Local pols call on city to protect Southern Brooklyn promenades

Local pols call on city to protect Southern Brooklyn promenades
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

The city needs to make the Shore Road and Gravesend Bay promenades safer for pedestrians by installing guard rails along an unprotected stretch of the Belt Parkway that runs parallel to the walkways, according to community leaders and local pols.

The guard rails are needed along the parkway’s eastbound lanes, between exits four and five — from Bay Eighth Street to Bay Parkway — to better protect locals enjoying the green space, Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) said in a statement.

“Many local residents and visitors alike frequent the promenade and Shore Parkway Greenway along the Belt Parkway for recreational activities including cycling, jogging, fishing, or leisurely walks along Gravesend Bay,” said Treyger. “We need to protect the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.”

Treyger, along with Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), sent a letter to the Department of Transportation on Nov. 28 asking the city to install the guardrails along the 1.15-mile stretch of the parkway — a proposal that Community Board 11 unanimously endorsed at its Nov. 9 board meeting. Guardrails are currently in place to separate the promenade from the thoroughfare along the strip west of Bay 8th Street, but there are no protections for the part that runs east to Bay Parkway.

In his statement, Councilman Gentile said that while perfect safety is impossible, the guard rails represent a simple but important protection for Southern Brooklynites.

“While we must continue to live in an open and free society, we must also take basic, yet vitally important steps to safeguard innocent civilians,” Gentile said. “We must ensure that we are doing all that we can to enhance safety in our public spaces, and the installation of these guardrails will do that.”

The councilmen cited in their statement the Oct. 31 Manhattan truck attack that killed eight and injured 11, along with the apparent suicide-by-car off of the American Veterans Memorial Pier in Bay Ridge on Nov. 7, an incident which also prompted calls from locals for the city to better protect that pedestrian space.

Last month, Councilman Treyger, along with with Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay), also called on the mayor’s office and the parks and police departments to install bollards along Coney Island’s Riegelmann Boardwalk, a proposal the Parks Department confirmed last week that it is studying in conjunction with the Police Department.

The Department of Transportation is reviewing the letter, a spokeswoman said, but the agency directed all questions to the police department.

The district manager from Community Board 11 could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.