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Should Ice Cream Vendors Be Banned in Prospect Park? [POLL]

A group of Park Slope moms say the treat carts only lead to tantrums at the park.

A group of Park Slope parents want to see a ban on the ice cream carts and trucks that patrol around Prospect Park on warm days, says the New York Post.

According to the article, a poster on the Park Slope Parents message boards described her “first ruined day” at the 9th Street playground when her four-year-old son had a meltdown after being denied a sweet treat from the ice cream and Italian ice carts nearby.

Another mom was “furious” that a vendor handed her four-year-old an ice cream cone, says the Post.

Of course, there are area moms who think the ice cream ban is a crazy idea, and that tantrums just come along with parenting.

“People just need to say no,” a parent at Prospect Park’s Harmony Playground told the Post. “I say no to him all the time, and I feel his wrath. But he needs to hear that no.”

What do you think? Should ice cream vendors be banned in the park, or should parents just tell their kids "no"? Vote in our poll before, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM
There is one thing that Park Slope parents don't teach their kids...... the word no.
Liam Mccarthy April 03, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Rick, 'mowing down' - which you use repeatedly, is neither accurate nor helpful. Men got mowed down by machine guns in the civil war. Vietnamese civilians got mowed down during the Mai Lai massacre. Cyclists are not mowing down pedestrians. Your language is dehumanizing, on purpose. You want fellow readers to join you in your crusade against cyclists so you use inflammatory language to try to pit your side against, well, us. I share your frustrations! I rode into the city today on an errand and saw innumerable cyclists running red lights, salmoning, etc. But I also saw pedestrians who didn't look before stepping into the bike lanes many times, and counted just as many cars parked in bike lanes as I saw cyclists breaking their rules, so unfortunately there is room for improvement all around. Ginning up anger is simply more dangerous for everyone, especially cyclists, because they still are the most at risk (I saw a delivery guy almost get hit IN the bike lane by a Range Rover driven by a cell-phone talking woman for example) so I'm asking you nicely to tone down the rhetoric for everyone's sake. On my ride this morning I tried to lead by example as I stopped at lights, signaled, etc., and that's the best way I know how to spread the word about safer cycling; perhaps you'll join me for a ride some day and do the same.
Rita April 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
As a mother of two grown boys in their 20's I must say a child needs to hear the word no every once in awhile. Who wants a society of children who never heard the word no and think they should get everything they ask for. Get rid of the vendors because as one poster said because they are selling obesity and diabetes but lets take our children in strollers into a bar because mommy or daddy needs an afternoon cocktail. Isn't that selling the message of alcoholism at a young age? Parents of Park Slope buy your child an ice cream and keep them out of the bars.
Patti April 03, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Sorry Gordon spankings are not the answer. Just plain discipline no means no and be firm. I have 3 kids never hit or spanked them; they were held accountable for their behavior and for that matter I was held accountable for my own behavior; which from what I've read kids model parents behavior. So, all the whining parents are certainly teaching their kids......
Ladydi69126 April 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Rita i could not agree more i see it all the time strollers parked outside the local bars.Really parents need to be the responisible ones here not the vendors Sayno once in a while you need to parent your own children not your neighboors get a grip
Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Liam what do you call it when four people are gravely injured and end up hospitalized? One in a coma and one with brain damage. Do you want to diminish that?
Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Good point Rita. You'll trip over strollers going into my neighborhood bar.
Liam Mccarthy April 03, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I call those 4 incidents tragedies, and probably avoidable ones, but with 10 million visitors to the park each year that doesn't constitute 'mowing down', period. I'm hoping that when they reline the park it will help, since I think a lot of conflict and accidents occur as a result of confusion over where to ride/run/drive.
Alexandra Florio April 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Sure--plenty of kids are brats. And brats should always be told no with confidence. But this is not about brats. Why sustain the romantic tradition of ice cream in the park when we know it only offers empty calories, fat and sugar to kids and adults alike? In the era of high rates of childhood obesity and adult onset diabetes--I'm for giving up on this particular olde timey image as romantic as I am overall. The park is romantic enough.
Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 06:45 PM
You know Liam I don't think it gives any solice to any of those families that their loved ones were in the minority. You just can't seem to give the proper weight to these tragedies. To those families effected I think each one would probably feel that the term mowed down was appropriate. And Liam you keep ignoring the fact that each of those incidents happened at a pedestrian crossing. The walkers were walking across the road not in parallel so your solution about clarifyinfg lanes does nothing to prevent future tragedies. But yet you can get worked up about such an important issueas the "commercial onslaught" of a few ice cream vendors in the park. That you can get worked up about?
Sara April 03, 2012 at 06:51 PM
It's not about it being romantic...it's about something the park has always offered and should continue to offer...bratty kids are not the only ones in the park, and i like to enjoy an ice cream on a hot day in the city. why put the ice cream vendors out of work because parents, or adults for that matter, can't control their kids or themselves? Ridiculous. Furthermore, $5-$8 ice cream cones are not really contributing to the obesity problem in the country....it's the subsidizing of corn products and other food that is entirely bad for you, making it cheaper than the healthy options....making a bag of carrots as much as an entire meal at McDonald's. Which one do you think a low income family will choose? That is the problem.
Patti April 03, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I have to say if kids are going to eat an ice cream cone; the park might be the best place since they are running around and playing burning off "all" the calories they just ate.
Liam Mccarthy April 03, 2012 at 08:28 PM
@Rick - I'm not worked up about ice cream in the park; just offering my opinion for what it's worth (precious little; I know this - don't worry). I don't have kids so it's not really an issue for me. But back to your obsession: of course I feel for the victims and their families; nobody should have to endure that. More to the point though, 21 cyclists were killed by cars in NYC last year (http://bit.ly/ysgEsz); do I go around calling all drivers 'homicidal maniacs' or claim they are intent on mowing down cyclists? No! Drivers are people who drive cars; cyclists are people who ride bicycles. There are law abiding, wonderful people who drive cars (like me! like my parents and siblings and almost everyone I know outside of NY) and there are crazies, who pull uturns, clip cyclists, speed like demons, and you know the rest. If you care to join me you can sit on my balcony and watch cars, trucks, and everything in between speed through red lights on Caton Avenue one after another. The same is true for cyclists, but in your postings here all we get is 'mowing down pedestrians'. It's not accurate, it's not helpful, and it's not conducive to a constructive discussion on how to make anything better.
Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Apparently the conversation as it has progressed so far is not constructive because bikers have not proposed any solutions to prevent it from happening again. Unless you think that making more clearly defined lanes will somehow eliminate the problem of hitting people CROSSING the road. Or if you somehow think that removing traffic lights from the park will somehow eliminate these accidents which is what many bikers have proposed. Please tell me how that addresses the problem.
Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 09:24 PM
And yes if not you certainly other bikers have often called drivers homicidal maniacs. They have even called for drivers to be arrested for murder. Even when in one case video showed that a biker had gone through a red light and got hit by an SUV. I wonder how many of those bikers who were killed (tragic as it is) were killed running lights or otherwise not following traffic laws. I do find it distasteful to try to measure the awfulness of one tragedy against another. They are all awful. And the fact that people get kiled on the city streets while it is something that shoiuld be addressed has nothing to do with people getting hit in the park. It by no means diminishes the improtance and the tragedy of those events. My frustration is caused by the attempts to somehow dismiss the signifcance of these injuries and the lack of any interest in doing something to change the culture of park biking to respond to those tragedies. Too often bikers have attempted to use these tragedies to further their own agenda such as banning cars from the park (a good idea but not one that will prevent further bike pedestrian collisions) or to removing traffic lights.
