10 Suggestions for Completing Coney Island’s Comeback

Center For Urban Future ReportThis Sunday marks opening day for what should be an exciting season for Coney Island. With the opening of the new Zamperla USA amusement park, Luna Park, on Memorial Day weekend, this season is guaranteed to be much more successful than last year’s.

However, several of the entrenched problems that have long undermined the amusement area persist — from poor transportation and inadequate bathrooms to vacant lots and underutilized spaces. All these issues could be addressed and fixed by this summer and certainly by the 2011 season.

This past Tuesday, the New York City-based think-tank Center for an Urban Future published a commentary by several Save Coney Island volunteers titled “Completing Coney’s Comeback: Ten Suggestions for Making this Summer a Success.” The recommendations in the commentary came directly out of the Coney Island town hall meeting that Save Coney Island hosted in January and incorporate many of the suggestions made by participants.

You can read the full commentary here. The recommendations are as follows:

1.) Program vacant lots in Coney Island with rides, arcades and other temporary attractions

2.) Install banners along the periphery of inactive lots, using art to mitigate visual blight

3.) Increase activity at underutilized local sports facilities MCU Park (formerly known as KeySpan Park) and the Abe Stark Skating Rink

4.) Bring more summer events and festivals to Coney Island

5.) Extend Coney Island’s season beyond Labor Day

6.) Provide weekend express trains to Coney Island during peak season

7.) Make Coney Island more visitor-friendly by creating information booths and improving lighting and sidewalks

8.) Create a Coney Island amusement-area map highlighting attractions for visitors

9.) Extend public restroom hours and improve facilities

10.) Promote Coney Island as a tourist destination

We’re hoping City Hall and key stakeholders, such as local property owners, will build on the positive momentum generated by the arrival of Zamperla USA and really pull out the stops to make this Coney Island summer one to remember. In the coming weeks, Save Coney Island will be announcing a few of our own initiatives to help spur these efforts.

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