Hoboken park liability?

Church Square Park apparatus looks like trouble

Adding on to the photo post from last week, what is the first thing you think about when you see the photo below taken at Church Square Park?

Is a massive rope gym a good or bad thing in Hoboken?

My feelings are mixed about it. Initially, I thought “Wow, they’ve come a long way with playground equipment since I was a kid. We’d have to go to Action Park for stuff like this! What a blast!”

Then upon further inspection – and the sheer height of this monstrous contraption (at least 15 feet or more), I began to wonder what kind of disastrous injuries might happen to kids (especially if dozens of them are hyper-actively going berserk simultaneously?)

At the very least, I suspect sprains and other minor injuries, like fingers getting caught, etc. And at the very worst – it’s possible some kid will take massive fall, and hurt his neck as they get caught up in the ropes like a rag-doll.

Imagine someone gets paralyzed using this?

21 Responses

  1. Sweet Thunder says:

    Wow- that thing is really tall! I am comparing it to the size of the red drums of who-knows-what. I can imagine someone easily dangling by a limb. At Elysian Park teenagers like to hang out and abuse the kids’ equipment after hours. I can only imagine what they will do with this thing!

  2. Mrs. L says:

    This is the problem when you overly involve the community and everyone thinks they’re at the shopping mall buying things. You end up with too much without thinking practically. Since when did kids need such elaborate set ups? Oh, I know, when mom shoved the kids in the back seat or a spare room with a DVD player and remote. And this other mom, who got her kid on the tablet at 4 years old so she can refresh her metropolitan cocktail. Now nothing is good enough. I can see 411’s point about injuries, and I think one needs to happen to wake some of the entitled moms and dads right up. What about a grass field and some imagination? Forget that, coddling is the new black.

    • Chow says:

      Such an absurd comment. The new playground at Newport is very similar and all of the playgrounds along the West Street in Manhattan are similar in design. My two children love these types of playgrounds. They emphasize physical fitness, dexterity, coordination and imagination – have you haver seen Spiderman – the gym looks like a giant web.

      Grass field in Church Square…the grass turns to mud and it is rutted with tree roots.

      You clearly do not have young children. FYI – my 5 year old loves the iPad and I am thrilled to let him use it because he is able to look at a map and name almost all of the states from playing stack the states…can you do that?

      Read the story to my kids and they laughed.,,,,[quote comment=”218572″]This is the problem when you overly involve the community and everyone thinks they’re at the shopping mall buying things. You end up with too much without thinking practically. Since when did kids need such elaborate set ups? Oh, I know, when mom shoved the kids in the back seat or a spare room with a DVD player and remote. And this other mom, who got her kid on the tablet at 4 years old so she can refresh her metropolitan cocktail. Now nothing is good enough. I can see 411′s point about injuries, and I think one needs to happen to wake some of the entitled moms and dads right up. What about a grass field and some imagination? Forget that, coddling is the new black.[/quote]

      • Andrews says:

        I see both sides to this. Yes, kids should be kids… experimentation, failure, bumps and scrapes. But when I was a child, those things happened in a more natural environment, not forced like a playground with larger obstacles. Kids haven’t surged in height or weight, so I cannot understand why the equipment has. I’m putting my money on a paralysis before the end of 2013. Despite the engineered so called safety of this playground, there are always fatalities. Good luck parents![quote comment=”218575″]Such an absurd comment. The new playground at Newport is very similar and all of the playgrounds along the West Street in Manhattan are similar in design. My two children love these types of playgrounds. They emphasize physical fitness, dexterity, coordination and imagination – have you haver seen Spiderman – the gym looks like a giant web.Grass field in Church Square…the grass turns to mud and it is rutted with tree roots.You clearly do not have young children. FYI – my 5 year old loves the iPad and I am thrilled to let him use it because he is able to look at a map and name almost all of the states from playing stack the states…can you do that?Read the story to my kids and they laughed.,,,,[/quote]

    • animal_lover says:

      Mrs l – well expressed except the overly involved community is really just a small group of moms who want the entire community to pay fortheir wants. [quote comment=”218572″]This is the problem when you overly involve the community and everyone thinks they’re at the shopping mall buying things. You end up with too much without thinking practically. Since when did kids need such elaborate set ups? Oh, I know, when mom shoved the kids in the back seat or a spare room with a DVD player and remote. And this other mom, who got her kid on the tablet at 4 years old so she can refresh her metropolitan cocktail. Now nothing is good enough. I can see 411′s point about injuries, and I think one needs to happen to wake some of the entitled moms and dads right up. What about a grass field and some imagination? Forget that, coddling is the new black.[/quote]

      • Chow says:

        The dominate majority of people who use all of the parks in town are families. By comparison, dog runs which take up a disproportionate amount of space and at the most have 10 people in them at peak times.

