Coney Island Boardwalk Makeover Plan Gets Approved

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A controversial plan to give a facelift to the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk was approved following a final hearing on Monday.

The Public Design Commission of the City of New York OK’d a Parks Department plan to replace stretches of the aging 2.7-mile boardwalk with concrete or plastic that looks like wood.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Hears From Opponents Of The Plan

The approval is non-binding and requires that the Parks Department consider other options, including wood.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says the materials can last 75 years and is cheaper to build with than wood. The parks department says some natural woods last just eight years.

The boardwalk’s fate has been the subject of much debate. Opponents said the change would destroy the boardwalk’s character and make it less safe.

“It’s the last people’s amusement place left in New York City and I can’t believe you can’t find the money to maintain it — that’s just wrong,” Norm Finkelstein said.

Some believe maintaining the new materials will cost even more money.

“They can’t come up even with a budget for how much these costs are gonna actually be,” Todd Dobrin, with Friends of the Boardwalk, said.

Part of the wooden boardwalk has already been replaced by concrete. The current makeover plan focuses on a five-block section from Coney Island Avenue to Brighton 15th Street.

What do you think of the plan? Sound off below…

  • Coney Island Kid

    A boardwalk ain’t a boardwalk without wooden boards…period.

  • Joanna Trumino

    To the person who said Coney Island is for “ghetto people” and tourists: you’re an idiot. Coney Island is historic and people have been going there for their entire lives. EVERYONE goes there. If you knew anything at all, you would see this as you walked down the legendary Coney Island Boardwalk. There are all kinds, colors, ages, cultures and living things walking across that boardwalk.

    And I am so heartbroken hearing about the change of the hostoric Boardwalk. It doesn’t make sense to me why people keep trying to change this amazing place. I understand trying to make it safer and better for people, but someone mentioned above, if they can maintain Atlantic City’s boardwalk, why not Coney Islands? Everyone enjoys every summer at CI, yet big corporations still find time to find something wrong with it to screw it up even more every summer. Going down these comments, something that striked me that someone mentioned was that using plastic, or even concrete, in the summertime, will make it unbareable to walk on! That (pardon my pun) floors me. Aside from the park and it’s boardwalk being classic, legendary and historic, the wood is easy and fine to walk on in the summer heat. I don’t think there never been a problem there. When the wood gets wet, it’s cool. When it’s dry from the sun, it’s not so hot you can’t walk on it barefooted. People walk barefoot on it all day in the Summer. With plastic or concrete, I can’t imagine how painful that would be for people and animals. I am so disappointed and saddened by this news. I hope something changes for the better soon, for us, the people of the people’s playground.

  • Alan

    Why is it that Atlantic City can maintain a wooden boardwalk but Brooklyn is unable to? I am sure if it was located in Manhattan they would somehow find the money to maintain it. I bicycle ride on that concrete so called boardwalk in the morning and I find the reflection from even the morning sun quite blinding.The plastic boardwalk that they installed on the pier a few years ago is a fair replacement with much better longevity. But the concrete is horrible and takes away the charm of Coney Island.

  • johnjay

    So sad. Bloomberg AND Marty need to go! They have shown over and over again how unimportant Brooklyn is to them. They are letting it be destroyed little by little. So many old buildings being torn down and ugly 20 story condos being built. It’s horrible. No one can afford to live here any more.

  • John Q

    The current administration (and even the last one) doesn’t care one bit about anything but money. If they can show, on paper, a saving then they’re going for it.

  • Eugene Durante

    The Coney Island Boardwalk is world’s best boardwalk! I have never seen any public space as wide, welcoming and well maintained.

    Other beaches may be quieter, cleaner, and less congested, but as a boardwalk Coney Island sets a standard for the Empire! I Challenge anyone to find a better, wider, more aptly designed place to people watch in the world! In totality, even Florida’s beaches largely lack that special nostalgic feeling of enjoying a trip to the shore that Coney conjures. Boardwalks are made of boards. case closed.

  • Rich

    You might want to rethink replacing the boardwalk with recycled plastic boards. We replaced our deck last spring with TREX. It is easy to clean, No splinters & looks great. The one problem we encountered was that when the sun shines on it, the heat is incredible. You can’t walk barefoot on it. It’s smokin hot. Even our dog walks across it & goes down into the yard to lay in the grass. Mayor Mike & the Parks Dept. might want to check it out before spending the money. The deck was not cheap.

  • Esmerelda

    Whatever The City or The Mayor can destroy, they will.
    This is the worst management of The City ever.

  • Ron

    Coney Island for tourists and ghetto people. Rather go elsewhere without those nuisances around.

  • Roslyn Bernstein

    Save the wood and the splinters, too! Preserve boardwalk history and our collective memories. The final story in my collection, Boardwalk Stories ( is entitled, “Spliknters.” Vote no to cement and plastic!

  • BrooklynCyclone

    I can understand how, aesthetically, one may be opposed to replacing the wooden planks with concrete. How is it less safe to do so? As a person who has used the boardwalk for just about all of my 50 years, I can tell you that the gaping holes left in the boardwalk from rotted or charred planks is a huge safety issue. That will clearly not be the case with concrete. To me it seems the concrete will be safer.

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