The City Council doesn’t want the summer season in Queens to end too soon.
Last week, the City Council passed a bill that would permanently extend the city’s public pool and beach season by an extra week after Labor Day, which means Queens residents can take advantage of the borough’s seven outdoor public pools and Rockaway Beach for a little longer each year.
Councilman Mark Levine — who chairs the Parks Committee — previously introduced a bill (Intro. 629) to the City Council and was able to secure an additional $1.7 million in the fiscal year 2017 budget for this year’s extended beach and pool season.
“For millions of New Yorkers who can’t afford to vacation in the Hamptons or take a cruise in the Caribbean, the city’s public beaches and pools offer exceptional summer recreation opportunities right here in the five boroughs — accessible for the cost of a MetroCard and free to enter for anyone,” Levine said. “From Orchard Beach to the Rockaways, the city’s 14 miles of free public beaches and 53 outdoor pools are an invaluable resource for those looking to stay cool when the summer heat doesn’t just stop on Labor Day.”
This new bill guarantees money for lifeguards, maintenance workers and other park staff that are required to keep the public beaches and pools open for another week.
The NYC Parks Department — which operates the city’s public beaches and pools — announced that these public spaces are becoming more and more popular, as they saw nearly 18 million visitors last year, with an estimated 22 percent more people heading to the beaches compared to the previous year.
The City Council agreed, voting 46-0 to pass Intro. 629. The bill now awaits Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature.
“New York City’s public pools and beaches are an essential part of our summer season. They’re places where millions of New Yorkers from all different backgrounds gather with friends and family to keep cool during hottest months of the year,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Extending the season gives us extra time to safely splash, swim and play together, while being protected by lifeguards and other park staff. This extra week is a gift to our great city, the people of New York, and all of our visitors.”
Queens’ seven public pools that would be open a week longer next year under the bill are as follows:
- Astoria Pool located at 19th Street and 23rd Drive;
- Fisher Pool at 99th Street and 32nd Avenue;
- Fort Totten Pool at 338 Story Avenue;
- Liberty Pool at 173rd Street and 106th Avenue;
- Marie Curie Park Pool at 211th Street and 46th Avenue;
- S. 186 Playground Pool at Little Neck Parkway and 72nd Avenue; and
- Windmuller Pool located at 54th Street and 39th Road.