Coney Island activist and City Council candidate Todd Dobrin published a dramatic photo yesterday on Facebook showing what he says is one of results of the city’s bungled attempts to care for the Riegelmann Boardwalk, spanning Coney Island and Brighton Beach.
The photo, posted above, shows Dobrin over a flooded section of the boardwalk, complete with inflatable rubber duckies, where the city previously put down a cement sub-structure underneath the wood. According to Dobrin, the cement sub-structure prevents water from draining, allowing water to eventually warp the wood and cause additional hazard for visitors.
“This is what happens when you put a concrete slab under wood planks! No where for the water to drain. Welcome to lake Coney!” Dobrin wrote in a caption for the photo.
The post earned the city ire from other members of the Friends of the Boardwalk group.
“WOW!!!! A waste of $$$$$ on an idea that made no sense!!!” wrote Michael L.
“I can’t believe they want to repeat this stupid design on the rest of the boardwalk! Makes NO sense whatsoever!!!” wrote Christianna N.
A portion of the Brighton Beach section of the boardwalk has already been fully converted to concrete, and about half of the 2.7-mile fixture already has a concrete sub-structure. After years of wrangling with activists pushing city planners back to the drawing board, the city decided to move forward with its $7.4 million plan, using concrete and plastic. Activists responded with a lawsuit filed by Dobrin and other activists on July 12 in Brooklyn Supreme Court, claiming that the city failed to conduct an adequate environmental review and that the new design will cost taxpayers more in the long run.
Todd Dobrin serves as chairman of Friends of the Boardwalk, a group formed to fight the city’s proposals to replace wood on all or part of the boardwalk into concrete. He is also running for City Council in the 47th District, currently represented by Dominic Recchia, who will be term-limited out in 2013.
The Boardwalk is cropping up as an issue in state political races as well. Earlier this week, Ben Akselrod, vying for the Democratic candidacy for State Assembly against Steven Cymbrowitz, issued a press release siding with the activists.
“Brighton Beach’s section of the boardwalk has already fallen victim to the City’s misguided plans,” said Akselrod, noting cracks on the recently installed cement sections. “The boardwalk needs to be restored. No one is saying it doesn’t. However I, like many others, want to keep the look that people have fallen in love with for decades.”