Installation of three regulation-sized pickleball courts began in Carl Schurz Park on Tuesday morning, with NYC Parks making good on its promise to make space for the popular new sport officially on the Upper East Side, following a months-long turf war between pickleball players, skateboarders and playing kids, extensively reported by Upper East Site.
Bright and early, NYC Parks crews were spotted giving a fresh coat of blacktop sealant to the multipurpose play area, where a man who calls himself ‘The Pickleball Doctor’ drew makeshift courts last year after running out of space in Upper Manhattan.
ALSO READ | Free Live Music and Ice Cream Return to the East River Esplanade
By mid-day, the three new courts on the far end of the asphalt, opposite the basketball hoops, were coming together as NYC Parks employees spread the bright blue playing surface across carefully measured courts with the proper spacing between them, a significant criticism of the unsanctioned courts.
Parks officials bowed to pressure last February, revealing plans for the permanent pickleball space at Carl Schurz Park, seeking to curb the friction among park-goers and pickleballers and between groups of pickleball players.
“Unfortunately, the wait times and the high demand also lead to individuals painting additional unofficial court lines, and that’s where it gets even trickier, or more contentious,” explained NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner Anthony Perez, addressing Community Board 8’s Parks & Waterfront Committee earlier this year.
ALSO READ | ‘Maria Mulata’ to Bring Authentic Colombian Cuisine to Lexington Avenue
“Particularly when it comes to taking away space for children in the community,” Commissioner Perez added.
At this point, it is not clear when the new courts will be ready for use. Signage posted on barricades separating the area undergoing improvements says the work in Carl Schurz Park began on May 3rd and would wrap up within two weeks — setting a target date before Wednesday, May 17th.
However, when reached by Upper East Site on Tuesday afternoon, NYC Parks said that the work should be done by the end of the week, weather permitting.
For updates around the clock, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Suggest a Correction
Copyright 2023 Upper East Site. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, broadcast, or redistributed.