Thanks to a request from residents and local lawmakers to improve safety along the Shore Road Promenade, the NYPD has announced that permanent steel barriers will be erected at the Bay Ridge Avenue entrance of the beloved bicyclist and pedestrian strip.
Following a site survey of the entire length of the Shore Road Promenade — from Bay Parkway to the 69th Street Veterans Memorial Pier — conducted by the NYPD on Wednesday, November 15, the NYPD determined that the barriers were necessary.
“As a result of this survey, vertical steel pipes will be permanently installed at the entrance to the bicycle path at the American Veterans Memorial Pier to prevent entrance from unauthorized vehicles. Until their installation is complete, we have placed interlocking metal barriers at this location,” wrote NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill in a letter to 11th District Congressmember Dan Donovan.
The security and safety of the promenade was called into question by an unidentified constituent of Donovan around one month ago.
In a letter addressed to O’Neill on Monday, November 13, Donovan wrote, “A constituent recently contacted my office expressing concern that no barriers are currently in place between the Belt Parkway and the path, potentially posing a risk to pedestrians and bikers from vehicles driving onto the pathway from the Belt Parkway intentionally or accidentally.”
The request came just days after a major terrorist attack took place on the west side of the West Side Highway bike path in Manhattan. In that incident, Brooklyn resident Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov rented a pickup truck and purposely drove down the bike path in the name of ISIS, crashing into a school bus and ultimately killing eight people and injuring nearly a dozen.
Donovan noted that “hundreds of people use the path everyday for exercise or recreation,” and highlighted the aforementioned terror attack as a reason behind the request.
“Given last week’s tragic vehicular attack in Manhattan, New Yorkers have a heightened awareness of potential avenues of attack, and I share their concerns,” Donovan went on to say in the letter.
The 69th Street Veterans Memorial Pier, which lies close to the Promenade’s entrance, was the site of deadly incident on the morning of November 6, when a 54-year-old man drove his car off the pier and into the waters of New York Harbor. On December 10, an intoxicated 27-year-old man made a wrong turn that landed his 2017 Nissan Sentra at the foot of the pier’s famed 9/11 memorial.
After hearing that the NYPD would be erecting the barriers, Donovan was grateful for the quick response.
“The NYPD is the best police force in the world, and we should all feel confident in their ability to protect our city. Community input about risks is a critical tool in thwarting attacks, and the person who called my office to express concern about the pedestrian pathway is a great example. That’s why I reached out to the NYPD, and I’m glad they recognized this location as a vulnerability and are taking immediate steps to secure it,” Donovan said.
The Shore Road Promenade stretches 4.5 miles from the 69th Street Veterans Memorial Pier to Bensonhurst Park in Bath Beach.