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Councilman Seeks Ban of Vehicles on Coney Island Boardwalk

 In Blog, Law

Councilman Seeks to Make Coney Island Boardwalk Safer by Prohibiting Vehicles

Almost one year ago, Councilman Mark Treyger, who represents District 47 in Brooklyn, introduced a local law to amend the NYC administrative code to prohibit non-city vehicles from driving on boardwalks. The proposed bill is his effort to, in part, maintain the integrity and safety of boardwalks in his district, which includes Coney Island.

The iconic Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk is near and dear to Brooklynites and New Yorkers. The 2.7-mile-long boardwalk opened in 1923 and received a scenic landmark designation from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2018. An estimated 5 million people visit Coney Island each year to experience its rich history, see the attractions along the boardwalk between Coney Island and Brighton Beach, and enjoy the rides and sunshine.

Is The Integrity of The Coney Island Boardwalk in Jeopardy?

The bill seeks to ban all vehicles from the boardwalk except in emergency situations. The bill would also limit the weight of city vehicles that perform maintenance work on the boardwalk. It would place a limit of 2,800 lbs. whenever possible, which is about the same as a small SUV.

According to Treyger, the Coney Island Boardwalk (sometimes also called the Brighton Beach Boardwalk) was not designed for and is ill-equipped to sustain heavy vehicles’ wear and tear.

He stated, “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. Years of heavy vehicles driving on the Boardwalk have caused significant damage to the landmarked Boardwalk.”

The councilman also fears for the public’s safety citing numerous times walks get interrupted by vehicles “zooming down on the boardwalk.” While the vehicles themselves have yet to cause serious injuries, the condition of the boardwalk has.

Are There Many Injuries At the Coney Island Boardwalk?

With its rich history and long-standing designation as a popular tourist recreation stop, Coney Island, including the boardwalk, has seen its fair share of accidents and fatalities. Many of the worst stories revolve around now-defunct amusement park rides that claimed lives and caused gruesome injuries.

Other injuries occur directly because of the safety of the boardwalk itself. It is not uncommon for someone to trip and fall and suffer injuries on the Coney Island Boardwalk because of a loose board or uneven planks.

Dionne Brown, a resident and frequent boardwalk power-walker claims that the Coney Island Boardwalk is dangerous, citing:

  • Tripping hazards from loose boards
  • Planks with holes in them
  • Exposed nails
  • Icy conditions

Brown told the Brooklyn Eagle that there is a specific section of the boardwalk from West 24th to West 27th Street covered by plywood panels that are of particular concern to her and her fellow walkers.

Those panels, she said, get “slick as a skating rink.” In 2018 she slipped and fell on one patch where the ice was invisible under a puddle of water. She sprained her wrist in the accident. The four joggers who came to help her also slipped and fell on the icy boardwalk. One of them, who was training for a race, injured his knee.

Brown said everyone in her walking group has experienced at least one fall on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk. They have seen numerous other accidents, including an elderly gentleman falling on top of exposed nails and requiring an ambulance.

Who Might Be Liable for the Injuries on the Coney Island Boardwalk?

The boardwalk is under the control of the New York City Department of Parks and recreation. This is the agency responsible for ensuring its safety. The city and the department have been accused of negligence many times by victims of accidents on the boardwalk. These entities, their employees, vendors, or contractors, might be responsible for the accidents and injuries that occur on the boardwalk.

What does this mean?

Negligence means that someone did not exercise a reasonable standard of care regarding people’s safety on the boardwalk. Negligence on the Coney Island Boardwalk that can cause injuries might include:

  • Failing to warn the public of loose boards or missing plank with tape, cones, or signs
  • Failing to fix a dangerous section or piece of the boardwalk
  • Fixing a broken part of the boardwalk but doing a lousy job or using sub-standard materials
  • Failing to repair broken lights or provide adequate lighting
  • Not ensuring the safety of railings
  • Failing to inspect the boardwalk
  • Driving on the boardwalk at an unsafe speed or while distracted
  • Ignoring complaints about known dangers on the boardwalk

When negligence causes injuries, the negligent party might have to pay damages to the injured victim. If someone’s trip and fall or another injury on the Coney Island Boardwalk is the result of the City of New York or the Department of Parks and Recreation’s negligence, they might owe the victim compensation.

What Compensation Can You Collect When You Are Injured on the Coney Island Boardwalk?

Accidents on the boardwalk often fall into the category of premises liability. Premises liability cases evolve from accidents and injuries that occur on the property of others. In a successful premises liability case that involves personal injuries, you might be entitled to collect compensation for:

  • Medical expenses incurred
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future income
  • Pain and suffering

There’s no telling exactly how much any given trip and fall case is worth without hearing the facts of the claim and understanding the extent of the injuries.

Coney Island Councilman Seeks to Mitigate Dangers to Boardwalk Visitors

Councilman Treyger seems to be doing his part to try to ensure the safety of the millions of visitors to his district. It is admirable that he wants to prevent future damage to the boardwalk and its users by limiting heavy vehicle traffic. This bill, however, is still in committee, yet to become law. It also does not address repairing existing damage to the boardwalk.

Brown and other residents claim they have for years complained to the city and the parks department to fix particular spots and improve their follow-through with maintenance and repairs. They have seen few if any, real changes. Some residents have sought help from the Landmark Preservation Committee to pressure the city to address the boardwalk’s dangerous conditions.

Call The Law Office of Irene H. Gabo, P.C. if You are Injured on the Coney Island Boardwalk or Brighton Beach Boardwalk

If you suffer an injury on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk or Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk, call the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo for a free consultation. Our experienced Brooklyn boardwalk accident lawyers can help you collect compensation when your injuries result from negligence.

But, don’t wait. Claims involving municipalities have an extremely short statute of limitations – the time in which you need to file a proper notice of claim. Failure to do that in a timely manner means your claim is barred and you lose your right to recover for your injuries.

We don’t know how much time you have left to file a claim until we hear the specific facts of your case.

Call us at 800- 560-0214 to protect your right to obtain damages after being injured on the Coney Island (Riegelmann) Boardwalk/Brighton Beach Boardwalk.