Both the New York City Parks Department and Police Department have said they are looking into a proposal made by a pair of southern Brooklyn pols in early November that would see the implementation of retractable fortified safety bollards at appropriate entry points for the storied Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk.
The suggestion – made by Councilmembers Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch – came in the wake of the October 31 terrorist attack in lower Manhattan in which eight people lost their lives and 11 others were injured after a vehicle was used as a weapon against pedestrians and cyclists.
In letters addressed to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, the duo had asked the city to install retractable fortified bollards at appropriate entry points along the Boardwalk, restricting access to city or authorized vehicles only.
In a response sent to Treyger’s office, Parks acknowledged that the agency is currently working with the NYPD to study the proposal as well as other options better to protect the Boardwalk’s 14 million annual visitors from potential vehicular attacks.
“The Coney Island Boardwalk is one of our city’s most iconic destinations, enjoyed by Coney Islanders, residents from across the city and tourists alike,” said Treyger, who also extended his thanks to Silver and O’Neill for their consideration and prompt response. “The October 31 attack in Tribeca, and the vehicular attacks we have recently witnessed around the world, are a reminder that we need to implement safety measures to protect pedestrians at our most frequently visited attractions. I will continue to work with NYC Parks and the NYPD to make sure the Boardwalk is augmented with these integral safety upgrades.”
“Security bollards are the best protection from the vehicle attacks that are tragically becoming a more common method of attack,” Deutsch said. “Every year, millions of people from around the world come to Coney Island to enjoy the iconic Riegelmann Boardwalk, and it is our obligation to ensure their safety.”
In the days following the Halloween attack, the first of nearly 60 cement barricades went up around Manhattan at 31 places where cars are allowed to cross bikes paths as a means of stopping vehicles from being turned into weapons. Advocates in all five boroughs have since called for similar installations citywide.
The Boardwalk — first opened in 1923 — attracts masses well beyond the summer season.