Coney Island merchants sent out a terse press release Friday afternoon in response to "an ominous fence which is obstructing the entrances to an entire block of businesses on the boardwalk."
The Parks Department, which erected the fence a day earlier, issued the following explanation via email to The Observer:
The Parks Department is currently doing maintenance work along the boardwalk including the area between West 12th Street and Stillwell Avenue to reinforce its support structures and repair decking material. The affected areas will be repaired or replaced, and fencing will be removed, prior to the start of the busy beach season. While we regret any inconvenience this may present to adjacent business owners, safer structures will be a benefit in the long run and, in the meantime, we are preserving access wherever possible.