The Central Park Conservancy Reneged on Promise to Resurface Skater’s Road

The Central Park Conservancy Reneged on Promise to Resurface Skater’s Road

June 5, 2022
Signatures: 365Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Anthony Donoghue

Please see our original petition to resurface Skater’s Road for reference.

The Central Park website states that “When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were chosen to plan the new park, they set out to resolve [the] tear in the social fabric and create a space designed to bring all people together regardless of their backgrounds. You can still find evidence of this vision in the Park’s design today.”

The diverse group of skaters on Skater’s Road in Central Park have exercised this vision for over 45 years. However, the Central Park Conservancy (CPC) have not resurfaced Skater’s Road in almost 30 years. 

The CPC has reneged on a promise to resurface Skater's Road beginning June 9th, providing vague assurances it will happen sometime in July. Why would the CPC postpone such a project at a time when rolling skating has become so popular? Two possible answers are as follows:

·         The Wollman Rink in Central Park opens for roller skating on June 16th with a minimum entry fee of $23 per hour. A wink to those running the rink that the CPC won’t provide a good free alternative for skaters.

·         The CPC rents out space on Skater’s Road to film crews and special events. A new surface would attract too many skaters who would get in the way of the park making money off the area. 

Since 2018, when a new administration took over the CPC, headed by Betsy Smith, they have been particularly disrespectful towards the skaters. For example:

·         The CPC told the CPDSA to stop fixing the cracks in the surface. Last summer, two skaters had very bad falls, with one taken away in an ambulance! 

·         The CPC reneged on its (unwritten, but always honored) promise to provide adequate storage for the CPDSA’s equipment, making it much more difficult for the CPDSA to run their events.

Our current petition has the following demands:

·         Resurface all of Skaters Road (from the volleyball courts to the end of the road) with a top grade sporting surface. The volleyball courts are in major need of repair too.

·         Once completed, the CPC must stop allowing heavy vehicles to park on the skate circle causing cracks in the surface and leaving dangerous oil stains.

·         Provide sign posts, more seating and recognize Skater’s Road as the historical site that it is.

Betsy Smith stated recently that “With the creation of Central Park, Olmsted brought to life what was then a bold idea: a new city park open to everyone. At the Central Park Conservancy, we are honored to carry out his vision and welcome people from all walks of life into our shared backyard.”

Simply welcoming all the people to Central Park will not help to mend the tear in the (current) social fabric. Supporting and celebrating a diverse recreational group who represent democracy in action could help to mend the tear. The tourists and the people of New York love the skaters because of their diversity, sense of community, freedom of expression, love for dancing and skating, and for the joy they exude. What better place to demonstrate to the world what New Yorkers and American democracy is all about!

So be bold Betsy. Don’t just talk the talk as so many people are doing these days when it comes to supporting diversity. Walk the walk and be the hero in this story. Be remembered as a true visionary, as Olmsted will always be. I have no doubt he would approve!

Please sign our petition and share it with anyone you think will care. We appreciate your support! Follow us at Community keeps us rolling!

Fyi, I am reaching out to local news outlets. I feel this issue makes for a great story. I will keep you updated!


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Signatures: 365Next Goal: 500
Support now