Courier Life’s

Coney Island Concrete Boardwalk

City's use of wood in Rockaway boardwalk repair angers Coney's faithful

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

A city decision to repair an outer-borough boardwalk with wood has opponents of the Coney Island Boardwalk’s upcoming concrete makeover accusing the Parks Department of turning back on its word.

Agency officials have said repeatedly that repairing city boardwalks with wood was no longer a viable option — sparking the move to replace the iconic Coney Island Boardwalk with concrete and plastic lumber.

But the city began repairing a 10-block stretch of the longer, but far less exciting, Rockaway boardwalk with lumber last week — a move that has Coney Boardwalk advocates spitting nails.

“It’s an unbelievable slap in the face to our communities,” said Rob Burstein, the president of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance. “It shows that it’s possible to have a wooden boardwalk.”

Friends of the Boardwalk founder Todd Dobrin was also outraged.

“I’m furious,” said Dobrin, who has been fighting the city’s plans to take away the Boardwalk’s cherished planks. “Every boardwalk should be treated equally.”

But city officials say they’re not flip-flopping.

“Under a full reconstruction of the Rockaway boardwalk, we would consider using concrete,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor, who said repairs on the Rockaway boardwalk, which drew 3.6 million visitors last year, will replace planks Hurricane Irene turned into kindling last year.

A one-mile section of the 5.5-mile walk has already been paved over with concrete, Lalor noted.

Councilman Eric Ulrich (R–Queens) doled out $1.6 million in taxpayer dollars to help repair the Rockaway boardwalk.

That news wasn’t lost on critics who slammed Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) for supporting the city’s plan to replace the Boardwalk between Coney Island Avenue and Brighton 15th Street with concrete and recycled plastic lumber.

“We need elected officials to support the Boardwalk here the way that they did in Queens,” Burstein said.

Recchia declined to comment on this story.

In 2010, the Parks Department proposed replacing the entire Boardwalk with concrete and plastic lumber — except for a four-block section in the historic amusement district between W. 15th and W. 10th streets — as part of its $30-million renovation of the aging 2.7-mile span, which opened in 1923.

The agency tested the materials on two sections of the walkway in 2011, claiming that concrete was sturdier and cheaper than using real wood.

But preservationists balked at the suggestion, claiming the plan would ruin the look and feel of the historic Boardwalk and turn the rest of the strip into a sidewalk.

The Public Design Commission gave the Parks Department the OK to tear out the Boardwalk in Brighton Beach — and install a 12-foot-wide concrete lane for emergency vehicles and a 19-foot-wide lane built out of recycled plastic boards for pedestrians — after agency officials testified that wood was no longer a viable option.

Yet residents say the current repair project in Queens proves otherwise.

“I can’t understand their reasoning,” said Brighton Beach resident Arlene Brenner. “It’s ridiculous.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

vote out Recchia ASAP from Coney Island says:
Before you vote. Remember that "Recchia declined to comment on this story.
May 23, 2012, 4:16 pm
sal from brighton beach says:
Recchia will be in the same situation as Lew Fidler.
Recchia isn't representing the community , only his own interests.
We'll push to vote against Recchia , when & if he runs for another office.
And you can take that to the bank.
May 24, 2012, 2:34 pm
William H.Depperman from Brooklyn says:

1.) The Department of Parks, Billionaire “Big Mikey” Bloomberg and Adrian Benepe are Big Liars and are Tools of the Developers and Big Real Estate! THEY HAVE TOTAL CONTEMPT FOR OUR INTELLIGENCE and the present anti-Communist “OPPOSITION,” which is run by them!
2.) There is enough South American already-cut Hard Wood READILY AVAILABLE to cover the ENTIRE BOARDWALK! The Bloomberg Pretext that he does not want to use scarce endangered Tropical Rainforest Hardwoods is a False Pretext from ANY angle! There is enough Tropical Rainforest Hardwood already cut to completely Replace All Boardwalk Wood with WOOD! Bloomberg wants that already-cut hardwood to go to his rich real estate friends for housing interiors in apartment buildings and restaurants. The Coney Island-Brighton Beach Riegelmann Boardwalk TAKES FIRST PRECEDENCE because it is a NEW YORK CITY and UNITED STATES HISTORICAL LANDMARK!
3.) The Cement and Plastic Proffered by Bloomberg, Parks Department and the DEVELOPERS is UGLY, ALREADY cracking, disintegrating, dangerous and lacks drainage as direct observation and photographs demonstrate at Ocean Parkway! Their Criminal plan is to gradually COMMERCIALIZE the entire Boardwalk area, first by refusing to repair it so that naïve suckers will say “anything is better than this,” then get rid of, it step wise, first gradually and then ENTIRELY, and for PROFITS ONLY!
4.) There is More Money Today in the United States and New York City than ever before in history! There is enough money for each and every person to live like a millionaire NOW with no exaggeration! There is also the greatest income difference in all U.S. History! That is the REAL “economic reality” of End-Stage Capitalism! We have to begin to organize to end it NOW!


