Activists were displeased when the Parks Department decided to replace the wooden boardwalk on Coney Island with a cement and plastic one. Now, six months after Superstorm Sandy battered our shores, the New York Post is reporting that residents and business owners are complaining that sand is accumulating on the new boardwalk.
The barrage of sand upon the historic promenade has been so terrible that the city has been forced to assign extra workers to keep shoveling it back on to the beach. Boardwalk preservationists are blaming the new cement base for all the extra sand.
“With cement, there’s nowhere for the sand to fall through. There’s no doubt the new surfaces are causing the sand to pile up like never before…This is what you get when the city decides to make changes without doing a proper environmental review,” Todd Dobrin, president of the Friends of the Boardwalk and a candidate for City Councilman Domenic Recchia’s seat in the 47th District, told the Post.
Residents, including Maureen Masterson, 32, were also angry. While trying to maneuver her two-year-old daughter’s stroller through obstructive piles of sand, the Bensonhurst mother expressed negativity over the situation.
“This is horrible. It’s like Sandy never left,” Masterson told the Post.
The encroaching sand isn’t just bad for people trying to walk on the boardwalk. As sand accumulates, it starts blowing in people’s faces, which the city has been vigorously trying to prevent by wetting the sand down.
Local business owner Dennis Vourderis, co-owner of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, told the Post that the sand has never been worse. It is “even piling up in the amusement district — which still maintains a wooden boardwalk,” he said, blaming the extra sand on Sandy “pushing it closer to the boardwalk and making it ‘finer’ so it blows more freely.”
“This is the worst we’ve seen it,” said Vourderis, who recently put up netting outside Deno’s to block sand from damaging his rides’ motor systems. “We have to shovel all week just to be ready for the weekend.”
For its part, the Parks Department is blaming Mother Nature and isn’t accepting the idea that the new boardwalk has anything to do with all the extra sand.
“Sand will accumulate on a boardwalk without regard to the decking or the foundation,” the Post reported Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor as saying.