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Double D-saster! Pool numbers were way down this summer • Brooklyn Paper

Double D-saster! Pool numbers were way down this summer

Everyone, including Laurie Colombo of Boerum Hill, loves the Double-D Pool — but attendence numbers were way down this summer, making it a likely target of the city budget ax (again).
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Usage of the Douglass-Degraw Pool — once slated to be closed by the city for attracting too few swimmers — was down 14 percent this summer, raising fears that the Bloomberg Administration will again try to swing the budget ax on the summer oasis next year.

The number of visitors plunged from 37,511 to 32,177 — which is also substantially down from the 37,800 visitors in 2009, when the city first raised the specter of shuttering the pool on Douglass Street in Boerum Hill.

The city has made no decision on next summer, said a Parks Department spokeswoman, but neighbors are already preparing for a fight.

“It’s a meaningful and important neighborhood amenity,” said Sue Wolfe of Friends of Douglass/Greene Park, specifically touting the kiddie pool as a valuable resource for families. “Even if [numbers] are down, there are still a lot of people who use it.”

In June, 2010, the city nearly shuttered the public pool — dubbed “The Double D” after the streets that are on either side of it — citing budget cuts and low attendance figures.

At the time, the pool had last tallied 37,800 visitors — about 5,600 more swimmers than this past summer.

Residents from nearby housing projects and across Brownstone Brooklyn were furious, and after several protests, a popular “Save the Double D” Facebook page, and help from elected officials, the city restored the pool a few weeks before a record-breaking heat wave hit.

For now, the local councilman thinks the pool is safe.

“Attendance rates may fluctuate but it’s still essential and valuable to the neighborhood,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D-Park Slope). “I’m pretty confident it won’t be on future [pool closure] lists.”

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