Southern Brooklyn

City Neglecting Coney Island Boardwalk Outside Of Tourist Area, Activists Say


While millions were spent to turn a part of the iconic wooden boardwalk along Coney Island and Brighton Beach into concrete, the boardwalk westward remains neglected and in disrepair.

Activists claim that an area outside of the normal tourist route is “dangerous.” Todd Dobrin, president of Friends of the Boardwalk, has said that between West 23rd Street and W27th Street the boardwalk is ripe for pedestrian accidents.

In some parts, the boards are loose due to missing screws, splintered from wear and tear and in some cases, completely missing.

“This is an emergency situation,” said Dobrin.

“It seems like they only fix where the tourists visit,” said Rodney Thurston, who lives in city housing development Carey Gardens at West 23rd Street, to the New York Daily News.

The area borders apartment buildings and several city housing projects.

Recently, a woman walking along the boardwalk on West 17th was injured when she stepped on a loose plank. Her leg was caught in between the wooden slates and it took rescuers 15 minutes to free her.

“Her leg was very red and swollen,” said an onlooker to the New York Post.

Vickie Karp, a spokeswoman for The Parks Department , said they have $30 million in funding for Coney Island Boardwalk renovations. Whether that would go towards repairs and upkeep of the iconic wooden boardwalk was not made clear.

Councilman Domenic Recchia said he is also on board to try and fix the unsafe parts of the boardwalk.

Comment policy


  1. Recchia isn’t concerned about repairing the boardwalk.  He just wants to have more excuses to turn it into a sidewalk.  It needs to be repaired with strong domestic hardwood (there’s a supplier that has the wood and would send it right up if the city ordered) and then properly maintained and treated with care — unlike what has been done to it before.

  2. Thanks for publishing this article. Maybe it will help publicize a growing problem in an area which is very important to those of us who enjoy the boardwalk often.

    My girlfriend fell Saturday morning – bruised shoulder and elbow.  Sunday morning I and others helped a guy who fell.   I fell this morning, walking, not jogging – bruised thigh and sprained pinkie. This afternoon a lady almost fell right in front of me, barely kept her balance..

       The boardwalk has become very very dangerous place, even to walk. It’s bad all over. But the worst place is between about w23rd and w27th. It looks like the boardwalk is being intentionally ripped up there, that’s how bad it is.

        I know everyone wants wood. It would be wonderful. But I’m throwing in the towel, if concrete is the only way to be safe, pour it on. This is ridiculous. People are falling all over the place. Wood, concrete, anything, please!

  3. same as in the amusement area of Coney, our elected officials are leaving this and other areas to rot so we give up and let them do what they want with it… thankfully that backfired (for now) in the amusement area of Coney and given some PUBLICITY this area will be repaired but it needs smart PRESS….  like that recent story of the subway entrance that had a mis-sized step people kept tripping over… one well placed story on the local news and DOT was out there repairing that step

    we need so PRESS to pick up this story and run it on the 7 AND 11 oclock news…  any ideas?

  4. The City is who is destroying the Boardwalk by allowing all the cars and trucks to ride on the Boardwalk!!!  Motorized vehicles bigger than golf carts MUST be BANNED from the Boardwalk!!!! The area at Bay One (the hill at the start of the Boardwalk) is in pretty dismal condition as well with many broken boards.

  5. They are leaving it to rot to serve their purpose of putting concrete the full lenght. Coney Island officials are the most corrupt on earth… Every day I walk the boardwalk and every day I almost fall on a loose board…. 

  6. I forgot in my previous post to give advice about walking on the boardwalk. I walk/run between the nails. The poor women described in the article notwithstanding, it’s easy to see bad boards. What’s hard to see are the nails that stick out 2 inches or more above the board. If you walk between the nails, you are vastly cutting down the chances of falling. The nails on the diagonal boards are pretty lined up, so you can walk between them.
       When I fell yesterday, I was walking across the boardwalk, and fell over a protruding nail.

  7. So true. They used to repair the boardwalk taking up small sections that the weather got to. There are no reports of fire under the boardwalk (because there is no under the boardwalk now) with the required repairs. 
    I run with ALL the officials dealing with Coney Island. Letting the boardwalk rot is the tip of what they neglected to bring on gentrification. 
    PS. Todd has a facebook page.

  8. Those nails are a nightmare I tripped a few times also. Put a claim in the city you will be lucky to collect in about 10years lol

  9. well they need to do something there. i had a bicycle accident on july, 3,2012. which resulted in 11 stitches above my eyebrow. it could have been worst thank goodness it wasn’t. by some mere coincidence, WPIX 11 was doing a report about the boardwalk by Monica. hope they find some kind of solution, and quickly for everyone to use and enjoy also.

  10. I have been running on the Boardwalk for the past 20 years, since moving to the area, its a beautiful thing to wake up, throw on a pair of shorts and go for a run, I tripped and fell a couple of times, but a couple of years ago I fell pretty hard and needed stitches on my hand.  I agree, whatever works, as long as we can enjoy the boardwalk, and they should ban trucks and cars going up and down as well.


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