New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

Correcting Hazardous Conditions Identified by the Parks Inspection Program

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation performs ongoing inspections of its park system, one of the largest municipal park systems in the country. If an inspection identifies a hazardous condition that could result in an injury, the condition is generally expected to be corrected within a certain time frame (generally two to four weeks). However, when we followed up on a sample of 85 hazardous conditions that had recently been identified during inspections, we found that 41 of the 85 hazards (48 percent) were not corrected within the expected time frame. All 41 hazards had yet to be corrected at the time of our visits to the parks, and the corrective actions for the hazards were between 32 and 76 days overdue at the time of our visits. The 41 uncorrected hazards included four that were classified by the Department as Priority One hazards, which meant they presented the risk of a life-threatening or permanently-debilitating injury. We recommended the Department improve its monitoring of the corrective actions that are supposed to be taken when hazards are identified in its parks. Also, when we followed up on the results of certain inspections, we found some of the hazards identified in those inspections were not identified when the sites were inspected again a few months later, even though the hazards had yet to be corrected and were still present when we visited the sites after the later inspections. We recommended the Department determine why the hazards were not identified when the sites were inspected again, and take any actions that were needed to improve the thoroughness of the inspection process.

For a complete copy of Report 2008-N-18 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.