By Alex Israel
The parking lot attached to Tavern on the Green will soon be transformed into some other more park-like purpose, according to the Central Park Conservancy. It’s still not clear what exactly that means, but a conservancy rep spoke to the Community Board 7 Parks & Environment Committee this week about the general outline.
The conservancy will add the lot to its $300 million program of work, which includes a number of other projects to be completed over the next 10 years, said Lane Addonizio, Associate VP for Planning at the CPC.
While there is “no specific plan or design at this point,” for the parking lot space, according to Addonizio, the organization has “an ideal schedule” that avoids disruption and “will involve outreach” to the local community. She estimates they are about a year out from formal planning.
CPC Chief Operating Officer & Chief Landscape Architect Chris Nolan warned that they “have to figure out what the project is” before providing an estimate on the cost or the timeline, but that they want to avoid overspending on a temporary solution.
Community Board 7’s Parks & Environment Committee Chairperson Klari Neuwelt hopes to push the project to the top of the Central Park Conservancy’s priority list, looking for input on how “to make it green, to make it park-like, to make it look better.”
These are some of the offhand, cost-effective options discussed for the interim while they decide on what the final project will entail:
—A spray paint job over the pavement that transforms it into hopscotch/other similar playground games
—Partner with a local bike group/store to teach kids how to ride their bikes there
—Provide chalk for kids to use themselves to draw in the area
Addonizio and Nolan will plan to return to the Parks & Environment Committee by January 2018 to present a more concrete timeline for the long-term project, as well as potential ideas for what to do in the interim.
In the meantime, the committee proposed an official resolution, recommending that the Central Park Conservancy establish the parking lot for park-like uses and programming temporarily and permanently.
The resolution will be voted on during the next Full Board Meeting on November 8, 2017.