A controversial hearing scheduled for today to replace a piece of the iconic Brooklyn boardwalk with a hodgepodge of concrete and plastic planks was mysteriously pushed back, Metro has learned.
The Parks Department was slated to ague today before the city’s Design Commission for their plan to replace portions of Brighton Beach’s wooden boardwalk with an unpopular design: a 12-foot concrete strip with 19-feet of recyclable plastic lumber on either side. The commission must approve of the plan before it can go forward, but rejected it when it was originally presented in October.
“They didn’t get approval then because many of the commissioners were not convinced of the need to change the boardwalk,” Rob Burstein, a public school teacher and president of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance, said.
“I run on the boardwalk every day. Changing it from wood to concrete and plastic will negatively impact this neighborhood,” Burstein, a Coney Island native, said. “The vast majority of people want a true boardwalk. If the city is truly interested in revitalizing Coney Island, then they should value every inch of this boardwalk.”
The hearing was first scheduled on Jan. 30, then Feb. 21, and the next possible date is March 12, Burstein said, adding that the constant scheduling changes made it a challenge for the community to organize.
“This is my passion. In order to remain a boardwalk, it must have wood boards,” Burstein said. “It’s the one true respite from concrete we have in our city.”
Another community activist, Todd Dobrin, 41, president of Friends of the Boardwalk, says the Parks Department’s plan is faulted in many ways.
Dobrin says that when the city replaced a portion of the boardwalk with concrete, between West 33rd and West 37th streets, water puddles and mounds of sand piled up.
“The problem with concrete is that there’s no drainage,” Dobrin said. “There’s nowhere for the sand or water to go. It ends up looking like Coney Island lake.”