In an apparent victory for Manhattan Beach residents, officials began removing Oriental Boulevard’s concrete planters on Friday.

The decision to remove the planters came after residents berated Mayor Bloomberg’s community liaison during a Manhattan Beach Community Group meeting attended by the parents of the 4-year-old killed in a tragic bus accident last month. Residents stated in no uncertain terms that it was time the mayor prodded the agencies to action on traffic safety initiatives.

Sources told Sheepshead Bites that the mayor put in a call directly to the Parks Department’s newly-instated Brooklyn Commission, Kevin Jeffrey.

But it’s not the city doing the actual work, it’s Kingsborough Community College. The city, which placed the 31 planters there four years ago, said it did not have the equipment to move them.

Kingsborough removed the first planter on Friday, placing it on the school’s grounds.

“The offer to remove the planters was made as a courtesy to the community,” KCC spokeswoman Ruby Ryles told the Daily News. “We have the space and it would enhance the safety of the boulevard.”

Members of both of Manhattan Beach’s civic associations celebrated the development.

“Thank you to everybody in the community that worked for the past three years to help make this a reality,” MBCG president Ira Zalcman wrote on the group’s website. “This is a wonderful victory for Manhattan Beach.”

“It’s about time,” Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association spokesman Edmond Dweck told the Daily News. “This has been going on since they were put in.”

The planters were installed in 2005 at the request of the MBCG (at the time, the MBCG was the only civic group in Manhattan Beach), but were much taller than the ones requested. The group immediately heard complaints from residents that the four-foot-tall planters blocked the view of oncoming cars as drivers made turns off Oriental Boulevard. The community remained at loggerheads with the Parks Department’s former Brooklyn commissioner, Julius Spiegel, who repeatedly dismissed their concerns.

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  • Jamesforsyth

    How can the city have the equipment to place the planters there not have the equipment to move them?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      They misplaced them?

  • MicoJones

    Manhattan Beach gets whatever they want. I’m surprised they haven’t succeeded in privatizing Manhattan Beach.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      It was a private community at one time. That ended when the military took over the part of it which is now Kingsborough College.

    • Anonymous

      They succeeded in privatizing the esplanade.
      At one time, you could walk from Manhattan Beach to Brghton Beach along the shore or rocks or the broken sidewalk.
      All it took was one deep pocketed homeowner to gate off his section of the beachfront.

  • BrooklynBus

    This is what happens when the majority stays silent and a few make a lot of noise. The planters were originally placed at the intersections and that did pose a problem. But the placement was only temporary until the construction of the mall was completed. But the MBCG didn’t bother to find out the placement was temporary and began to call for their removal within a month of their placement.

    They all were moved to the pink squares when the mall was completed, greatly reducing the problems that did exist. Last month, the two planters closest to the corners were mysteriously moved again off their pink squares to at least 50 feet from the intersections ending any problems that existed. But that didn’t stop the protesters from complaining. Moving them was totally unnecessary. Now they will have to blame something else for future accidents. The planters had no bearing on any of the fatalities, one of which happened on Shore Blvd, but that didn’t stop the Groups from blaming the planters for that accident also.

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