BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David on Monday introduced new steps the city is taking to enforce social distancing at its parks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The moves include temporarily removing the rims from basketball hoops, posting new signage, and using park rangers to prevent gatherings.
“While I encourage residents to get outside and enjoy Binghamton’s many wonderful parks, residents must do safely, responsibly and with social distancing in mind,” Mayor David said in a statement. “As the weather gets warmer we expect more people will head outdoors and to City parks, which is why we’re taking proactive measures to ensure our parks remain safe and do not contribute in any way to the spread of the coronavirus.”
City staff have taken down the rims from all city basketball courts, closed public bathrooms, and posted signs reminding park visitors to stay at least six feet apart and cease group gatherings.
Binghamton park rangers usually begin work Memorial Day weekend when parks officially open, but the city has now begun the hiring and training process for this year’s rangers, who will be onsite starting next week to help police monitor the parks for compliance and shut down any gatherings.
All City of Binghamton park playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic courts, and sporting fields are closed.
City parks, however, do remain open for activities like solitary walking, jogging, and biking. Mayor David said he encourages residents to follow New York State Parks guidelines when visiting city parks. Those include keeping visits short; coming by yourself or only with small groups, such as close family members; staying home if you don’t feel well; staying home if you are over age 70 and/or from a vulnerable population; and avoiding any crowds you may encounter.