Source: "Friends of the Boardwalk" Facebook Page

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.”

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  • Jack

    the pic says it all

  • Bruce B

    Wondering how many more people will fall with serious injury due to this ludicrous lawsuit delaying things.. My rib is still healing from falling over a nail. The wood can’t be maintained – give it up before casualties mount further. By the way, try walking on the wood when there’s ice or snow melting – enjoy ur skating session.
    Wood and maintaining wood far too expensive. Let’s go to the cost-efficient solution and use the savings for hospitals or more important endeavors.

    • Lisanne!

      The maintenance would be less costly if weight limits on vehicles using the boardwalk were still in place.

      • Bruce B

        I would love to have wood in an ideal situation. But hearing the costs, and still skeptical about the city’s ability to repair the hundreds of thousands of boards up there at reasonable cost (even assuming the vehicular limitation that you state), I’m siding against my own interests (walking, jogging on wood), and in favor of the city’s solution.

        • Kool4Coney

          proposed estimated costs based on nothing because no impact study has been done.

          • Bruce B

            come on. maintaining wood means guys replacing and fixing individual nails and boards. Common sense. You can muddle the fact all you want with “impact study” talk, whatever that is. You can go on and on  forever demanding “studies” (which is what is done in New York and why nothing can be done in NY), or you can get the job done in the most cost-effective way. The basic numbers are in, and concrete is vastly cheaper than wood, and as it stands, safer.

          • Seth Bogdanove

             Concrete expands with heat, contracts with cold. This means cracks in the summer and cracks in the winter. No drainage means rivers in the summer and an icy accident waiting to happen in the winter. Do you think it’s expensive to replace one plank of Douglas fir at a time? How much do you think it will cost to replace a concrete slab? Lisanne is right, bring back the weight limits on vehicles and the loose planks will stop.

    • Kool4Coney

      the argument that wood is more expensive to maintain has nothing to back it up because NO IMPACT STUDY has been done 🙂

  • Bruce B

    I would like to see a picture of the wooden part of the boardwalk after that storm…. You think wood doesn’t get wet? Don’t walk on the wooden part during/after a rain, it’s also quite slippery. You may step in a puddle on concrete, but you won’t slide like on wood.

  • guest

    Oh my god a puddle!!!! Now that IS dramatic! How many casualties drowned? Has it been declared a disaster zone yet? I literally pissed a larger puddle this morning, please, just stop it already. The douche in the background standing in his best “SEE I TOLD YOU SO” pose is classic too. How many innocent dry socks were sacrificed for this photo? what a joke. A PUDDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kool4Coney

      there has been no impact study on that concrete material….  and THIS is the outcome of not doing that…   LARGER and LARGER PUDDLES.   yes wood gets wet but we dont get THAT kind of puddling on wood because, unlike the concrete, it is built to let the water drain DOWN to the sand

      • Bruce B

        wood gets slippery when wet. Concrete  doesn’t. Or do we need a detailed “impact study” for this?

  • guest

    Wait a minute, Michael L. said that? Forget it, I’m changing my stance completely now. Maybe we should go wood for the sidewalks too? How about we go wood for the pile’s that support our homes? Metal is SOOOOO non-draining, you know. Great non-partisan reporting. 

    • Kool4Coney

      instead of continuing to make false comparisons and ridiculous suggestions why not use your time to research REAL information…  unless you have a personal financial interest in seeing the boardwalk destroyed by concrete, you might be very surprised by what you learn from that real research  🙂

  • guest

    By the way, just a random pic showing what rain damage does to wood siding: 

    • Kool4Coney

      not applicable ‘guest’   so why not find a pic of wood DECKING…correctly weighted  and correctly treated for the elements because that kind of pic WOULD be applicable….  nice try though and thanks for playing 🙂

    • Alex

      Atlantic city boardwalk does not have this problem. 

  • Kool4Coney

    that is not ‘just a little puddle’ and the concrete was not chosen because it is better for people who use the BOARDwalk…but because it is better for heavy duty construction equipment, needed to build all those boardwalk CONDos that, when finished, will keep YOU from using that boardwalk.

      those people who advocate to just plow ahead with destroying the rest of the boardwalk should stop knocking the lawsuit and start praising it…. there was absolutely NO IMPACT STUDY made on that concrete and when it IS finally done (as required BY LAW)  the concrete will be found to NOT be the right material and that section that has already been replaced with concrete will be replaced AGAIN only the next time it will be with the right kind of WOOD….  so instead of whining like old fishwives THANK the activists, their lawsuit is saving YOUR taxes from being wasted to please thor equities.

  • guest

    Everything is fine. Go see a broadway show.

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  • Mara

    Rubber Duckie, you’re the one. You make bathtime lots of fun. Rubber Duckie, I’m awfully fond of you (woh woh, bee doh!) Rubber Duckie, joy of joys

    • Ned Berke

      Mara, there you go, winning my heart…

  • Bruce B

    Talk about the definition of “chutzpah”:

    1. “The city’s project raises numerous public safety concerns which have not been addressed”, according to Rob Burnstein (who I admire very much as a runner, a little less so as a politician). 
         People are falling by the dozens every day, getting hurt, requiring stitches and medical attention and he’s raising “safety  concerns” as a defense. Interesting. Let me tell you something. The boardwalk of wood was never safe to walk/run on even when maintenance was tops. There’s always going to be plenty of boards loose, nails protruding, etc. Safety concerns, ha!

    2. “The city’s Riegelmann Boardwalk plan indisputably may have a significant impact on the environment and has the potential for a significant adverse environmental impact…”
           Chutzpah in its rawest form. Did I miss something or does wood not come from trees, and aren’t destroying trees a major environmental concern? If the local McDonalds made so much as a chair from wood, the same people yelling for tons of boardwalk wood would be marching in protest. Is this the opposite of “not in my neighborhood”, this time the hypocrisy can be termed “only in my neighborhood”!

  • Seth Bogdanove

    It’s the cars and trucks that the Parks Department drive up and down the boardwalk that are responsible for all the loose planks. Ban them from The Boardwalk and you won’t NEED concrete or plastic!

  • Seth Bogdanove

    Chalk this up as a failed experiment, rip out the concrete, ban full-sized cars and trucks from the Boardwalk and bring back the Douglas Fir planks. It’s renewable, environmentally friendly and won’t burn bare feet in the summer. It’s the right thing to do.