Is It Still a Boardwalk If the Planks Are Plastic?

Our hearts, rather than our feet, have been burning over the fate of the iconic Coney Island boardwalk. Sure, it’s rickety and splinter-ridden, but a Concretewalk is just wrong. The city has agreed to keep the concrete to a bare minimum, which is still too much, but now it looks like there is no hope for any wood on the boardwalk.

The sections of the boardwalk that will have planks will be made of plastic, The Times reports, as the city has determined it has no alternatives. The public design commission is ready to approve the busted boards:

“I have pushed them to look at every possible wood alternative, and they have persuaded me that there aren’t wood alternatives that are practical,” said one commission member, Otis Pratt Pearsall, a trustee of the Brooklyn Museum. With that in mind, he said he would support the hybrid plan because “it is important to have the thing look as Boardwalk-y as possible.”

Another commissioner, Paula Scher, shared that sense of resignation.

“If you think we’re happy that wood is being replaced by material we find less appealing, that is certainly not the case,” said Ms. Scher, a partner at Pentagram Design. “It’s called a Boardwalk, and if you use other material, it loses its identity. I understand that, but it’s so much better to have a surface to walk on next to the beach.

“We love our icons of the past, and sometimes you can preserve them,” Ms. Scher said, but “things have changed.”

Now that they’ve ruined the Cyclone, is there any reason to go to Coney Island anymore?

mchaban [at] observer.com | @MC_NYC

Comments

  1. steven says:

    How about doing a little investigative journalism and comparing the maintenance costs of the wood vs the plastic? 

  2. Olog-Hai says:

    “The sections of the boardwalk that will have planks will be made of plastic, The Times reports, as the city has determined it has no alternatives.” 

    Yeah, right. I’d like to see them try this with the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway.

    1. Matt Chaban says:

       Interesting point. But does the Parks Department regularly cruise the bridge picking up chicks? I think not.