In our desire to rush accomplishment over progress, we sometimes put the cart before the horse. Here in NYC, when it comes to profitable enterprises, developers not only put the cart before the horse but oftentimes before the road as well.
Even though business is booming at Coney Island’s Luna Park (NOT to be confused with the original) and crowds are pouring in from all four corners of suspended disbelief, planners have apparently overlooked a component that’s essential to this sort of activity: roads. Not only are major portions of the boardwalk fenced off for renovations, but significant parts of adjacent streets (Neptune, Surf and Mermaid Avenues) are also closed off; pedestrians and motorists alike are relegated to moving at a snail’s pace. The crowds at Coney Island may be pouring in but they’re being crowded down restricted lanes of accessibility to enjoy a bit of summertime fun.
“Police and emergency services have enough problems. How are they supposed to get through these crowds in an emergency?” said one board member, adding that a Memorial Day stabbing of a teen outside Luna Park “might have been avoided if the boardwalk wasn’t jam packed.”
At Pier 1, the famously over-hyped hotspot at the other end of Brooklyn, visitors arrive daily and invariably find the main entrance to the pier (at Old Fulton Street) closed due to construction!!! While they wander about in a state of mystification, trying to figure out a way to get in, they’re also probably trying to figure out why they made the trip in the first place. If they wander off a few blocks to Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park (a section of the perpetual work-in-progress Brooklyn Bridge Park) in DUMBO, they’ll find the entire park completely closed while a restored 1920s carousel is being installed; the installation has been going on since January.
Doreen Gallo, executive director of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance, said she believes the state dropped the ball by “poorly planning” construction work at Pier 1 and Empire State-Fulton Ferry Park in the summer when people enjoy using parks most.
City officials say that work on the aforementioned spots will be completed by the end of June (which is now); of course, we’re not sure if they mean June of 2010 or 2015 or….
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