March 14, 2011 - As of May 23, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will give it a whole new meaning with the bill he recently signed prohibiting smoking on or in city-owned beaches, parks and public squares. The law goes into effect in 90 days after signing the legislation.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the legislation into law Tuesday, February 22nd that bans smoking in many public spaces around the five boroughs. Under the new law, smoking will be banned in the city’s 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches. City pools and recreation centers will also be smoke free. The bill bans smoking in city pedestrian plazas, like in Times Square, as well. The new law will not be enforced by the city’s police force, but by officers of the Department of Parks and Recreation, who will be empowered to fine smokers $50 for each offense.
But Bloomberg speculated that in large part the ban will be enforced by good citizens “gently” encouraging smokers to be considerate of others. “This is going to be enforced by public pressure,” the mayor insisted, adding that “it’s just everybody’s going to turn to you and say, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t be smoking,’ [a]nd you know, most people listen to that.New York City - Mayor Bloomberg signs legislation into law that bans smoking in parks and on beaches....
That, of course, means no smoking on our public golf courses — Silver Lake, LaTourette and South Shore. As stated the task of issuing summonses for smoking violations will fall on the Department of Parks Police who are not classified as “Peace Officers”and lack the powers of the NYPD.
Thus far, members of the Parks Police have been quite adept at issuing tickets for unoccupied cars parked illegally without contending with drivers. That makes us leery of the reaction of an irate chain-smoking golfer who just missed a 2-foot putt and is greeted with a summons. This could result in the Park Police ducking a flying putter and calling the NYPD for assistance as well as slowing up play on the course.
We wonder just how the enforcers will travel the courses. Hoof prints can do a lot of damage to the carefully maintained fairways and greens.
If Bloomberg’s campaign is successful, it just might turn all the smokers to tobacco chewers who spit regularly. Then we’d have droppings from the humans that would equal the thousands of geese who frequent the courses and parks.
I’m a non-smoker, but I could tolerate the aroma of a cigar quicker than the slipping, sliding and inhaling of all those droppings.
How about you? We’d like to know your feelings.
Reference: Law banning smoking in city parks includes golf courses by Tom Flannagan, silive.com, 3/13/2011.
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