Courier Life’s

Concrete Boardwalk for Coney? Lou says ‘no way.’

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Our billionaire mayor shows us his splintered Boardwalk. He says wants to save the rain forest — and save our city money — by replacing wood with the cement. But we know full well that all that cement — and its alleged savings — will bring us nothing but potholes and pain.

Thankfully, it will be a short walk to the every intersection of Brighton Beach where we can go into our drug stores to buy Tylenol, then leave the store to trip over two potholes at each untreated intersection. At least our mayor is being consistent!

Todd Dobrin was a member of his Community Board 13 and probably hollered too loud as a “friend” of the Boardwalk. He led the charge of getting the board to vote against the concrete, and paid a big price, in this columnist’s mind — he was mysteriously dismissed from the panel shortly thereafter!

Sure, they can kick him off the board, but they can’t shut his mouth: he hollers from the sidelines, as the head of “Friends of the Boardwalk,” demanding the city change it’s ill-conceived course.

But Dobin need not tell me what is right: I can see with my own two eyes. And you can to. Stand at one edge of the famed Coney Island Boardwalk on Brighton 15th Street. Look down at your shoes. What are you atop? Healthy, pliable, walkable wood — the very reason they call it a Board-walk

Then, look beyond you at the once-beautiful Manhattan Beach portion, which is already cement. Behold where angry hurricane tides of Bonnie, Connie, Irene, and Donna ravaged their once-cherished pathway, blissfully named “The Esplanade.” Sure, hurricane winds have chewed and splintered some of the Boardwalk wood. But Manhattan Beach’s concrete has been ravaged, and has been in disrepair for some 35 years, a cement quagmire, beyond hope.

Manhattan Beach is a beautiful, wealthy community, and yet its once prime oceanfront is bordered by shredded cement — the city’s folly.

Our wealthy mayor’s Parks Department owns a few properties in Coney island — our beach, the ballpark, and our mysteriously abused Abe Stark Arena — a mismanaged, neglected facility to say the least. Now, it seeks to save money by pouring cement where wood has brought us healthy feet as we soaked in the fresh air since 1923, when we had a mayor with foresight.

We must fight for our rights now and walk in good health. We must keep up the fight for our Boardwalk. Godspeed, Todd Dobrin. Fight, because you are right!

This is Lou Powsner.

Lou Powsner, America's oldest columnist, puts pen to paper (literall) for twice a month. He has no e-mail.

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Reader Feedback

starr from Coney Island says:
every single CONCRETE building in Coney is now surrounded by structures to keep the concrete from falling and hitting people... WHY does the city think a concrete boardwalk would fair any better? the answer is THEY DON'T but the switch to concrete was already a done deal before it was ever brought before the citizens of our area for comment.

the concreteazation of Coney island will go down in Bklyn history as one of the DUMBEST decisions ever made...
May 30, 2012, 9:12 am

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