City: Cement will make a better Boardwalk

The Brooklyn Paper
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The test results are in — and a concrete Boardwalk is inevitable!

Parks Department officials announced on Wednesday night that concrete fared far better than wood or artificial material as a replacement for the battered and broken planks stretching from Brighton Beach to Coney Island — an announcement that led locals to the inevitable conclusion that the iconic, 69-year-old Boardwalk will soon become a sidewalk.

“This is an absolute disgrace. Having the boardwalk is a plus for this community — it’s historic,” said Ruby Schultz. “And you’re going to turn it into a sidewalk?”

Over the summer, city officials had installed both concrete planks and a “faux-wood” called recycled plastic lumber to test both materials, part of $30 million in money from federal, state and city sources allocated towards repairing the Boardwalk.

Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey said that the city favored concrete because:

• It costs less.

• It is not slippery.

• It does not break or rot.

• It is easy to repair.

Yet despite all these things, Jeffrey tried to defuse his constituents’ anger by saying that a concrete Boardwalk is “absolutely not a done deal.”

That said, he added, “We believe concrete is the way to go.”

Borough President Markowitz was skeptical of the city’s apparent preference for concrete.

“We should not hastily turn our legendary Coney Island Boardwalk into just another concrete sidewalk,” the Beep told Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe in a letter. “With the increasing tourism in the area, the last thing we want to do is take away one of the main reasons people come to Coney Island!”

But Jeffrey countered that there is a concrete boardwalk in the Rockaways, and such a silvery configuration is very common on the West Coast, a distant Brooklyn suburb.

Parks officials said an alternative — plastic lumber — presented several problems at the Steeplechase Pier, where it was tested.

First, the lumber warped. It also got very hot. Lastly, it became slippery when wet (a problem echoed by some locals).

But many attendees of the Community Board 13 meeting at Coney Island Hospital were fuming, saying the city had already decided that the Boardwalk would now become concrete, despite the fact that the iconic pathway was in a sorry state in large part due to chronic neglect, as well as city vehicles driving on it.

“The trucks, the police, the heavy vans, they all cause damage,” said Bruni Figueroa. “And 95 percent of the time, they’re just cruising looking at the girls, not even doing their jobs!”

After the meeting, a parks official conceded that the agency was in a bind, as Mayor Bloomberg ordered the Parks Department to reduce its use of wood in 2008.

“We’re in a lose-lose situation,” said Ilan Kutok, one of the parks workers presiding over the project. “The mayor says we can’t use any wood. And, obviously, the community doesn’t like concrete.”

Updated 5:21 pm, July 9, 2018: Adds a bit more context.
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Reasonable discourse

Sandy Publice from Sea Gate says:
Is Joe Sitt behind this scheme also? Coney Island is ruined!
Oct. 28, 2010, 10:54 am
Al from Park Slope says:
Well then don't call it a boardwalk, call it a sidewalk. So much for the old "Charm" of Coney Island.

Oct. 28, 2010, 1:06 pm
Matt from Fort Greene says:
There is no such thing as a concrete 'boardwalk'
Oct. 28, 2010, 3:02 pm
Nancy from Sunset Park says:
Not a Sidewalk, Not a Boardwalk it's a "Concrete Walk"'

Also we need some indoor rides like the ones in Univeral Studios!!!
Oct. 28, 2010, 7:14 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Where would they get the wood - it's not like it grows on trees or anything.

Call me in the spring when the winter and salt air has worked its magic on the concrete.
Oct. 28, 2010, 9:53 pm
Simon from Coney/Brighton says:
I'm glad it "worked" in the rockaways and orchard beach. seriously? the coney island boardwalk is ICONIC! this can't be allowed to happen
Oct. 29, 2010, 11:04 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
“The mayor says we can’t use any wood. And, obviously, the community doesn’t like concrete.”

And there you have it - Mayor for Life Mike doens't understand where lumber comes from, and thinks that all trees should die of natural causes.

Facts don't matter to Good King Michael the First - he says "No Wood for the Peasants!" and so it was - No wood.

Concrete for you! Just like in the Old Soviet Union!
And don't go near the water - there's Salt there!

God Save the King.
Oct. 29, 2010, 9:51 pm
K. from ArKady says:
On the other hand, Or from YH doesn't understand that wood is a pricy building material. I'm guessing he'd have a hard time identifying a tree, much less understanding the concepts of "money" and "budget". Typical conservative...borrow and spend, borrow and spend.
Oct. 30, 2010, 12:58 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Mayor Mike promised the UN not to use tropical hardwoods in the city, without figuring out that you can grow more trees, and that he needs them for boardwalks, and the deck of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Mayor Mike would rather be welcome at the UN parties than practical.

I can identify a tree, and the 16 varieties - species that make a good wood for a boardwalk. Plenty of them to be used, and renewed.
Oct. 30, 2010, 3:55 pm
J from Brooklyn says:
This bodes well for Mayor Bloomberg's plan to completely destroy the soul of Coney Island in every way humanly possible.

What a shonda.
Oct. 30, 2010, 4:55 pm
Arthur from Bay Ridge says:
Disgusting, charmless, tacky and terrible.
Oct. 31, 2010, 4:41 am
A from Park Slope says:
Why not put in a boardwalk like what is in Tel Aviv. I know it's a stone concrete mixture of some kind.

See this picture:
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:02 pm
A from Park Slope says:
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:02 pm
peppertree5706 from Brighton Beach says:
Look To Santa Cruz, CA.

Santa Cruz has a real wooden boardwalk and is a magnate for tourists. They also have a sky cable tram that rides over the length of the boardwalk. The city should install a similar attraction on sections of the CI Boardwalk to attract more tourists. The extra money made, after expenses would pay for the wood. Then the boardwalk can keep its real wood. Check out these two pictures linked at the top.
Nov. 4, 2010, 8:20 pm
bklyn gal from bklyn says:
Under the concrete we'll be falling in love...the song just doesnt have the same meaning as under the boardwalk. Gloomberg get with it!
Nov. 16, 2010, 10:23 am
bengee from coney says:
Who's getting payed of for this one?
May 21, 2012, 9:18 am

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