In The News

‘Summer in the City’: Stringer proposes ‘pop-up pools’ and on-time opening of pools and beaches this Memorial Day, will build out ‘+POOLS’ as Mayor

Stringer proposes expanded free swimming lessons, bike-to-beach networks, and free sunscreen at all public pools, playgrounds, parks, and beaches as part of vision for a Comeback Summer

I know how hard parents have been working to keep their children entertained and engaged… With this plan, we’re going to give families the resources they need for a great summer day right here in New York City.

— Scott Stringer

New York, NY – A day after kicking off his effort to deliver a Comeback Summer for New York City children and families, Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer today released part two of his three-part “Summer in the City” Agenda, with proposals for “Pop-Up Pools” and an on-time, Memorial Day opening for all City pools and beaches, along with a commitment to finally realize the vision for “+ Pools” along the city’s waterfront.

Stringer’s vision for “Pop-Up Pools” and “+ Pools” are among a series of new proposals unveiled today that would bring water fun to New Yorkers this summer and for many summers to come. “Pop-Up Pools” are small, affordable swimming pools that can be dropped into vacant lots in any neighborhood, and “+ Pools” are large floating pools that would sit in New York City waterways and filter water to create safe swimming environments.

Stringer also proposed expanded free swimming lessons for those without access, bike-lane upgrades to improve beach access for bikers, and providing free sunscreen at every public pool, playground, park, and beach in the city.

“Our kids and families are so desperate for fun, and we absolutely have to give that to them this summer,” said Comptroller Scott Stringer. “New York’s pools and beaches offer kids a fun, safe place to play, and they create jobs for our high school and college students out of school for the summer. We need to open our pools and beaches as soon as possible this year, and we need to keep them open until the last day we can — and we need to bring the fun to every corner of the city with pop-up pools. For the long term, I believe that having + Pools in the city’s waterfront will create places for New Yorkers to swim that are unlike anything anywhere else in the world. I know how hard parents have been working to keep their children entertained and engaged — I have thought many times over the last year that I’d run completely out of  ways for my kids to play safely during the pandemic. With this plan, we’re going to give families the resources they need for a great summer day right here in New York City.”

Stringer released Part 1 of his Summer in the City agenda Monday and will release Part 3 later this week. Stringer’s proposals unveiled today include:

Pop-Up and + Pools Across the City

For New Yorkers who can’t get to the beach, Stringer’s plan calls on the City to pilot a “Pop-Up Pools” initiative, working with communities to bring “mobile” pools into neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by heat and lacking in green spaces. Stringer’s plan encourages the use of “dumpster pools” to bring affordable swimming pools into any neighborhood — as the City did on Fifth Avenue in the summer of 2010 and in Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2013. The City should explore ways to use Open Streets and City-owned vacant lots as supervised swimming destinations for kids and others, while ensuring lifeguards are available where pools are placed.

For the long term, a Stringer Administration will build out up to 3 “+ Pools” along our waterfronts to give New Yorkers unprecedented and one-of-a-kind access to our rivers — a celebration of the city’s waterfront with a globally noteworthy attraction. The “+ Pool” model would use water filtration technology to create an Olympic-size floating pool in the middle of New York City waterways. + Pool plans have been developed by a non-profit organization but have stalled under Mayor de Blasio.

Open City Pools and Beaches On Time on Memorial Day

Last year’s disorganized opening of city beaches and pools, which was delayed until July, cannot be repeated. While it may be necessary to limit the number of people in city pools at any given time and control the flow of people into and out of our public beaches, there is no good reason why the City should not be able to open pools and beaches for Memorial Day weekend, as is tradition.

Connect Protected Bike Lanes to Our Beaches

From the South Beach to Orchard Beach and the Rockaways to Coney Island, New York City has some of the grandest municipal beaches and boardwalks in the country. And while New Yorkers will surely be eager to find their spot in the sun this summer, getting there can often be a problem. Beaches on Staten Island and in the Bronx are not sufficiently accessible by bike, with other routes offering only bike lanes that are unprotected — some dangerously intertwined and entangled with highways — or, like Ocean Parkway, poorly maintained.

This summer, the City must begin designing and building better protected bike routes to the beaches, dedicating bikeways to help New Yorkers get to the beach safely and swiftly, and expanding secure bike parking so New Yorkers can stow away their bikes and hit the sand without worries.

Bring Back and Expand Free Swim Classes

With New Yorkers ready to jump into pools and run into the waves this summer, Stringer is calling on the City to expand swimming lessons for New Yorkers — particularly with a focus on communities where, because of the cost of swim classes or the lack of pools and beaches, children and young people are more likely to have difficulty swimming. More than one quarter of New York City high school students do not know how to swim — even more among children from lower-income families and in communities of color — a legacy of racial discrimination and segregation of public pools.

The Parks Department provides free City-run swim lessons for more than 30,000 New Yorkers every year, but thousands more are left on the waitlist. Under Stringer’s plan, the City would expand free swim classes by providing additional funding to community-led organizations offering free and affordable swimming lessons so that all New Yorkers can learn this critical skill.

Free Sunscreen at Pools, Parks, Playgrounds, and Beaches

As originally proposed by Stringer in 2016, the City should expand the availability of free sunscreen dispensers from pools and beaches to parks and playgrounds to safeguard the health and safety of New Yorkers under the sun. One in five Americans will be afflicted by skin cancer before the age of 70, and nearly 500 New York State residents are killed by melanoma each year. Regular use of sunscreen can cut cancer rates in half and can shield children from harmful sun exposure that could affect their health for decades to come.

By experimenting with innovative funding programs, like advertising contracts, licensing agreements, or partnerships with advocacy groups and local healthcare companies, New York can provide sunscreen at limited or no cost to the City, while potentially saving lives and medical costs — not to mention a bad sunburn. 

Stringer’s Summer in the City Agenda

Stringer will release Part 3 of his three-part “Summer in the City” agenda later this week. In Part 1, Stringer Monday outlined a vision for the City to provide relief, fun, and support for young New Yorkers and their families this summer and proposed: