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Parents Upset After Spinning Saucers Welded In Place At NYC Parks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There's a battle in Brooklyn over a popular piece of equipment in city parks the parks department has said is a safety issue.

Spinning your heart out is what it's all about at one Park Slope playground.

"They used to be sitting high on cement slabs. We didn't have all of the protective gear and we seemed to have survived," one resident said.

Residents say the rotating metal saucers in the Vanderbilt Street and Slope Park playgrounds are fan favorites.

But soon, the thrill will be gone. As CBS2's Meg Baker reported, New York City's Parks Department welded equipment so that the saucers can no longer move, disappointing both parents and children.

"He's a little confused because it was once working and it's wasn't," Park Slope dad David Friedlander said.

The spinning discs are about four feet wide and stand two feet off the ground with a rubberized surface below.

However, the parks department said that in the interest of public safety, the saucers were welded in place after several complaints from parents that children were getting hurt.

One spinner remains functional, and authorities are still determining if it qualifies as a dangerous saucer.

Friedlander thinks the spinning discs were turned into statues to protect the department from litigation.

"I suspect it's a preemptive strike on any serious litigation," he said.

No lawsuits have been filed regarding the spinning discs, but five children suffered broken legs from a swing in the Slope Park playground, Baker reported.

Their attorney, Robert Kelner, said it is the city's duty to protect the children that play there.

"Certainly they should have heightened awareness as to child safety," Kelner said.

As Baker reported, this is a citywide change; seven discs have either been welded in place or removed from playgrounds in all five boroughs.

The parks department declined to release any information on the number of injuries due to the spinning saucers, but hopes their effort will stop any further injuries.

The Vanderbilt Street playground was refurbished in fall of 2010, which is when the spinning discs were added.

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