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New York City Economic Development Corporation takes down Pedestrian Bridge at W. Eighth Street-New York Aquarium

Coney leaders applaud, boo loss of path from train to Boardwalk

The Brooklyn Paper
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The long-neglected pedestrian bridge over Surf Avenue finally got some attention from city workers Wednesday — who took it down overnight.

The shark-painted span linking the W. Eighth Street-New York Aquarium train station to the Boardwalk finally sank, as a demolition crew ripped it down in the dark of night on Aug. 7.

The fishy bridge netted both fans in detractors in the 50 years that it took visitors over Surf Avenue to the Boardwalk — and its demise went over swimmingly with some, but left others high and dry.

The elevated pathway was long an orphan, with the neither Metropolitan Transit Authority, nor the Parks Department willing to take responsibility for maintaining it. The paint job chipped and rusted, the pathway became pitted, and an analysis last year concluded it was in danger of falling down eventually.

“I’ve been working on it for 17 years, and it’s finally gone,” rejoiced Community Board 13 district manager Chuck Reichenthal.

Others lamented the loss of an iconic part of the People’s Playground — and of an easy and safe route from the train onto the Boardwalk.

“If you’ve went to Coney Island as a kid, you got off that subway, you crossed that bridge, and you were in Coney Island,” said CB13 member Pat Singer. “We’ve been hung out to dry.”

Singer, who had fought to get the city to fix up the span over the years, argued that it should build a new one. But the New York City Economic Development Corporation — the semi-public agency that acts as the city’s liaison to business, and which paid to demolish the structure — said no such plans are in the works. Instead, the Corporation said the city intends to widen the sidewalks on the block, install a traffic light at W. Eighth Street and Surf Avenue, and create a new entrance to the seaside promenade at W. 10th Street.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 10:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Leah Meyerwitz from Brighton Beach says:
Chuck Reichenthal is ridiculous; bum has achieved NOTHING in his life except working to take down a perfectly fine bridge? If the city can't maintain even that simple a structure, WTF can it do? Chuck, you're an embarrassment to Coney Island, Brooklyn, and humanity. Find a new hobby, you're only making things worse.

Pat Singer, thank you for your efforts.
Aug. 9, 2013, 9:18 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I am sad to see it go. It served a genuine purpose.
Aug. 9, 2013, 9:55 pm
ty from pps says:
I disagree. There is no genuine purpose here, other than treating a local city street like it's a limited-access highway... which it's not.

Residents haven't been "hung out to dry." This isn't the end of the world. Folks arriving at the Aquarium station now have to cross a street... like at everywhere in the city. If traffic is too dangerous, *that* is the problem, not a pedestrian bridge.
Aug. 10, 2013, 9:02 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
oh nooo

ty disagrees - now we have been corrected. we are so lucky to have ty from pps (Flatbush)

ty you are a fooking idiot. the bridge was fine and open to the public -- tal will surely back me up (and he is right more often then not)
Aug. 11, 2013, 7:31 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
I'm disappointed they tore the pedestrian bridge down. It was quite useful to get from the boardwalk to the subway, especially when pushing small kids in strollers.
Aug. 11, 2013, 9:01 am
ty from pps says:
Ummm, yes, old time, it was open to the public.... did you have a point? The issue isn't "it was fine," the issue is do we spend millions to fix/replace an unnecessary bridge or does the city spend its limited resources on, well, anything else.

And why would Tal agree with you? He gets bent out of shape when the DOT paints stripes on the road and that's dirt cheap compared to a bridge.
Aug. 11, 2013, 9:29 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
very true scott it was a great convenience especially with kids and it is worth millions to fix things -
Aug. 11, 2013, 10:21 am
Kinrc says:
Only a fool would think that a traffic light could handle the masses of people that come off the train at the same time. Rebuild it NOW fools.
Aug. 11, 2013, 1:18 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh. I forgot... All of the other popular subway stations in the city have pedestrian bridges.
Aug. 11, 2013, 3:19 pm
Phil from Neck Road says:
While that span was looking kinda ratty, ya gotta wonder how much it cost to knock it down. Maybe that money coulda be better spent performing preventive maintance on that walk bridge.
Aug. 12, 2013, 9:33 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I'm not bent out of shape, I am just asking about Bloomberg's priorities. It seems that he always acts broke when it comes to the general public, but always seems to have money when it comes to his rich buddies and projects. That's not being bent out of shape, that's just caring about the everyday person. As much as it would be a good idea to save the bridge, being in bad shape could be a problem. Unfortunately, there are those who want it to be fixed, but don't want to bear the costs that come with it, and make others pay for it instead of them.
Aug. 12, 2013, 6:49 pm
GP from Crown Heights says:
How many millions does widening the sidewalks, installing a traffic light, and creating a new entrance to the seaside promenade at W. 10th Street costs?

What is the point to purposely inconveniencing pedestrians (waiting for traffic lights, walk down the stairs to the street to walk back up stairs to the boardwalk) and vehicles (wider sidewalks means narrower streets)?

Eliminating the bridge wasn't a smart move. Replacing it serves the entire public better.
Aug. 14, 2013, 8:19 pm

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