Slippery when snowy! Winter weather reveals safety loophole for Coney Island boardwalk

snow on coney island boardwalk
Snowfall resulted in slips and trips for some Coney Islanders looking to enjoy a day in the snow.
Photo by Erica Price

Snowy conditions proved a new meaning to “snowfall” as some Coney Islanders took a spill during Brooklyn’s most recent snow day. 

Brooklynites rushed outside to enjoy a snow day in the city, but found conditions more treacherous than they had thought. 

snow day in coney island
Families flocked to the beach to play in the snow but for some, the day ended in a visit from paramedics. Photo by Erica Price

One source reported that on Sunday, Feb. 18, the day after the snow fell, the entrance to the boardwalk near Stillwell Avenue didn’t appear to be cleaned or salted, resulting in one young woman falling and allegedly needing to call for an ambulance. As she waited, a few others slipped and fell near the same area.

Lucy Mujica Diaz, chairperson for Community Board 13, said that is the norm for southern Brooklyn residents, even though they typically flood to the boardwalk and beach to play in the snow. She said she and other residents have reached out to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in the past regarding the slippery conditions. 

“They never clean up the boardwalk during winter weather,” she told Brooklyn Paper. “Honestly, we could only ask but the Department of the park always comes back, saying there’s not enough manpower, especially in the winter.”

The New York City Department of Sanitation is responsible for spreading salt, plowing, melting, and hauling snow on city streets and sidewalks. Since the boardwalk is neither, its care falls with the parks department.

Parks spokesperson Chris Clark said the team maintains more than 2,000 miles of pathways across the city using plows, salt spreaders and other mechanized equipment, but there are many places where staff also must manually hand shovel, including the boardwalk. 

“Our protocol for snow maintenance at the Coney Island Boardwalk doesn’t include salting or plowing, as these could damage the wood. Our crews hand-shovel paths on the boardwalk’s access ramps and to the boardwalk’s two open public restrooms,” Clark said.

A Snow Day for some, a fall day for others.
Coney Island received more than 9 inches of snow on Feb. 17. Photo by Erica Price

He said the team pays a lot of attention to the boardwalk to make sure it’s cared for and safe.

According to the National Weather Service, Coney Islanders got to enjoy 9.9 inches of snow over the weekend, as reported by amNewYork. It was the borough’s second notable snowstorm in just a week. 

Forecasts report no more snow in the foreseeable future, however Coney Islanders should still watch their step.