Example of a Mobi-Mat (Source: assistivetech.net)

Gone are the days that the wheelchair-bound are limited to enjoying the beach from the brink of the boardwalk, rather than on the sand itself. In 2007, the city unveiled special mats that allowed the handicap and seniors better access to the water’s edge, and now the Parks Department is moving forward with plans to install three new locations.

The handicap- and senior-friendly installations, called Mobi-Mats, debuted seven summers ago, making it easier to walk or roll on top of sand. The department has agreed to install three new mats on the Riegelmann Boardwalk, at West 33rd Street, West 5th Street and Brighton 6th Street, stretching 200 feet towards the ocean. The announcement was made by Councilmembers Mark Treyger and Chaim Deutsch, who said they advocated for the expansion.

“I am thrilled that Southern Brooklyn’s great beaches will be even more accessible this summer and proud that I was able to work with Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffery to successfully meet this important request. Every resident of Coney Island and Brighton Beach should be able to take advantage of the wonderful amenities right in our backyard. I heard from many seniors throughout Coney Island, especially in the West End, who have been unable to safely and comfortably walk across the sand in years past, so this is great news for our entire peninsula,” said Treyger.

“Nobody, regardless of their handicap, should find New York City’s public resources inaccessible — especially our wonderful beaches,” said Deutsch. “I’d like to thank the Parks Department for working with us to enhance the lives of the elderly and disabled residents of Southern Brooklyn.”

In addition to representing stretches of the waterfront, both elected officials represent districts with large senior populations.

This summer, mats will now be down at the following location: West 33rd Street, Stillwell Avenue, Brighton 2nd Street, Brighton 6th Street, Coney Island Avenue, and West 5th Street. They will be in place from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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  • applegreen

    About fkn time.
    Glad to hear that South BK Beaches are becoming more accessible to everyone.

  • Brightonresident

    This is a good start! Now if only the Parks Dept. would clear the construction debris and the 2 bathrooms fro m the beach which blocks the entrance at Brighton 14th Street/ Bay 1/ This “project was supposed to be completed by Memorial Day *2013*!

  • ShadowLock

    RIGHT ON!!!!

  • BrooklynBus

    People still use the beach after Labor Day. How much more would it cost the city to leave the mats in place until the real end of summer on September 22nd? Zero. For that matter, they could also leave the water fountains on.

    • SummerLove

      September is still summer. Coney And Brighton should not close down after Labor Day.

  • Steve

    Why doe it take 7 years to roll out some mats ?

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      The mats were introduced 7 years ago. They’re increasing the number of mats now, seven years later. So it didn’t take 7 years to roll them out.

  • guest

    Bravo Councilmen Treyger and Deutch. It’s about time. Almost a decade ago that I read Assemblyman Cymbrowitz wanted handicapped paths on Brighton’s Beaches. Fortunately, you two freshmen elected officials were able to get it done. Thank you for your leadership. Cymbrowitz talks Treyger and Deutch work.