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Parks & Public Spaces

Union Square Hospitality Group, application for Big Apple Barbeque in Madison Square Park combined with a street festival on Madison Avenue, between 23rd and 26th Streets.

WHEREAS, Union Square Hospitality Group has applied for:

WHEREAS, Set up will begin late Thursday evening and early Friday morning before the event and cleanup following the event on Sunday, June 8th; and

WHEREAS, The applicant has agreed to leave the park and surrounding area in pristine condition; and

WHEREAS, This event is a fund raiser for the Madison Square Park Conservancy with a minimum donation of seventy five thousand dollars expected; and

WHEREAS, This event is open to the public; and

WHERAS, This event brings an exciting part of Americana to NYC; and

WHEREAS, A meeting was held on November 1, 2007 with representatives from Parks, DOT, MTA, Sanitation, NYPD Flatiron BID, Madison Square Park Conservancy and Union Square Hospitality. There were also representation from residential buildings; and

WHEREAS, All the agencies agreed that they had the resources to make this a better event even though it is the same day as the Puerto Rican Day Parade; and

WHEREAS, The refrigerated trucks will either be moved to 24th St. or a new type of vehicle that is quiet will be used on 25th St as not to disturb those living on the block. There was discussion about what would be placed on 24th and 25th Streets as to cause the least impact on the residents of 25th St.; and

WHEREAS, During the set up Thursday evening/Friday morning the police will have a presence to make sure this is done in as quiet a manner as possible as not to disturb those living around the park; and

WHEREAS, MTA and DOT agreed to let the public know in advance that buses will be rerouted during the event. MTA will provide additional crews to keep the 23rd Street Station clean during the event as well as staff to help with directions. Dispatchers will be at bus stops and the police will make sure that no one is parked in the bus stops. The police will also monitor for double parking; and

WHEREAS, The police will provide traffic officers to cover the corners of 23rd and Broadway and 23rd and Madison to keep traffic moving and watch out for the pedestrians crossing. At best these corners are dangerous but with an additional fifty thousand people each day they are disasters waiting to happen. The officers there will make those corners safer; and

WHEREAS, Sanitation has agreed to make extra pickups of the trash throughout the area. It was asked that this be done south of the park as well as north. The Flatiron BID asked for the entire BID district and it was agreed. The BID staff will bag all the trash in receptacles for pickup. This will keep the entire surrounding area as clean as possible. There was an abundance of trash throughout the area due to the event; and

WHEREAS, Within the Park the police will have their full complement of staff as well as the security from the event. It was agreed that crowd control was needed particularly near the 23rd and Broadway entrance. There was discussion about the crowds there in particular because of the stage and the area for beer. There needs to be a better flow there and this will be addressed; and

WHEREAS, The beer area will again be cordoned off and the permits from the SLA will be posted; and

WHEREAS, Music was also an issue and there was discussion about the volume of the music and length of the sets. The Union Square Hospitality Group will reduce the volume and cut the number of sets; and

WHEREAS, The playground is also of great concern. The crowds in that space are really too large to be safe. Although the Parks Dept. representative told us that no one could be turned away they would have a PEP officer there to make sure no one entered who didn't have a child and that the play was under control; and

WHEREAS, Since there is concern with the number of children in the playground it was suggested that the BABBQ hold something for the children in the tents on either 24th or 25th Sts. Some kind of entertainment, maybe puppets, was mentioned. Union Square Hospitality continues to look for children's entertainment; and

WHEREAS, After many conversations and meetings with all parties involved that this very large event can be held with great improvement; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the Big Apple BBQ.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 22 in favor; 4 opposed; 0 abstentions.

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