City amps up park smoking tickets

Smoke in a city park and you’re at risk of getting a $50 ticket.

When New York first introduced its ban on smoking in parks and beaches last year, many dismissed the law as lacking teeth, and predicted it would rarely be enforced.

But, it turns out, the Parks Department has begun quietly increasing enforcement of the ban, and has already given out more tickets to those caught smoking in city parks so far this year than it did in all of 2011.

From Memorial Day weekend of 2011, when the city first implemented the ban, to Dec. 31 of last year, the Parks Department gave out 84 summonses. So far this year, parks enforcement patrol officers have given out 108 summonses, according to Parks Department data.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said that most New Yorkers comply with the rule.

“Summonses are issued as a last resort,” he said.

Benepe said it’s also mostly tourists who are caught lighting up.

“On a few occasions, I have asked people to put out their cigarettes. On all those occasions, the smokers turned out to be visitors to New York City, unfamiliar with the rules, and they were immediately compliant and apologetic,” said Benepe.

The City Council’s decision to outlaw smoking in parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas came after Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Earlier this week he introduced a bill that would require building owners to make clear their smoking policies.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Local

Report: Rich New Yorkers don't move from NYC…

An Independent Budget Office analysis found that the wealthiest residents don't move out of the city any more or less than other New Yorkers.

National

Pioneers for domestic violence push on

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. Two decades have passed since the O.J. Simpson trial captivated the country. But in the 20 years…

Local

Food truck with a mission hires at-risk New…

A group branding itself as food trucks for social justice specifically hires and trains young men and women with troubled pasts.

Television

Olivia Williams explains the ins and outs of…

Olivia Williams plays a botanist beginning to suspect her physicist husband's work on the Manhattan Project might be ominous in WGN America's "Manhattan."

Movies

Scarlett Johansson on 'Lucy':' 'I guess I’m the…

Scarlett Johansson continues her foray into action movies with thriller “Lucy”, admitting it’s been an unexpected adventure.

Movies

Review: Liking Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'…

Woody Allen's latest, "Magic in the Moonlight," concerns a magician (Colin Firth) trying to debunk an alleged psychic (Emma Stone).

Movies

Piano from 'Casablanca' up for sale at auction

An iconic piano featured in Rick's Cafe Americain in the 1942 Hollywood classic "Casablanca" is expected to be the highlight of a sale of film…

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.

Wellbeing

Ruling could be beginning of the end for…

This morning, a federal appeals court threw out an IRS regulation that implements subsidies for low-income Americans who bought insurance through Obamacare. These Affordable Care…

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…