        I am a father of 2 kids and love seeing my kids climbing the ropes at newport green.

        You clearly do not have children – where will these athletic events be held? Soccer closes out and the field sunk.

        What plans do you have for the park other than uninformed criticism?[quote comment=”218603″]Mrs l – well expressed except the overly involved community is really just a small group of moms who want the entire community to pay fortheir wants.[/quote]

      • briank says:

        Yes- a public park is meant just for the few. What part of “public” don’t you understand? Also, on case you didn’t notice, there are thousands of children under the age of 10 in this town. Why shouldn’t we improve our existing infrastructure to benefit such a large cohort of people? It’s not like we are appropriating limited space for frisbee golf/insert niche outside activity here. For the property taxes we pay in town either directly or via rent, it’s pretty darn nice to see some of that massive budget go to a quality of life project, instead f the black hole of city bureaucracy. [quote comment=”218603″]Mrs l – well expressed except the overly involved community is really just a small group of moms who want the entire community to pay fortheir wants.[/quote]

  3. funattherun says:

    I think it’s fun! We must leave aside the paranoia once in awhile and live a little. You can easily break your neck using the swings or climbing another one of these less complicated apparatuses, as a matter of fact i find this thing on the picture safer since you can hold on to several things. If you never had a bruise or cut a finger, or fell on your head YOU DID NOT HAVE A CHILDHOOOD!!!!! 😀

  4. HansBrix says:

    “Kids haven’t surged in height or weight”

    I dunno. Height…maybe not. But they do seem fatter on average. And with their weak t-rex arms, how many are even capable of reaching the dangerous spots?

    When I was a kid we had Jungle Gyms and other far-off-the-ground equipment all with lots of sand underneath. Playground injuries were rare. We also climbed trees. This is where most of the fun and danger lurked. When some kid turned up in school with his arm in a sling it was almost always from falling out of a tree.

    The biggest difference between then and now is the over abundance of lawyers willing to litigate every trifle that was once considered part of life. That’s where the real danger resides, IMO.

    • Chow says:

      HansBrix – with out litigious plaintiff’s looking for paydays there would not be an overabundance of lawyers willing to litigate.

      However, good citizens like yourself most likely try to avoid jury duty. If you actually sat on a jury and the case was frivolous it would be dismissed. However, the real problem is the over abundance of entitled people who think jury duty is beneath them and make every attempt to avoid their civic obligation. If B.S. cases got dismissed with regularity the number of B.S. cases brought would dwindle.

      Lastly, there is an assumption of risk when it comes to the use of playground equipment. However, if the City fails to maintain the equipment or the padding on the surface and if someone gets hurt because of these conditions – the City should pay.

      Lastly – kids are much fatter these days. [quote comment=”218577″]I dunno. Height…maybe not. But they do seem fatter on average. And with their weak t-rex arms, how many are even capable of reaching the dangerous spots?When I was a kid we had Jungle Gyms and other far-off-the-ground equipment all with lots of sand underneath. Playground injuries were rare. We also climbed trees. This is where most of the fun and danger lurked. When some kid turned up in school with his arm in a sling it was almost always from falling out of a tree.The biggest difference between then and now is the over abundance of lawyers willing to litigate every trifle that was once considered part of life. That’s where the real danger resides, IMO.[/quote]

  5. homeworld says:

    Here’s an article about why we shouldn’t coddle children with super “safe” boring playgrounds:

    Can a Playground Be Too Safe?

    … Even if children do suffer fewer physical injuries — and the evidence for that is debatable — the critics say that these playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone.

