(Yet another) New York Times article: Wood May Give Way to Plastic on Coney Island Boardwalk

Back in October I referred to an article regarding the boardwalk problems that Coney Island is having (read – Concrete Crumbles Coney Island). If you recall, it was about how the concrete installed at the Coney Island boardwalk was crumbling, disgusting and lacking personality. Well, much of the Coney Island boardwalk is still wood and still needs updating. The New York Times has a followup which talks about plastic being the new alternative to wood and how it’s inevitable.

But, before I give you that link, I just have a few things to say about plastic:

Sure, it’s more cost effective, but plastic doesn’t absorb heat as well as wood, so it’s going to be hot on your bare feet. Plastic also doesn’t have the same charm. Oh and is plastic forgiving on the knees of a runner? Oh yeah, and why do we need to make more plastic? How about a bamboo boardwalk? It would be more environmentally responsible for us to use a harder wood than what we currently use.

Alas… I know I’m alone here and it’s a losing battle.. when it comes to rebuilding our boardwalk, you might as well take this New York Times article and replace the words “Coney Island” with “Long Beach” because I know this is where we are headed:

New York Times – Wood May Give Way to Plastic on Coney Island Boardwalk

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2 thoughts on “(Yet another) New York Times article: Wood May Give Way to Plastic on Coney Island Boardwalk”

  1. Plastic would be the way to go, IMHO. I really liked the section of the boardwalk around Riverside that was plastic for a number of years. I was disappointed when they went back to wood over there.

    The boards stayed down making it a lot smoother to ride a bike over. You didn’t get the jackhammer effect that you do with the wood boards.

    And it was reasonably cool to walk on barefoot. Not to mention no risk of splinters.

    Plus, the plastic is recycled. So, it’s a benefit to the environment, in general.

  2. Plastic is a misnomer. The materials that can be used are really a composite, mostly recycled materials and have all the best features of wood, and all the best features of vinyl. It has a bit of give to it like wood so it is better than concrete for runners and stays fairly cool so walking barefoot isn’t an issue and splinters just don’t happen. There are a few different products with different price points and advantages, but most would be superior in wear and maintenance to wood. No matter what is chosen, cars and trucks should not be driven on it if we want to get the best wear.

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