The boardwalk in Hamilton Beach was rebuilt last year to make for an easier commute for residents traveling to the A train station in Coleman Square. But this winter it has been anything but easy to travel on the boardwalk as ice and snow accumulation has made it virtually unwalkable.
“We have a new ‘boardwalk’ but it has become a real danger to the community,” said Roger Gendron, a Hamilton Beach resident. “Since this winter has started, the boardwalk has not been plowed, shoveled or salted and is currently an accident waiting to happen.”
The boardwalk is the property of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). Currently, the only path across the 2,000-foot walkway is what’s left behind by footprints in the snow since the city has not plowed it all winter. To make matters worse, under the newly fallen snow on Feb. 17 is a thick layer of ice that is now unseen by people who are walking the path.
Gendron, upset by the situation that other residents in his neighborhood have to deal with, got in touch with Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office to see what could be done to fix this problem. According to Gendron, the councilman said that DCAS signed a contract with DSNY to clear snow on the boardwalk.
Representatives from the councilman’s office said they got in touch with DCAS to inform them of the problem but have yet to receive a call back on the matter. They also took it upon themselves to call the Department of Sanitation Garage #10, which does snow removal around the area, to see if they could help.
The DSNY has gotten back to Ulrich’s office and said they are going to take care of the situation, according to Redmond Haskins, a representative for the councilman. He also said that Sanitation Garage #10 has been a huge asset to the community as they have always come through when asked to do a favor on the councilman’s behalf.
The boardwalk was completely torn apart as a result of Hurricane Sandy and became unusable after the storm. It took over two years to rebuild the path because of disputes between agencies over responsibility for the boardwalk.
Residents were finally able to use it in the beginning of December 2014. But the path only lasted obstacle-free for a little more than a month until the first snowstorm hit the city.
The boardwalk is one of only three ways for residents to get in and out of the neighborhood when walking.
There are also two pedestrian bridges over Hawtree Creek, one located at 163rd Avenue and 99th Street and one that connects 102nd Street in Old Howard Beach to Russell Street in Hamilton Beach. Both locations are owned by the Department of Transportation, and as of Tuesday morning only the 163rd Avenue bridge was plowed and salted.
Gendron said that both of these bridges have always been areas of concern because they do not always get the proper snow removal.
“All three areas are extremely important to our community,” Gendron said. “Especially in light of the fact that the city stopped overnight bus service into Hamilton Beach several years back and the only way into Hamilton Beach is to walk one of the three problem spots.”
DCAS did not respond to a request for comment on the situation.