Walk, the west side entrance at 87th and East End Avenue, and the north side at the 90th Street ferry —  and forced ferry riders to walk north, exiting at dangerous 96th Street. The stated reason? Protests in front of Gracie Mansion over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Yet many ferry riders told Streetsblog protesters only demonstrate on East End Avenue, not directly in the park.

On Thursday, the NYPD moved out of the park, leaving the entryways accessible for ferry passengers and park goers, said the Streetsblog reader. "They were just on East End Ave where the protests actually occur," he noted.

The sudden change to open the 90th Street entrance also comes right before the Phase II reopening of the city, which will bring an influx of passengers onto the ferry beginning Monday.

Ferry riders, many of whom are essential workers, felt a reprieve since the opening, said the tipster. "Other commuters were extremely relieved."

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