February 4, 2012
The following information has been provided by www.gottaloveconeyisland.com,
written by Jason Singer
GottaLoveConeyIsland will be in Black Out mode until 2/22/12 in protest of the following unfortunate news, and apologizes to any fans this may inconvenience, but we deem the matter far too important for anyone with sand in their shoes to ignore. Please read the following, and decide for yourself.
BOARDWALK TO FACE IMMEDIATE
AND ONLY YOU CAN HELP SAVE IT!!!
ON FEBRUARY 21, 2012 THE NYC PARKS DEPARTMENT WILL BEGIN PROCEEDINGS TO
DEMOLISH THE BOARDWALK
AND REPLACE IT WITH
A CONCRETE ROADWAY/SIDEWALK
EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUPPORTING HEAVY MOTOR VEHICLES.
THIS WORLD FAMOUS NATIONAL ICON HAS PROVIDED A COMFORTABLE WALKING SURFACE FOR NOT JUST US AND OUR CHILDREN, BUT OUR PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS AND GREAT-GRANDPARENTS AS WELL.
If you love Coney Island, now is the time to show it by helping save our Boardwalk, before it is too late, otherwise
THE FRIENDS OF THE BOARDWALK ALLIANCE HAVE A PLAN TO STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING, AND THEY NEED YOUR HELP NOW! THE DEADLINE IS ONLY 2 WEEKS AWAY!
PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS, LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY, AND KINDLY SIGN THEIR PETITION, AND ENCOURAGE YOUR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME. YOUR VOICE DOES COUNT!!
The Coney Island Boardwalk has provided a unique, peaceful respite for visitors and locals alike from the concrete city all around us. This 89-year-old icon has endured through two World Wars, a plethora of political administrations, and the ravages of nature’s wrath for nearly a century, but it may not survive the myopic stewardship of the very agency to whom its care is entrusted. If the Parks Department has its way, the Boardwalk will be turned into a concrete sidewalk/roadway!
Please sign this petition to convey to the NYC Parks Department that the people of New York, as well as visitors from around the world, deserve the continued enjoyment that only the Boardwalk provides and that no concrete facsimile can ever replace:
The first reason cited for the concrete proposal is that the city can no longer use wood from the Rainforest, since it is not ecologically sustainable. While this is so, we have encouraged the Parks Department to choose one of the sustainable, non-rainforest, and domestically grown woods that are available, and are viable, both structurally as well as economically. We have pointed out other boardwalk communities who have found success with just such a solution.
Another reason is cost. The City believes that maintaining a concrete walk is less expensive than maintaining a wood boardwalk. Depending on what material is used for both the support structure and the decking, this may in fact be true. However, the cost differential decreases significantly over time. In fact, an engineer in another city did a comparative cost analysis for their boardwalk and found the additional cost for wood was one million dollars over a 50 year time frame. That’s $24,000 additional cost per year for wood. This seems minimal, when compared with what would be lost if the boardwalk is destroyed.
The Parks Department seems to be underestimating the maintenance that concrete requires over time. They “tested” their concrete plan in two sections (one at each end of the boardwalk), and already, less than one year after they installed it, the concrete has many unsightly cracks, stains and gum spots. In some areas, whole chunks of concrete fell away and the Parks Department had to replace them (you can see where they patched certain areas, because the patches are different colors). Additionally, the concrete slabs are drifting apart from one another, creating a safety hazard. You can read about it here:
The last reason cited is related to safety and sanitation. The City says a concrete walk would better support the heavy police cars and garbage trucks that are used on the boardwalk. However, there is no reason to use these heavy vehicles. In other areas of the city, policemen use lighter forms of transportation, such as bicycles. And in Central Park, trash is often collected with golf carts.
A concrete walk creates its own safety and sanitation concerns. The Parks Department plans to use a slab concrete substructure in all areas of the boardwalk (even the four blocks by the amusement park that they intend to cover with wood planks). This leaves absolutely no place for drainage. In the places where they’ve tested this substructure, water and ice build up regularly, and food and vomit get stuck between the boards and rot there. Also, the concrete has absolutely no give to it, and damages the joints of the people who run and walk along it every day. The Parks Department tried to throw some rubber between the boards and the concrete, but it doesn’t do much in terms of shock absorption. The boardwalk was meant for people, and these issues create far greater risks for the people who use the boardwalk every day.
For additional Information, please go to www.gottaloveconeyisland.com
Thanks to Jay for providing this valuable information and I hope you will join us in signing the petition and voice your opinion about the destruction of this historic boardwalk.
February 3, 2012
02/02/2012 06:48 PM NY1 Exclusive: Coney Island Business Owner To Move Entire Building From Boardwalk
By: Jeanine Ramirez
A Coney Island business owner is being forced to leave the boardwalk, and he’s taking his whole building with him—literally.
Steve Bitetzakis is fighting back the only way he knows how. He lost his battle to keep his business, Steve’s Grill House, on the Coney Island boardwalk and now he’s taking the whole building with him. “It’s better than nothing, because they were looking to take the building from me,” says Bitetzakis. Bitetzakis erected the modular building back in 1993 on land that’s changed owners several times over the years. The city now owns the land, but the Grill House is not part of plans for the new Coney Island. His lease was not renewed after the end of the season, but Bitetzakis says the building is his and a judge agreed he could keep it. However, he must move it if he wants it.
Bitetzakis says he plans on moving his building on February 10. The structure sits on concrete columns reinforced in steel and will be lifted with hydraulic jacks. “They’re going to move it on steel plates with dollies and they’re going to slowly move it to the new location,” says Bitetzakis. He’s still not sure where that new location will be, but Bitetzakis says it’ll be somewhere in Coney Island, although he’d rather remain on the boardwalk. “I have ocean view. I’ve been here. I’ve built up a nice business. Of course I’d love to stay here,” says Bitetzakis. He’s not the only one. Several other boardwalk businesses have been forced out to make way for new businesses near the new amusement parks. His staff and his customers say it’s not fair. “Steve definitely should’ve been here because he’s always provided a good service,” says employee Barry Flynn. “It’s amazing to me that they could put all these new businesses and leave him out. And he’s been here,” says customer Frank Collorio. Bitetzakis’ family has been operating boardwalk businesses since the 1950s. His father Gregory ran Gregory and Paul’s Concession for decades. “It’s in the blood. Coney Island is in my blood,” says Bitetzakis. He vows to continue his tradition of serving Coney Island customers, just not on the boardwalk.