A December 30 community stakeholders meeting failed to please a group of Coney Island residents who are furious about how their input on the plan to replace parts of the neighborhood's iconic Riegelmann Boardwalk with concrete are being received by Parks Department officials: with indifference. "Everything had been decided before they even walked into the room. It was a total farce. All they cared about was that concrete was the cheapest in the long run," Executive Director of the Natural Resources Protective Association Ida Sanoff said of the officials' rote responses at the meeting, A Walk In The Park reports.
Much of the community's frustration revolves around the Parks Department's continued refusal to issue an Environmental Impact Survey regarding the boardwalk's seemingly inevitable rebuilding in concrete. Detractors of the plan claim that the boardwalk's wooden stretches held up better than its concrete stretches during Hurricane Sandy. Despite the claims, Parks Department head Mitchell Silver says the group is committed to enacting the "best design solution that maintains the look and feel of the traditional boardwalk that you love (ed. note: that really screams concrete!) while ensuring resilience and protection for this community."
"The meeting was nothing more than a patronizing and disrespectful display of faux community involvement in decision making," member of the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance Rob Burstein told A Walk In the Park, "Asking us what we think, even as they proceed to rip up the Boardwalk outside while we speak, is not only infuriating, but it speaks to a sadistic concept of community input into a project, something we had hoped for better of from this administration."
· Furor As Parks Dept. Rejects Community Safety Concerns Over Coney Island/Brighton Beach Concrete Boardwalk Project [AWitP]
· City Revives Plan to Concrete-ify Coney Island Boardwalk [Curbed]