May 11, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Council Member Costa Constantinides wants the public golf courses in Queens to be opened up to pedestrians so there is more room for social distancing.
Constantinides said that the open space at the golf courses would provide additional room for people to go outside and get fresh air while staying at least six feet away from one another.
Many public parks have been overcrowded in recent weeks due to the lack of open space. The Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers and NYPD have had to be deployed to control overcrowding at places like Astoria Park.
On Friday, the city announced it plans to restrict the number of people allowed in some parks to alleviate overcrowding.
The borough’s four public golf courses have been closed since March 22 as part of the statewide shutdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Constantinides believes the golf courses can instead be used as a creative way to unlock “pedestrian green space,” especially as the coronavirus pandemic continues into warmer months and more people will look to go outdoors.
“Golf courses throughout Queens are sitting dormant right now, which only deprives people of vast open space,” Constantinides said Monday.
“It’s on us to find those solutions so our 2.3 million residents remain healthy, and the curve flattens, as the weather gets nicer,” he said.
The borough’s four public golf courses are predominantly in Eastern Queens. There is the Clearview Park Golf Course; Douglaston Golf Course; Forest Park Golf Course; and Kissena Golf Course.
The city has already announced that 100 miles of New York City streets will be closed to vehicles and turned over to pedestrians in the coming months. The city wants the streets opened up to create extra space for pedestrians to socially distance safely.