The Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance is a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving Coney Island’s beautiful and historic wood boardwalk. This 89-year-old icon has endured through two World Wars, numerous political administrations, and the ravages of nature’s wrath for nearly a century, but it may not survive the myopic stewardship of the very agency to whom its care is entrusted. If the Parks Department has its way, the Boardwalk will be turned into a concrete and plastic 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.
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.
Click here to view a map of the proposed destruction of the Coney Island Boardwalk.
***POST-HURRICANE SANDY UPDATE***
IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK EMERGED FROM THE STORM VIRTUALLY UNSCATHED, MAYOR BLOOMBERG CALLED FOR AN END TO ALL WOOD BOARDWALKS. CONEY-BRIGHTON BOARDWALK ALLIANCE REFUTES FALSE CLAIMS MADE BY BLOOMBERG’S DEPUTY PARKS COMMISSIONER LIAM KAVANAGH
The last thing that Rockaway residents need, as planning for Boardwalk and beach reconstruction begins, is to be given misleadingly incomplete and factually false information by public officials, such as that contained in the recent letter published in the New York Post (12/25/12) from Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. Mr. Kavanagh’s claim that the more than a mile long concrete section of boardwalk installed last year, “…held up, with minor movement and a few damaged planks”, whereas “the wooden boardwalk was ripped from its supports and in many cases splintered and damaged too badly to be reinstalled”, fails to mention some crucially important facts: This mile section of concrete was afforded the protection of being in a groin field (protective rock jetties), with 150 feet of duned beach in front of it, both factors that acted as barriers between it and the pounding waves of Superstorm Sandy. Both these protective elements were lacking in the case of the wooden boardwalk. In fact, the wood section was practically in the ocean at high tide, for many months leading up to the storm. This wood section that was so devastated lies along some of the most severely eroded beachfront in the United States. Further, the Rockaways wood boardwalk joist and carriage bolt infrastructure was built in 1926 with a life span of 60 years, but had never been replaced. Even its timber deck, although refinished in the 1980’s in most sections, was already nine years past its useful prime at the time of the storm. Every carriage bolt in the infrastructure was completely rusted through.
CHECK OUT OUR REPORT ON THE DESIGN COMMISSION HEARING, MARCH 12, 2012.
Please sign this petition to tell the NYC Parks Department that the people of New York as well as visitors from around the world deserve the continued enjoyment that only the Boardwalk provides and that no sidewalk can ever replace!
If you have any questions, want more information, or want to get involved in helping to save Coney’s boardwalk, please contact Rob Burstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Christianna Nelson (email@example.com)