Southern Brooklyn

City Fails To Move Concrete Planters By Deadline


The Parks Department has yet to move all of the 31 massive concrete planters lining the Oriental Boulevard median, despite promises to have the effort completed by November 30.

Two days after the agency’s deadline, at least 16 planters still remain between West End Avenue and Girard Street. The remaining planters were moved onto the Kingsborough Community College campus after the school offered to provide the machinery and manpower needed to make the move, and the city greenlighted storing those on campus. Kingsborough completed the transfer on November 24.

But despite inaccurate media reports that all of the planters were moved, the fate of the remaining 16 is still up in the air.

“Does that surprise you? The city said they’d do something and then they didn’t,” said Judy Baron, the traffic committee chair of the Manhattan Beach Community Group. “I always said when I see it I’ll believe it.”

The problem appears to be that the city cannot decide where to redistribute the rest of the planters, said a source involved in the effort. Officials are considering places nearby, like Manhattan Beach Park or Shore Boulevard, but locations as far as Bill Brown Park on Bedford Avenue and Avenue X are also being considered. The college is awaiting directions from the city, and affirmed that they’ll keep to their word to do the legwork wherever the city decides to place them.

Parks Department has not yet returned calls for comment on the issue.

Since they were placed in 2005, the community has fought for removal of the planters, which has vegetation that grows as tall as 4 feet during spring and summer. Residents say that their height blocks the view of oncoming traffic for drivers attempting a turn, causing several accidents along the busy strip.

Though the city stubbornly denied their requests for years, they finally made the concession to traffic safety after a 4-year-old boy was struck and killed in a tragic accident this October. The city, though, said they did not have the equipment to move the planters, which weigh several hundreds of pounds, leading Kingsborough to make the offer.

Since the planters lack drainage holes, the added weight of water caused the concrete on some to crack when the school attempted to relocate them. Kingsborough will coordinate with the Sanitation Department to have broken planters removed.

Comment policy


  1. Don’t redistribute the damn things; just crush them. They are junk. How many more people have to die?

  2. Don’t lie. Please provide the name of one person who has died or was even injured as a result of the planters. There are none. I have not even heard of a single accident where the planters were the cause. In fact none are even located near the corners and don’t interfere with turns. The two that were closest to the corners were moved further away several months ago, so any potential danger has already been alleviated.

    This is a perfect example of a few people yelling and screaming getting all the attention. If anyone would bother surveying residents of Manhattan Beach, you will find that an overwhelming majority do not believe the planters pose any danger whatsoever. Members of both community groups in the area still represent only a small minority of residents and certainly none of the neighborhoods visitors.

    People have just got to learn to drive slower and more cautiously to prevent accidents, and there has to be enforcement. Removing the planters and adding more traffic signals won’t accomplish a damn thing. Quit blaming the planters.

  3. I’ve personally found them to be a hazard. The ones on the corners have resulted me in almost getting clipped numerous times when trying to turn because of their obstruction.

    The ones in the middle, frankly, are not that big a deal, though I have seen pedestrians and bikers seemingly appear out of know where from behind them crossing the street dead center.

    As always the real truth lies somewhere in the middle. In the end, the people that live there don’t want them, so trash em. If they are put near pedestrians they’ll just collect garbage, and if they are put in a similar location they’ll obstruct traffic there.

    If they can’t find another use/place for them just trash them. It’s just concrete and dirt. The plants can be moved across the street behind the park fence and the concrete can be ground to dust.

  4. First of all, none are located near corners. They were initially placed near the corners during construction of the mall. When construction was finished they all were moved to approximately fifty feet from the intersections. Because of some gratings, two were closer to the corners than the others, approximately 30 feet away. But those two were moved several months ago off the pink squares to the other side of the gratings. If they were a hazard when making turns it was because people were speeding so you couldn’t see them coming. They are no problem if everyone observed the speed limit and people exercised proper caution when making turns.

    As far as where to put them, there is ample space along Shore Blvd where they would be an attractive addition. There is absolutely no reason to destroy them and waste the $30 or $50,000 or more of tax money they costed. And as I stated, only the people who spoke the loudest didn’t want them. It was not the feeling of the community that they posed a hazard.

  5. They probably cost a few hundred each, but are not worth a cent without drainage holes. No wonder the plants look like crap.

  6. You are more than welcome to attend neighborhood civic meetings with any group. I would suggest contacting MBCG, MBNA or both and ask to be put on the traffic committee. We would welcome your help.

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