    Reducing the height of playground equipment may help toddlers, but it can produce unintended consequences among bigger children. “Older children are discouraged from taking healthy exercise on playgrounds because they have been designed with the safety of the very young in mind,” Dr. Ball said. “Therefore, they may play in more dangerous places, or not at all.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/science/19tierney.html

    • animal_lover says:

      If a parent wa ts their child provressively challenged then they need to be in a supervised athletic program. A park geared for the community at large should cater to pbyzi al a ti ity that will ot put the average young hild at risk. There are plenty of challenging and educational outdoor ac tivities that don’t involve gym or circus type equipment. [quote comment=”218578″]Here’s an article about why we shouldn’t coddle children with super “safe” boring playgrounds:Can a Playground Be Too Safe?… Even if children do suffer fewer physical injuries — and the evidence for that is debatable — the critics say that these playgrounds may stunt emotional development, leaving children with anxieties and fears that are ultimately worse than a broken bone.Reducing the height of playground equipment may help toddlers, but it can produce unintended consequences among bigger children. “Older children are discouraged from taking healthy exercise on playgrounds because they have been designed with the safety of the very young in mind,” Dr. Ball said. “Therefore, they may play in more dangerous places, or not at all.”[/quote]

  6. CumpyCP says:

    Considering the high volume of dangerous things present in our fine city, we should definitely *require* pedestrian helmets for everyone.

  7. Journey says:

    I have watched the physical children play on the old equipment. It was too simple and unchallenging, they resorted to climbing on it in ways it was not intended for. Amount them my 4 year old. Crawling through a plastic tunnel is boring when you can climb on it..

    My 4 year old loves Newport Green, which has equipment from the same manufacturer. It would be nice to be able to challenge her without having to walk to Newport.

    I have watched my cousin’s kids at park with old classic equipment, both are athletic, D is a black belt and S takes gymnastics several times a week. Want to know what part of the swing set they were using? The part up top that holds up the swings.

    Children learn how to judge and manage risk, by being exposed to it. I don’t want to see my kid with a broken bone, but know that I learned when I broke my arm falling off a balance beam, sprained my ankle from a bad dismount from the uneven bars, other sprains from tree climbing. I’m a grown up that doesn’t wander into the street while texting. I grew up the way I’m raising my child, with gradually increasing degrees of risk.

    I do let her use a tablet, she likes the app that gives her points for getting addition and subtraction problems right. The spelling aspect of the app is bit harder, but that is lesson in how to learn from failure.

  8. Journey says:

    And don’t forget the funds raised by moms for the renovations.

  9. animal_lover says:

    This is an obstruction to a public square. The City has violated their duty of performance by building for a subgroup and interfering in the quiet enjoyment of the library, church, park and surrounding shops and eateries.

    • Chow says:

      With that statement I guess you would agree that dog parks should be torn down as well. Cat owners feel slighted.

      Quiet enjoyment of the library – I forgot children’s laughter is disruptive.

      I doubt the pastors at the church have ever complained and since OLG is part of Hoboken Catholic and has the Mustard Seed School on its property that argument has no value.

      Stick with eating cat food alone and watching Murder She Wrote. You are a miserable person I really feel sorry for you.[quote comment=”218617″]This is an obstruction to a public square. The City has violated their duty of performance by building for a subgroup and interfering in the quiet enjoyment of the library, church, park and surrounding shops and eateries.[/quote]

    • Journey says:

      If you want quiet, move to the suburbs. Cities are noisy and people have to share common use amenities.

      Your demand for quiet could also be include getting rid of dog runs because who wants to listen to dogs barking near a library.

      [quote comment=”218617″]This is an obstruction to a public square. The City has violated their duty of performance by building for a subgroup and interfering in the quiet enjoyment of the library, church, park and surrounding shops and eateries.[/quote]

    • briank says:

      Are the basketball courts an obstruction? The gazebo? The trees? Does an ideal public square resemble a parking lot in your opinion?
      All the things to complain about in this town- waste, fraud, corruption, bad development planning, ummm flooding, etc and people want to complain about improving a park?!
      Get off my lawn!!!!
      Haha![quote comment=”218617″]This is an obstruction to a public square. The City has violated their duty of performance by building for a subgroup and interfering in the quiet enjoyment of the library, church, park and surrounding shops and eateries.[/quote]

  10. TheMeedles says:

    The main slide in Church Square Park is an accident waiting to happen. It has no stairs to the top and is very difficult to traverse with open sides at the top. There is no doubt someone will get injured trying to climb this very tall and open structure. Plus, what an eye sore in such a comfy local park…

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