Fort Independence Park Closed or Open?

The Parks Department has come to us and asked how we feel about the Fort Independence Park being closed after dark. For some time the gates on both ends of the park have been locked after the park closes, which is usually after dusk.


There are people that are sitting on both sides of the fence (pun intended), some want the park closed and some want it open. What are your feelings?


Here are some points to ponder:



  • Safer as nobody should be in park
  • Eliminates needed patrol by police
  • No noise – park is closed
  • Possible bad behavior as police can’t gain admittance



  • Place for people to go when hot in the evening
  • Police needed to patrol through park
  • Noise from basketball courts
  • People hanging out late
  • Security issue late at night (recent robbery/assault)


We would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, please feel free to comment below.

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4 responses to “Fort Independence Park Closed or Open?”

  1. joe santiago

    I think it would be best to lock the gates. If there is anything bad going on the police should have a key to get in or climb the fence if needed. By leaving the gates open you are inviting people to hang out all night in the park unless the police patrol regularly which we all know will not happen.

  2. Karen

    Joe, the police will not have a key. If anything happens, then they have to climb the fence. And, by the way, the Park is closed as dusk, and the police can drive through to move them out if the gate is open.

    I think the gate should be open.

  3. Margaret Groarke

    Last spring we called a meeting to talk about issues at Fort independence park. More than 30 people came.

    Everyone at the meeting agreed to ask to have the gates left open. The park is something of a thoroughfare in our neighborhood — people walk through the park instead of walking on Sedgwick. If people jump the fence to hang out in the park after hours, the police can’t see them and aren’t going to jump the fence or go find the key in some drawer at the precinct house.

    The other very significant issue that was raised by several people at the meeting is that the Parks Department, if they close the park, closes it way too early. “Dusk” in the summer, is 8:30 or 9 pm. Last summer the Parks Department closed the park around 7 p.m. This denies our community the use of our park in those long summer evenings — what else is a park for? In the wintertime, when it gets dark earlier, the parks department would feel justified to close it even earlier — preventing the many people who walk home from the #4 train from walking through the park.

    I very strongly support leaving the park open.

  4. Karen

    Hey, what about asking the 50 to get the strike patrol to drive around to the park once an hour. Sort of like two for one.

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