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High Line's Third Section Needs Kid-Friendly Space, Survey Says

By Mathew Katz | January 9, 2012 4:19pm

CHELSEA — The people have spoken, and they want a turn on the swings.

The Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit that manages the High Line Park, have released a collection of what hundreds of members of the public want to see in the third and final stage of the park. Among other demands, many asked for a dedicated area on the elevated park for children to play.

“You could add swings to the arches under the High Line at West 30th Street,” wrote Mica and Noa Yoder, two young girls from Chelsea. “As kids in New York City, we've spent more time waiting in line for swings than any other thing in the city!”

Public comments specifically pointed out the need for a proper playground on the High Line, and suggested adding some unique play space for kids.

"I would like to see a train be used as a playground or a play space for children," one person wrote.

The comments come from a public input session that the Friends hosted in December 2011, along with written online submissions. They’ll be used to influence coming designs of the third section of the High Line.

The proposed third section is roughly 31 percent of the overall 1.45 mile elevated rail structure, and will travel west along West 30th Street from 10th Avenue, before looping north along the West Side Highway.

At the December meeting, Friends of the High Line’s co-founder Robert Hammond said the completion of the park’s final section could be fast-tracked because of the sudden re-starting of the Hudson Yards project.

The third section will border the rail yard, where construction on its first building, a huge skyscraper that will house luxury handbag designer Coach, is set to begin later this year. 

Community members and park-lovers alike also wanted to see the third section have a gritty, industrial aesthetic and maintain its overgrown look, which is a result of decades of neglect.

Several members of the public asked to keep the original train tracks on the park, while others went a step further: hoping to see some kind of train return to the High Line.

“Adding a locomotive is a great historical reference to what this used to be like in the ‘old days,” wrote one High Line lover. "It would connect the past to today."