The New Year brings a new petition from concretewalk opponent and founder of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance Rob Burstein. “Keep the Boards in the Coney Island Boardwalk–No Concrete! and Save the Rainforests” is circulating among our Coney friends on Facebook and has already gathered more than 365 signatures out of goal of 5,000. Addressed to 23 elected and appointed officials, the petition’s goal is to put a stop once and for all to the Parks Department’s plan to pave all but four blocks of the 2.7 mile Boardwalk with concrete and plastic wood. Some parts of the Boardwalk, like the spot in the above photo, have already been paved as part of a pilot project. The petition says in part:
If the Parks Department has its way, the Boardwalk will be turned into a concrete sidewalk! Their explanation for this choice is the citywide dictate to limit the use of rainforest wood, but there are in fact many other options available. Send a message to New York’s Parks Department to tell them that the choice is not between saving the rainforest and saving the Boardwalk — the correct choice is to do both! Stop the use of rainforest wood, and replace it with one of the available sustainable domestic hardwoods such as Black Locust or White Oak for the surface decking (the part that we all see and on which we walk). The support structure underneath should be made from recycled plastic lumber, which the U.S. Army has used to build bridges that support tanks and locomotives. This design would be both cost-effective and desirable, and, most importantly, would preserve the basic elements of what makes the wondrous Coney Island Boardwalk a boardwalk.
The last time ATZ wrote about the proposed concretewalk was in October, when the City’s Public Design Commission refused to approve the Parks Department’s plan. The PDC, a distinguished group of architects, artists and representatives of the City’s cultural institutions, told Parks that more environmental and engineering studies were needed to address the questions that they had.
According to a report on the blog A Walk in the Park, no one on the commission supported the use of concrete. “Why do we need the concrete at all,” one commissioner said. It was a victory for concretewalk opponents, winning time to organize more support for keeping the boards in the Coney Island Boardwalk.
UPDATE, March 13, 2012…
For an update read “The 10 People Who Will Decide the Fate of Coney Island Boardwalk” (ATZ, March 9, 2012)
Related posts on ATZ…
February 29, 2012: Exclusive: Coney Boardwalk Group’s Letter to PDC Rebuts Parks
December 4, 2011: Brass Ring Dept: Coney Island “Carousell” RFP Up for Grabs
May 5, 2011: May 7: Coney Island Boardwalk Trash Can Art Contest