Game on! McCarren Park track and field to close next month for year-long makeover

Brooklyn Paper
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This park is having a field day!

The city will rip up the track and field at Williamsburg’s McCarren Park next month so workers can spend the next year laying down new rubber and artificial turf for local athletes, according to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

And it’s about time, because the current fake grass inside the Lorimer Street green space between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street is spilling its black guts out onto the surrounding track, according to one runner.

“It tends to spill out everywhere and get on the track. And if it rains, it gets really messy,” said Steven Crnic, who lives in Crown Heights and works at Grand Street’s Brooklyn Running Co. store, about a 15 minute walk from the park.

The parks department will close the artificial-turf soccer pitch and quarter-mile rubber track around it on March 19, before workers lay a new field and runners’ path using the same materials in a makeover expected to wrap next March, according to an agency spokeswoman.

But some joggers who throw on their sneakers and run ovals every week — in rain or shine, and frigid temperatures — said finding a new loop to lap is going to be a headache because the next best public track, inside a park on the distant isle of Manhattan, is also getting renovated.

“We’re actually in the process of figuring that out,” said Bedford-Stuyvesant resident Jennifer Herr, the president of the North Brooklyn Runners club. “We’re very frustrated.”

But getting new rubber to burn is worth the inconvenience of being booted from the local sprinters’ home course provided the job finishes quickly, according to Herr, who said she was surprised to learn the old track would be replaced after hearing rumors that it was merely closing to accommodate the new field’s installation.

“We are excited to see the track and field getting a face-lift, but we are also hopeful the scheduled work will be completed quicker than anticipated, so that we can get back to using the grounds,” she said.

And in the meantime, parks-department honchos are working to find a sure-footed temporary space for the soon-to-be-displaced runners, according to spokeswoman.

“We’re currently working on offerings both inside and outside McCarren Park recreation center and should have an update on that programming next week,” she said.

The agency is also installing new bleachers, planters, and adult fitness equipment around the track as part of the $4-million revamp funded by the mayor’s office, according to the spokeswoman, who said the rest of McCarren Park will still be open while the track and field are under construction.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:49 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Crushing Calebs says:
But where will all the "vibrant creative types" go between 11am and 5pm Mon to Fri??
Feb. 9, 2018, 5:59 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn. says:
will they install cruelty free, cage free, farm to table,sustainable, organic, gluten free grass?
Feb. 9, 2018, 10:15 am
Tyler from pps says:
The sad sack "diehipster" is back with his amazing logic.

All of the "real" New Yorkers have 9 to 5 jobs. I guess that's how New York City became known as the city that never sleeps...
Feb. 9, 2018, 10:42 am
skeptic from williamsburg says:
Why an entire year to fix/or redo a running track??? How complicated is this work??...Compared to the one year to fix the L train least that timeframe is understandable-not likeable but understandable! Guess joggers can use their track time running over the bridge.
Feb. 9, 2018, 11:01 am
Jack from 11206 says:
Why the hell does it take them a year to do this work? What could possible take this long?
Feb. 9, 2018, 12:08 pm
NN from Boerum Hill says:
One year is too long.
Feb. 9, 2018, 12:08 pm
Skeptical from Williamsburg says:
If they do the project in stages (and quickly replace the track), sections should only have limited access for a few weeks at a time. It's a shame that they are limiting access to very limited green space for such a long period of time. People should speak up; it should only take a couple of weeks to replace an artificial track.
Feb. 10, 2018, 5:56 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
diehipster is number one on my "to be killed" list, people.
Feb. 10, 2018, 4:16 pm
Joel says:
Will the athletic track be coated with a polyurethane artificial surface containing diisocyanates (MDI) dissolved in a solvent (xylene)?
Feb. 20, 2018, 11 am
Jack from 11206 says:
The real problem is that there are plenty of tracks -- they are just owned by the schools and for some reason closed to the public even when the school isn't using them.

The city parks department should buy the public school tracks and fields, and then lease them back to the board of the education allowing the public to use them when school programs aren't.
April 24, 2018, 10:13 am
Wei Huang from Green Point says:
I am a runner in the neighborhood. Currently the Track and the site is empty, no work seems to be happening? Are we planting rubber grass for a year? Waiting for track foundation to settle? One year is way too long for such project. 4 Million dollar job?? This has improper use of resources written all over it.
Sept. 10, 2018, 4:34 pm

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