Rick Oshea April 03, 2012 at 09:25 PM
ANd on a final note, while I find it distasteful to measure on tragedy against another and to assign a rating of signifcance of one against the other I would think a statistician would find that the number of interactions between cars and bikers on the streets is much greater than in the park and the per centage of accidents per encounters is much smaller than that of the accidents in the park.
Liam Mccarthy April 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM
@Rick - the funny thing is you and I should be allies, rather than battle of the trolls. I was waiting at a light in Manhattan today and a fellow cyclist said to me "wow - you're following the law!", to which I replied, "that makes two of us I've seen so far today". I tweeted to the community how lousy they are to share the road with. What I don't think you appreciate though, is what the park is like to a cyclist. You have all levels of cyclists in the park, so some are beginners and weave like crazy; some are kids. Then you have the guys training who blow by you. Then there are the joggers, who simply run anywhere because it's your job as a cyclist to avoid hitting them. They'll run against traffic, in the middle of the road, all over the bikelane, earphones in and oblivious but we cyclists work around it. There is the pinching between cars and joggers that totally sucks. People jaywalk incessantly and forget about the lakeside area in summer when toddlers roam free. But the vast, vast majority of the time everyone manages without incident. My point is riding a bike in the park is an exercise in vigilance to NOT hit people. So to come home and read that I'm a monster intent on mowing down innocents - when myself & 99% of the people I see are doing the polar opposite - is just as frustrating as it must be for you to watch scofflaws ignore the rules. I want cyclists to obey all sensible rules, but most cyclists are nothing like the monsters you call us
not a park slope fan April 04, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Ok, ICE CREAM carts are not going to change. Id rather pay a buck for 2 scoops of an ice rather than 5 bucks for a quick melting ice cream from (not naming here) a nearby ice shop. And what about all those park slope parents who cannot say no to their kids, oh well LIFE goes on and if you dont start saying no now, HAH wait! What i cant stand are those HIGH end TOY stores on 7th avenue. What a robbery there, 15 bucks for a wooden puzzle, are they mad???? Those should be banned then because just as enticing ice cream is to kids so are TOYS, like is aid before ill give my kid an ice for a buck instead of a toy for 15, heck their in the park running around exercising so to speak.. If you say no to ice cream but yes to toys, what are you teaching them? shame...
amanda April 04, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I agree that it's "time to take a stand for healthy living", but this is now how that's done. There are temptations EVERYWHERE. The park, the street, the grocery store, even most school cafeterias. Banning it doesn't solve much. The key is teaching kids that just because it's there, that doesn't mean they have to eat it. The focus should be on teaching kids how to make healthy decisions, NOT on simply making sure that healthy options are the only ones available. Having only healthy options available would make them healthier, yes, but it doesn't teach them the self-control they will need to say "no" to all of those unhealthy items when mommy is no longer there to wait on them hand and foot and they have to start making decisions on their own.
amanda April 04, 2012 at 04:37 AM
I agree. I'm sick of NYers who are constantly wanting to ban everything that they don't personally like. NO ONE is forcing you to live here, or raise your children here. You don't like that there are food trucks or ice cream trucks everywhere? Move. It's that easy. People do it all the time. Stop asking everyone else to rearrange their lives because you decided to become a parent. YOU choose to become a parent, so be a parent, and stop asking us all to do the job for you. Yes, it's a thankless job. Yes, it is a difficult job. Perhaps you should've considered that before becoming a parent if it was too much for you to handle. I would also like to take a moment to point out that I am NOT one of the NYers who seems to think that children shouldn't be allowed in restaurants or anywhere else that adults frequent. I have no problems whatsoever with kids. In fact, I generally tend to be more tolerant of them than most adults. When kids cry on the subway or accidentally walk into me because they aren't paying attention, or whatever, I let it slide. They're kids, they're learning, I wasn't perfect when I was a child either (and neither was anyone else). The people I have a problem with are parents who don't seem to be up to the job and expect the rest of us to do it for them.