If a Person robs a bank of $5,000.00, escapes and invests that money and makes $1 Million and then is apprehended, ALL the money is confiscated as STOLEN MONEY! Surplus Value is defined as the new value which is created by workers by what they produce in goods and services in excess of their own labor-cost (e.g. wages and benefits), a value which is “freely appropriated,” MEANING STOLEN (!), by the capitalists as gross PROFIT, and which is the basis of capital accumulation, meaning accumulation of their WEALTH! The capitalists have simply STOLEN all the profits of our labor! Surplus value is the basis of ALL the money the capitalists have acquired and use for the formation of companies and corporations; banks; bank loans; the issuance of stock; derivatives, such as credit default swaps, subprime mortgage-backed securities, securitized life settlements (!), etc.; operating their brainwash media; purchase of private property; running countries, waging wars; getting “elected” in their staged sham “elections,” etc. All the $ millions and $ billions possessed by Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Elison and Donald Trump is STOLEN MONEY! The capitalists and even many backward, demoralized and intimidated Workers under capitalism presently believe that the capitalists’ theft of Workers’ Surplus Value as Profits is the natural ”ENTITLEMENT” (!) of the capitalist millionaires and billionaires and that it will be “capitalism forever!” It is NOT their ENTITLEMENT and we simply cannot afford “capitalism forever!” Capitalism is destroying our living space and destroying the boardwalk! Most people also do not understand that the millionaires and billionaires pay only 15% (the capital gains rate!) on the first $110,000.00 of income, the so-called “taxable wage base.” No income above that is taxed and 66% of U.S. corporations pay no tax at all (1.2 million companies)! The slogans should NOT be “tax the rich,” which is a trap meaning tax more of the first $110,000, or “close the loopholes.” The slogan should be: “TAX ALL INCOME,” but under capitalism it never will be! Supply-Side/Tax-cut Economics was designed to divert tax money from social spending not to improve the economy, but to gradually reduce the population. It is time to begin to take back what is rightfully ours—ALL the wealth which WE, the Working Class, NOT the capitalist class, have produced!

1.) The necessary tropical rainforest hardwood which is required to replace the ENTIRE CONEY ISLAND-BRIGHTON BEACH Boardwalk must be obtained and all of it treated with Thompson’s Water Seal or the equivalent! Nothing less! The Coney Island-Brighton Beach Riegelmann Boardwalk TAKES FIRST PRECEDENCE because it is a HISTORICAL LANDMARK!
2.) New Yorkers must DEMAND that Billionaire Bloomberg contribute THE ENTIRETY of whatever monies are required to complete all of the work! Whether it is several $BILLION or not that is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT! For Bloomberg a couple of $ billion is chicken crap! All of Bloomberg’s money was originally STOLEN from the Working Class in the first place, as explained on page 1.
3.) All cement and plastic which has already been put down by the so-called “NYC Department of Parks and Recreation,” which should be understood presently as the “NYC Department FOR Developers and Big Real Estate,” must be removed forthwith—IMMEDIATELY!
4.) New Yorkers should know that much of the wood that was laid down for the Riegelmann Boardwalk in 1923 when it first opened is STILL IN PLACE although much is worn and some has been replaced. The original wood was obviously NOT waterproofed! This time it will be! Hardwood does not last “Only 8 years,” which is just one more Big Lie of the Parks Department and Real Estate Developer stooges, Bloomberg and Adrian Benepe, who continued with yet another BIG LIE: “The plastic composite…can last 75 years (!).” Photographs of the Department of Parks handiwork already show the disgusting cement and plastic composite is cracking and crumbling and it has just been put down! They think we are their suckers! Ninety-five percent of New Yorkers and the majority of Americans agree that we need a new system based on human need NOT private profit! That is actually a Communist response! But people have been brainwashed by the U.S. government media and “educational system” to believe the Communists are “bad,” but we know from our own experience that capitalism is bad and is destroying the entire planet so we have to begin to deprogram ourselves from the capitalist brainwash! In the 1930s there was a million-strong Communist Movement in the U.S., which put pressure on Roosevelt to write the New Deal. Roosevelt was given credit then and now on Channel 13 for “Saving Capitalism!” From what pray tell? From a Socialist Revolution in the United States—It was that close! Read the 1930s newspapers! If they had gone all the way then instead of taking the New Deal, which was just a BRIBE, there would have been NO Adolf Hitler and NO WWII and NONE of today’s present problems! Until we organize ourselves back on a Communist basis as in the 1930s we can just forget it! We have to begin to deprogram ourselves just as if we had been kidnapped by a cult!
It is a rule of capitalist statecraft that a government must control and operate its own opposition on each and every issue and here in the center of U.S.-led world capitalism-imperialism that is the unfortunate reality. Who’s who in that case? An individual or political group is defined by what they say and what they do not say and by what they do and by what they do not do. For example, the so-called “Friends of the Boardwalk” is a just a self-described adjunct of the Parks Department “organized for charitable, scientific and educational purposes…to revitalize and improve…the boardwalk…” It is also not a question of merely “Boardwalk not Sidewalk,” but that a A HIGHWAY IS BEING CONSTRUCTED FOR DEVELOPERS—not “Emergency Service Vehicles,” which that group hides! Encouraging the false belief that capitalism can be reformed is designed to lead to total failure. The same goes for the sell-out so-called “Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance” of fraudulent “oppositionist,” Rob Burstein, who divisively manipulates people into supporting use of concrete and a “variety of composite materials” for everywhere on the boardwalk EXCEPT from Coney Island Avenue to Bay 1, while opposing use of already-cut rainforest hard wood, most of which has lasted since 1923, by trying to get them to sign such a petition basically supporting the destruction that has already been done to the boardwalk! Don’t sign it! The purpose of such brazen fake groups is to demoralize genuine opposition to the policies of the capitalist dictatorship by gradually getting those opposed to the disaster policies of End-Stage Capitalism: to resign themselves, to acquiesce, to finally submit, to despair and finally to ACCEPT DEFEAT! Let’s begin to organize properly now!
Peoples’ Committee for Wood Restoration of Riegelmann Boardwalk 10 East 16th St., New York, N.Y. 10003 UNION LABOR DONATED PLEASE REPRINT AND DISTRIBUTE!
May 24, 2012, 9:13 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group