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Brighton Beach says ‘Nyet’ to cement Boardwalk plan

Brooklyn Daily

Brighton Beach residents are blasting the city’s plan to turn their beloved Boardwalk into a concrete esplanade.

“This is very upsetting,” said resident Sabina Mazur. “It’s not going to be a Boardwalk anymore!”

Mazur was just one of many residents — many of them Russian immigrants — furious with the city’s Public Design Commission, which approved the controversial plan to replace the iconic wooden walkway between Brighton 15th Street and Coney Island Avenue with a 12-foot-wide cement lane that would be flanked by 19-foot-wide pathways built out of recycled plastic lumber.

Moscow native Rushana Saitsova said her favorite thing about Brighton Beach is its historic, 79-year-old promenade.

“There’s nothing like this in Moscow,” said Saitsova, who exercises daily on the pathway. “I love coming here — it would be terrible if the Boardwalk was cement.”

Still, some residents approve of the city’s plan.

“Wood gets damaged very quickly,” said Vladimir Symen. “Cement will last a long time.”

That’s exactly why the Parks Department proposed replacing the entire Boardwalk with concrete and plastic lumber — save for a four-block section in Coney Island’s legendary amusement district between W. 15th and W. 10th streets — back in 2010 as it embarked on a $30-million rehab of the aging 2.7-mile span, which opened in 1923.

The agency tested out the materials on two sections of the Boardwalk — including a stretch between Ocean Parkway and Brighton First Street in Brighton Beach — in 2011, arguing that concrete is sturdier and cheaper than real wood.

Last spring, Community Board 13 rejected the plan to replace the Brighton Beach portion of the Boardwalk with cement — and in October the design commission ordered up another review of the project after opponents testified that the slabs of concrete that the city laid down were already crumbling.

But the commission ultimately signed off on the plan after parks officials explained that they considered using other materials, such as Black Locust and Kebony woods, but found that concrete and recycled plastic lumber were still the best options.

“We would greatly prefer to use wood,” Alex Hart, a top Parks designer told the Public Design Commission. “But there’s nothing out there that will work.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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jerry from brighton beach says:
Over 45 people went to express their opinions at the Design Commission hearings. Only 4 were for the Concrete Sidewalk.
One of those was Counilman Domenic Recchia. He's for Concrete not Boardwalk.
Well, that's not surprising. He really vacations in Southampton Long Island Not Coney Island. He's not really a stakeholder in the preservation of the iconic Cone Island Boardwalk.
The residents of Brighton Beach & Coney Island will remember this betrayal when & if Mr. Recchia runs for any other political office after he is term limited in 2013.
March 23, 2012, 9:29 am
gregory from 3111 ocean parkway says:
This is a sample how Democrats spending our tax payers money for nothing and corruption. Shame on !
March 23, 2012, 3:38 pm
Vote Recchia from out of town says:
Vote Recchia out.

This is why Republicans are winning.
March 23, 2012, 9:23 pm
steve from brighton beach says:
I propose the following: let the residents of Manhattan/Brighton Beach/Coney take the entire beach area into their hands. They could run it the way they see fit, without some bureaucrat telling them how to run their neighborhood. Let them privatize the beach, I guarantee the quality of it will be match and even surpass Long Island beaches.
March 24, 2012, 7:49 pm
steve from brighton beach says:
I propose the following: let the residents of Manhattan/Brighton Beach/Coney take the entire beach area into their hands. They could run it the way they see fit, without some bureaucrat telling them how to run their neighborhood. Let them privatize the beach, I guarantee the quality of it will be match and even surpass Long Island beaches.
March 24, 2012, 7:49 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Steve, in theory that would be a great idea.
But we all know it's just a pipe dream.
I've been going to Coney Island for more decades than I'd like to admit and the condition of that boardwalk during the summer months is hideous. For the last 15 years I've been riding my bike on the boardwalk in the morning and the condition of the wood in many locations is dangerous, not only for cyclists but for pedestrians also. There is continuous repair crews restoring section after section with new wood only to have it unusable in 2 to 3 years. I have witnessed huge trucks on the boardwalk ripping up the wood as they travel along. Also through the years I have witnessed on a number of occasions truck's wheels stuck in collapsed boardwalk needing an even larger truck to hoist them out.
When will they learn?
Do they even care?
Most of the Jersey shore enjoys resin planks on their boardwalk that stay in pristine condition year after year. I don't know what the expenses is of installing that resin but it can't be more expensive than replacing wood year in and year out.
March 24, 2012, 9:32 pm

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