Rick Oshea April 04, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Well all this I agree with Liam, And I know it is a small percentage who are thuggish in the park. And I have heard not only pedestrians but also bikers express that. My neighbor told me she won't bike anymore in the park becase the spandex crowd makes it so unpleasant and scary. And I do have to say that on the streets pretty much no bikers follow the laws. You cross the streets with real trepidation. So I am glad that you are stopping at lights. I appreciate the effort. The very few times I have seen bikers stopped at lights I have thanked them. As a responsible biker I would think it would be in your interest to speak out against the irresoponsible ones. It makes the good ones look bad. And I commend you for acknowledging the guy who did stop.
Rick Oshea April 04, 2012 at 11:42 AM
And why do I feel this way? Because I have seen bikers yell at mothers walking across road with small children. Their reflex is to yell rather than slow down. My wife saw a biker very perturbed that he had to stop to attend to a small boy he had knocked off his bike. I have seen packs f spandex clad bikers yellingas a pack at small children walking in the road. BIkers complain that pedestrians wander around in the road. It is a park. Little kids cannot be expected to conform to road rules. And people ought to have an escape from the onslaught of traffic outside the park and let their guard down as they roam around the park. Look at birds and trees without having to look over their shoulders. The park is first and foremost a park and not a track. I do appreciate your words here. Thank you for thinking about it. I just want you to know why I feel the way I do.
Rick Oshea April 04, 2012 at 11:55 AM
The other thing is Liam I don't see bike proponents willing to address the serious problem in the park and acknowledging that some people got hurt very badly. I see bikers trying to use the incidents to increase their hegemony with such demands such as removing cars from the park. As I have said over and over I don't think cars belong in the park. However cars did not play a part in these accidents (as all the incidents took place during times when cars are banned) and it seems like bikers are jsut using these tragic incidents to their own advantage. I find that quite distasteful. Also the call to turn off traffic lights. Neither addresses what happened and rather seem an attempt to give the bikers more authority. I feel that responding by giving more to bkiers not only doesn't address the problem and prevent future tragedies but it also validates bad behavior. It won't stop the bad behavior but rather encourage it.
Anthony April 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Very good point, Rita. These yuppies contradict themselves so much.
Mr. Smith April 04, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Smh. If "Hunter", "Phoebe" or "Caleb" has a tantrum because they can't get ice cream, then the parents have already failed. Growing up, I wouldn't even THINK to have a tantrum INSIDE the house - nevermind embarrassing my parents by having one outside in public view. These organic, cage-free, soy based Hummus eating, 4 seater stroller pushing, PTA badge wearing yuppies need to go back where they came from, learn how to raise a kid and MAYBE they will be allowed back. Or better yet, stop playing parent and do what they really wanna do, which is let the nanny take their kids to the park and continue raising them. Die Yuppie scum, die.
Gordon Henderson April 05, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Sorry Patti, but spare the rod spoil the child. I don't always spank my child, but there are times when it is appropriate. To each there own.
Kate April 05, 2012 at 02:27 AM
I scream, you scream, we all scream for... take a chill pill park slope.
ML April 05, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Only a park slope, starbucks drinking, NPR listening, yoga class going, PS 321 worshipping, food coop lovin' yuppie would believe that ice-cream trucks should be banned. Who the hell are you to decide that no other parent/child should have the option to buy an icecream in the park. When issues such a icecream truck ban are even suggested, it is obvious that we have lost ourselves in the minutia of our lives. We are addicted to the mindless fluff of life: texting, Facebook, blogs, fashions, etc. In the absence of real, truly important issues, we elevate minutia to a station of importance.
Anthony April 05, 2012 at 12:17 PM
You're awesome, Mr. Smith! Those names are so yuppish. I would like to add to that list: Allegra, Oliver, Finn and Sawyer are also favorites of the yuppie parents.
Sara April 05, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Agreed.

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