Coney Island’s world-famous, 2.7-mile Boardwalk is listed among America’s Best Beach Boardwalks by the travel editors at National Geographic, Travel + Leisure and USA Today. Will it qualify for this honor if only four blocks in the amusement area remain wood and the rest is paved with concrete and plastic wood? A Parks Department spokeswoman told Brooklyn’s Courier News that concrete was chosen because it’s about $40 per foot cheaper than real wood.
The Bloomberg administration’s plan to pave the Coney Island Boardwalk will be voted on by the City’s Public Design Commission. A friend forwarded the info that the PDC hearing is at 10:30 am on Monday, October 24th. It is recommended that you get there at 10 am to sign in. “Please bring others if you can as this is our best chance to defeat this,” writes Rob Burstein of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance. The local Community Board voted 21 to 7 against the plan in May, but their vote was ignored because New York City’s CBs are advisory boards.
News stories about the Boardwalk redo gave the impression that the Public Design Commission vote was a foregone conclusion, possibly because the members are all Mayoral appointees. However, after reading the letter from Burstein and Friends of the Boardwalk’s Todd Dobrin, we took a closer look at the Design Commission. “The Gatekeepers,” a report in the Architect’s Newspaper, described the PDC as “little known to the public and a mystery even to many architects.” Commission members are a distinguished group including architects, artists and representatives of the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library. They serve pro bono. Hey, we think it’s worth a shot. It could be your last chance to save Coney Island’s Boardwalk from becoming a Concretewalk.
PLEASE SAVE THIS DATE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 24TH
WHERE: NYC PUBLIC DESIGN COMMISSION,
253 Broadway (opposite City Hall), 5th floor, New York, NY
TIME: TO BE ANNOUNCED AND FORWARDED
Dear friends and neighbors:
I’m writing to ask you to join us on Monday, October 24th, at the NYC Design Commission. There will be a hearing about the proposed plan to replace the iconic Brighton Beach and Coney Island boardwalk with concrete slabs. A small group of us showed up a few weeks ago to express our displeasure with this Parks Department’s proposal so the hearing was changed to the date above. This was so that the Commission could hear our objections regarding this plan for the boardwalk.
THIS IS OUR BEST CHANCE FOR DEFEATING THIS PLAN!We need a substantial number of people at this hearing to express their displeasure with the proposal. The people on this Commission have no idea what impact their decisions have on this community. As neighbors who enjoy the boardwalk and don’t want it turned into a sidewalk or driveway, I’m hoping to prevail upon you to join us and express your outrage at this horrendous plan. We all have too many responsibilities and too little time, but many of us are taking off from our jobs yet again in order to attend this most important meeting. Won’t you join with us? Your presence is important! This Commission is not an advisory body. They make the final decision as to whether or not this project goes forward. Please don’t let cynicism about the good it does to show up at a hearing such as this stop you from coming. It CAN make a difference! Look at what happened when enough of us showed up to object to construction of the proposed amphitheater in Asser Levy/Seaside Park. This Commission stopped the plan because enough community members showed up to object. Please support us and our community once again. Please attend and tell your friends and neighbors to join us!
The time on the 24th will be announced in the next day or two and I will forward it on once it’s been set. Thanks for your consideration and support!
Rob Burstein, Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance
Todd Dobrin, Friends of the Boardwalk
UPDATE March 7, 2012:
The next public hearing at the Design Commission is set for Monday, March 12. For more info, see the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance’s new website.
UPDATE October 25, 2011:
Victory! ATZ is happy to report that the Design Commmission has stopped the Parks Department from going ahead with the concretewalk. NY1 covered the hearing — watch the video here. As Todd Dobrin of Friends of the Boardwalk says in the vid: “I think that it’s great that the Design Commission has come to the conclusion that more environmental and engineering studies are required before this project goes forward.”
Related posts on ATZ…
February 29, 2012: Exclusive: Coney Boardwalk Group’s Letter to PDC Rebuts Parks
May 5, 2011: May 7: Coney Island Boardwalk Trash Can Art Contest
January 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010