BROOKLYN WEEKLY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020
Coney Island ferry terminal
slated for Kaiser Park pier
Riders will have to walk more than one mile from the ferry dock to the amusement district. Google
BY ROSE ADAMS
The hotly-contested Coney Island ferry
is slated to land at the Kaiser Park pier near
Bayview Avenue, city offi cials announced.
Reps for the NYC Economic Development
Corporation — the quasi-government agency
overseeing the project — stated that offi cials
“strongly recommended” the Kaiser Park location
at a community meeting Feb. 12, citing
the area’s calm waters and existing pier,
which would mitigate construction costs.
“Because of the depths of the water, in
order to make the W. 33rd Street site work,
we would’ve had to build a very long pier and
a barge that’s more exposed,” said James
Wong at the community board meeting.
The meeting follows a Brooklyn Paper
report foreshadowing the Kaiser Park announcement
in July, when a construction
worker from Skanska leaked that EDC has
settled on the pier location rather than a W.
33 Street site two blocks away. EDC offi cials
denied the claim at the time, saying that
they were still studying both locations and
had not given a contract to Skanska.
The EDC spokesman confi rmed that
Skanska was selected as the city’s contractor
for the ferry project.
The ferry line, which will stop at Bay
Ridge before heading to lower Manhattan, is
part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to dramatically
expand the ferry service to transitstarved
neighborhoods throughout the city.
Travelers will pay $2.75 per ride and are allowed
one transfer — but each ticket will require
a nearly $10 subsidy from the city, EDC
offi cials confi rmed. Previous studies have
pegged subsidies at nearly $25 per ride.
Many Coney Islanders have advocated for
the new ferry line, but strongly oppose placing
the ferry terminal in Kaiser Park, arguing
that the landing’s construction will stir
up dangerous levels of mercury, lead, and
pesticides in the creek, potentially harming
locals who fi sh and swim in the area.
“I can’t for the life of me understand why
you don’t have a fund in place to protect
us all when we get sick,” Sea Gate resident
Annette Fisher told EDC. “I want you to go
stand in the water and get back to me.”
EDC reps said they would use environmental
buckets and silt fences to contain
contamination while dredging, but environmentalist
Ida Sanoff claimed that similar
tactics have failed in the past.
“Assemblyman Colton and his staff witnessed
dredging accidents that occurred
during construction of the SW Marine
Transfer Station,” she said. “These included
toxic sediments being dumped out of the so
called ‘safe’ environmental bucket and other
dredge related problems.”
Others attendees objected to the fact that
the landing will drop tourists off more than
one mile away from the amusement district,
causing traffi c and crowding the serene park
used for fi shing and religious ceremonies.
Representatives have claimed they have
no choice but to build along the creek, since
building a landing on the peninsula’s ocean
side would require more ocean-ready ferries
and millions more dollars in infrastructure.
As is, the construction will cost about $7 million,
and the ferry is slated to be up and running
by the end of 2021, EDC reps said.
To reduce traffi c and increase accessibility,
Councilman Mark Treyger assured
residents that he would request funding for
a free public shuttle between the amusement
district and the ferry stop.
CAR BAN: A new bill would bar city vehicles over 2,800 pounds — the size of a light, four-door
sedan — from the Coney Island boardwalk. Photo by Orlando Mendez
Boardwalk, not drive
New bill would restrict size of vehicles allowed
on damaged Coney Island boardwalk
BY ROSE ADAMS
Coney Island Councilman Mark Treyger
introduced a bill that would protect
the neighborhood’s iconic wooden boardwalk
from one of its chief perils — large
“It’s long, long overdue,” said Rob
Burstein, the president of the Coney
Island-Brighton Beach Boardwalk Alliance,
which fi ghts to preserve the
three-mile boardwalk. “Almost all of the
damage that happens on the boardwalk is
The bill, which Treyger introduced
into City Council on Feb. 11, would bar
all vehicles over 2,800 pounds from driving
on the boardwalk — meaning that
city agencies would have to employ lightweight
carts known as gators for repairs,
inspections, and garbage removal.
The Parks Department already uses
these carts for small fi xes, but employs
vans for plumbing repairs and large basket
loaders for garbage pickup. Transit
offi cials currently use bucket trucks
— which often weigh more than 12,000
pounds — to repair broken lightbulbs
along the boardwalk, and policemen drive
patrol cars up and down the walkway, according
to the Parks Department.
Locals say that they most often see
Parks Department vans and trucks
on the boardwalk that weigh between
5,400 pounds and 10,000 pounds — and
are heavy enough to break through the
wooden boards, locals say.
“The damage that these vehicles cause
to the boardwalk are cracked/broken
boards, collapsing of the under structure
supporting beams, popping up and bending
over the nails and screws,” wrote local
maven Orlando Mendez in an email.
“This is something we never saw growing
up in the community.”
The stretch of the boardwalk between
W. 23rd and W. 30th streets — located
near the boardwalk’s main vehicular entrance
— has incurred the most damage,
“It’s because that’s where all the vehicles
that traverse the boardwalk enter,”
he said. One patch of boardwalk is so
damaged that it’s been covered with plywood
for the last few years, he claimed.
Non-city vehicles are already banned
from the boardwalk under Parks Department
rules, but Burstein said he’s seen
cars and motorcycles zipping around in
broad daylight. Councilman Treyger said
he hopes the new bill will clarify that the
boardwalk is Parks Department property
and off-limits to drivers.
“The historic Riegelmann Boardwalk
in Coney Island is not the Belt Parkway. It
is an iconic American place of leisure and
recreation – it was not designed as a roadway
for utility vehicles,” he said.
The bill allows emergency vehicles
to drive on the boardwalk, but Burstein
argued that the exemption wasn’t necessary,
since emergency vehicles tend to
stop short of the boardwalk while fi rst responders
run to the scene.
“When there’s a need for EMS they
don’t drive on the boardwalk,” he said.
Overall, boardwalk advocates say
they’re thrilled with the bill, but wish the
Parks Department could have switched to
lighter vehicles after activist groups complained
rather than waiting for legislation
“I grew up in Coney Island and
founded the group over 10 years ago,”
Burstein said. “And the Parks Department
has been — to put it kindly — less