Coney Island’s wooden boardwalk may have seen its last summer. A court decision last week puts the Parks Department one step closer to tearing out the iconic stretch of old-world wooden charm and replace it with the plastic and concrete slabs of progress.
Judge Martin Solomon ruled that the Parks Department may move forward without an environmental review of the effects of plastic and concrete versus wood – a study that opponents were sure would have shown the new materials’ shortcomings and halted the project.
“We are pleased the judge found that the Parks Department complied with the law, thus allowing this project to proceed,” said Katie Kendall of the New York City Law Department, in a statement to the New York Post.
As we’ve previously covered, opponents have charged that replacing the wood would not only ruin the boardwalk’s historic character, but create environmental concerns such as accelerating erosion of the beach. Leading the charge against the boardwalk is Todd Dobrin, president of Friends of the Coney Island Boardwalk, and Rob Burstein, president of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance. They published editorials in the New York Daily News that warned of the safety risks of crack forming and heat storing concrete and pushed petitions that over 2,500 people signed.
“We are disappointed in the decision … A moratorium on construction of concrete and plastic boardwalk sections is urgently needed for the safety of the community,” the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance said in a statement published by the Post.