Put a ring on it! Domino Park debuts social distancing circles

Parkgoers using the new circles on May 17.
Photo by Todd Maisel

No need to reinvent the wheel!

Greenspace stewards at Domino Park have painted eight-foot-wide circles on their lawns to help parkgoers maintain social distance as they flock to open spaces during the summer months, said the director of the Williamsburg waterfront meadow. 

“We’re taking the issue really seriously and we wanted to figure out ways to keep the park open,” said Michael Lampariello.

The creative enforcement effort was hatched on May 15, when Lampariello and his colleagues bought white marking paint at a local paint shop and began marking the circles six feet apart from each other — and parkgoers immediately took to the socially distant idea.

“We weren’t sure if it was going to work, but as soon as we put the circles down, folks were going to them and started policing themselves,” he said.

Police patrol the park at the Williamsburg waterfront.Photo by Todd Maisel

If the popular six-acre space on River Street — which is open to the public, but privately owned by developers Two Trees — didn’t get overcrowding under control, Mayor Bill de Blasio had threatened to enforce limits on the number of people allowed to enter, as he did at Manhattan’s Hudson River Park.

But, as temperatures reached summertime levels over the weekend, the innovative painted circles helped limit social distancing violations enough to ensure everyone had unfettered access to the space.

“It was a great spring day in the park,” he said. “I was talking to one family and the dad was just clearly excited to get out with his kids.”

A visitor basks in the sun with his two pooches on May 17.Photo by Todd Maisel

And on top of the new circle technique, park managers have also worked with the local police precinct to close off four blocks to cars on adjacent River Street from S. First to S. Fifth streets on busier days — giving even more space to cooped-up Brooklynites gasping for air, according to Lampariello.

Park managers also closed off River Street adjoining the park during the weekend.Photo by Todd Maisel