Fitness Equipment and New Basketball Court Coming to Riverside Park

18 months until everyone on the Upper West Side has a six pack!

An asphalt slab in Riverside Park will get some new equipment and a basketball court, the city parks department said this week. The amenities will be placed in a lot just North of the 76th Street basketball courts and just South of Neufeld playground, which itself got a $900,000 renovation in 2012.

Updates to the area south of the playground would include:

(existing layout)

(proposed updates)

Once approved, construction is expected to take approximately 12-18 months between both sites.

This week, Community Board 7’s Parks & Environment Committee approved a resolution in favor of the new equipment and it will be voted on during the next full meeting on January 2, 2018.

Top photo by Matt Hecht.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 19 comments | permalink
    1. Timmy says:

      Wish they would fix the courts near 112th Street and Riverside Park. Asphalt is all cracked and the fences are destroyed.

    2. Ron Kapon says:

      I was involved as a volunteer with the late Governor Mario Cuomo and his Midnight Basketball program. The Parks Department redid the 76th Street basketball courts, adding several hoops & repaving the courts. I grew up playing & coaching on those courts. Even today at 82 I bike down there & around Riverside Park to work with young players. It is a treasure for the neighborhood.

    3. AC says:

      Money spent on parks is money well spent!

    4. CosmoAndCharlie says:

      This sounds like a great plan to upgrade and improve that playground, long overdue.

      Will there be a habitrail set or hamster wheels installed for the rodent population to use?

    5. GrumpyOldMan says:

      Good news! The bad news is the landscape and hardscape of the park between 95th Street and 79th Street is in need of urgent attention. And people on objects that move continue their self-entitled lack of concern for those on foot. Of common concern to both pedestrians and bikers is the disgraceful condition of the hill leading into the park at 91st Street. Riverside Park has been neglected for way too long.

    6. Noreaster says:

      Although I feel very strongly that that area would be better served with a fenced-in, synthetic turf mini athletic field (yes, I know it’s not as big as a full soccer field or anything, and I also know that the idea has its share of disadvantages), it’s nonetheless terrific that something is finally going to be done with this otherwise unused patch of asphalt. This is good news.

    7. EagleEye says:

      I have one small but important suggestion. Move the bike rack slightly north or south and put a tree where the bike rack is currently shown. There used to be a tree there and it did provide important shade for the courts as well as walkers outside the courts. Trees reduce global warming and clean the air of pollutants.

      • Ira Gershenhorn says:

        I was at the CB7 Parks & Recreation meeting where this was presented. I heard there was a community scoping session before this.
        I was quite surprised there was no one present from that scoping meeting.

        • Ira Gershenhorn says:

          I was at the CB7 Parks & Rec meeting where this was presented. I also worked on the Participatory Budgeting(PB) committee that put this item on the ballot 2 years ago. All in all, it looked like a great implementation and it was a very positive result for PB.

          As far as there being no one at the presentation from the scoping session I would hope this was due to difficult scheduling during the holiday season.

    8. Sherman says:


      I work out on outdoor fitness stations when I go to Miami and LA.

      Long overdue here. Great addition to neighborhood.

    9. Linda Geaslin says:

      You cannot be serious! The park lacks decent restrooms, but finds funds for recreation equipment? How about taking a survey and asking actual park users which they would prefer? I’m pretty damn sure all the women, at least, would vote for better and more restrooms, which there are a serious lack.

      • Adrienne says:

        There happen to be decent restrooms located in the adjacent playground. Nothing fancy, but adequate. Do I think this is the perfect plan for spending money? No. But it is fine and not worth having a cow over.

        • Independent says:

          But it is fine and not worth having a cow over.

          What about having a calf over? Or a chicken? Is it worth at least a chicken? Half-a-chicken? A drumstick?

      • Mark says:

        While I agree with Linda G below that rest rooms are needed throughout the Park, the reality is that the cost of building (or even renovating) a rest room in the Park is astronomical – in the millions of dollars. The cost of the fitness equipment is orders of magnitude smaller (and is being financed through the Participatory Budgeting process under Council Member Helen Rosenthal). So this improvement will not affect any effort to add rest rooms.

      • Independent says:

        To say nothing of numerous safety hazards such as crumbling stairs, broken-up concrete and potholes (perhaps even some sinkholes).

        Yet again, one must question the City’s priorities in allocating resources.

        (And not just with regard to parks, either. Take the subway: WiFi and cell service at every station, while dangerous gaps between platform and car remain the norm. To say nothing of the gates, found in many cities throughout the world, that would prevent people from falling, jumping or being thrown onto the tracks.

        But I suppose I should look on the bright side. If one trips on the gaps or falls onto the tracks, one will at least be more likely to be able to phone for help– providing of course, that at that point one is still conscious, one’s phone is still functioning and one is still able to dial it and speak…)

        I would agree about bathrooms taking priority over new amenities such as fitness equipment. Realize, though, that a great deal of effort and resources would be required just to keep any such public bathrooms reasonably safe and sanitary. (Even just to the minimal degree necessary in order to make using them a lesser evil to having no rest room available…)

      • Beth says:

        Not to mention the crumbling staircase at the soccer field on 101st Street…

    10. Chuck says:

      Love it! Can you imagine if it also had a Citibike dock? Heaven on earth.

    11. Gisela says:

      When will the river promenade between W 72 and W 81st street finally get separate paths for pedestrians and bikers. Now it is impossible to let ones younger children play, walk or run there without holding on to a grownups hand or let them bike without very close supervision. And as an older person I feel continually threatened to get run over by fast bikers. It was promised to be done two years ago in a community meeting, in which I voted for the project.

      • young_man! says:

        I ride my bike on that stretch often and I agree it is extremely dangerous – especially weekends when the tour de france/spandex crowd descend upon the park.

        Can’t some of this money be used by the Dept of Parks to at least put in some speed bumps along that stretch?

        There was a proposal about a year ago to re-route bike to the upper pathway. It was supposed to be implemented for last summer. I wonder what happened to that.