What is on your boardwalk wish list?

Out with the broken, in with the new. That’s the current status of our almost-100-year-old historical boardwalk, which was destroyed by superstorm Sandy back in October. With boardwalk removal underway, proposals are apparently being submitted for its rebuild. I can only imagine what’s being proposed. With that, here are a few running through my head. Please feel free to comment with your own.


  1. Boards. No matter what material is ultimately used, a boardwalk with no boards is no boardwalk. If we don’t use boards then we can’t call it a boardwalk. Did I mention how it’s no longer a boardwalk if boards aren’t used? You get the point.
  2. Harder Wood with screws. It’s not going to happen, but this is my wish list, so there.
  3. I know wood is not going to be used, but please use a material that somehow absorbs heat. If we use cement, we will be sorry….
  4. I know wood is not going to be used, but please use a material that is somehow easy on our knees. If we use cement, runners will be angry….
  5. See video/article on the mistake Coney Island made by using concrete – “grainy, hard on the foot, discoloration and repair patches galore!”
  6. Colorful ticket booths. Some of you might remember my article from last July when I opened my big mouth and called for the repainting of the ticket booths. Little did I know our city would read the article and called me out on it. So last September, fellow resident Allison and I organized a booth painting party over at the Magnolia Beach entrance (read – We Came. We Saw. We Painted). Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so we spoke at a city council meeting for permission to paint the rest. City council said yes, with hope to get the rest painted by this spring. Sandy came and you know the rest. Will the new boardwalk have new booths? If yes, make them fun. If we just use the old booths, please let’s make them look fun. Not everything needs to be beige. beforeafter
  7. Better organized signs. Sign pollution is a municipal problem. I get the feeling that municipalities order signs just to keep their budgets going. Look at all the booth signs in the photo below. Do we need all of them? Can’t we consolidate some of that information into one single sign? It’s very confusing to understand as it is. Oh.. you mean the Beach is closed 11pm to 5am? But it’s open from 5am to 11pm? I need two signs to tell me that? Speaking of simplifying signs, NYC seems to get it: (read – Parking in 140 Characters or Less: New Signs Simplify Parking Rules). Simplifying signs is an easy way to beautify (less sign pollution!).signpollution
  8. One of the signs in the photo above says NO MOTOR VEHICLES AT ANY TIME! Is that enforced?
  9. Ornamental lamp posts. I love looking at old photos of the boardwalk and seeing those decorative lamp posts (See photo below, courtesy of I Love LBNY). I realize how the city installed those environmentally friendly lamp heads last summer (see post), but maybe we can use those for streets lights which haven’t been ‘environmentally’ updated yet. Installing those old & sandy-beaten lamp posts back on a new boardwalk is like putting a beat up license plate on a brand new car. We are unfortunately getting rid of our historical wooden boardwalk. Let’s try to keep some history by replicating what we once had with lamp posts at least.NassHot1910fix1
  10. Free wifi (wi not?). Google is giving NYC areas Chelsea, the highline promenade & the meatpacking district some free wifi. Wouldn’t it be great if Google did the same for our storm-ridden Long Beach? Come on Google, send some love over here too! (Read @ Daily News : Free WiFi comes to Chelsea thanks to Google, making it largest hotspot in NYC and offering thousands in public housing Internet access.)
  11. Official distance markers for runners/joggers. No more makeshift paint lines. Make it nice and neat.
  12. Planters. If we use concrete, we are going to need some trees to cool things down..
  13. More snack shacks or a food truck area. You heard me!!

That’s all I can think of. Anybody have any better ideas?


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49 thoughts on “What is on your boardwalk wish list?”

  1. Allow dogs again! We used to allow dogs — it’s such a great way to meet your neighbours and their furry family members. Many folks still come to LB to walk the promenade with their furry friends and are sorely disappointed when they go home with a ticket instead. 🙁

  2. Don’t forget sea-wall or dunes as a part of the boardwalk project and not an after thought 🙂

    As for free wi-fi, I think it would interfere with whatever agreement they had in place with Cablevision that provided wi-fi on the boardwalk (but you need to be a cablevision customer to use).

  3. The problem is the dog owners that are not responsible and let them go to the bathroom on the boardwalk… (there’s one in my building, dog almost gets his by a car at least once a week).

  4. Jess, that is a beautiful idea! ATTN CITY: CLICK ON THAT LINK!

    Jen, you know it’s the one or two people who don’t clean up their dog poop which ruins it for everybody. But I agree with you.

  5. We need to allow dogs on the boardwalk and even a designated area on the beach. There is a local dog walking company that can even help set it up. Beach Buds dog walking!

  6. 1. Ornate lights are a must
    2. NO metal wired trash cans chained to the boardwalk, link below is cool can that has compresses the garbage when full.


    3. Chess boards underneath the gazebo’s Jess posted


    4. Bathrooms with showers, so city folk can take a shower and spend their money in one of our restaurants

    5. Workout station at each end this one is kinda cool


    6. Lockers under the boardwalk for people to store beach stuff they can be rented out for the season and cleaned out labor day.

    7. Railings


  7. Don’t expect much of a “stronger, smarter, safer” boardwalk. You will see a minimal reconstruction in wood, with some flowery language about how new construction techniques makes this boardwalk more durable. No wood structure can withstand the force of the ocean, the comparative performances of the concrete and wooden boardwalks in the Rockaways proved that. You will get a quick and dirty rebuild of the boardwalk to meet the summer deadline, to keep the tourists coming and the bars full for the summer season. What I would like to know is, who is overseeing what the City is spending the 24 million $$$s FEMA gave them for the boardwalk rebuild.

  8. Anthony, as for wood decking can I suggest TimberSil? http://tinyurl.com/TimberSILPDF

    Featured on This Old House, it is chemical-free and exempt from EPA regulations. It is 50% stronger than chemically treated decking with a 40 year warranty. It is Class A Fire Rated and on a hot August day when we tested it TimberSill was 7 degrees cooler than treated lumber.

    We have some videos up here lower right: http://redoit.org/media/ where you can see the difference in stiffness between TimberSil and everyday treated southern yellow pine.


  9. I would hate a cement promenade! There are other materials that look like wood, but are low maintenance and do not absorb heat. Using something like that, in conjunction with hurricane tie downs similar to those used in FL and Caribbean countries would work. Gazebos, maybe at each end and the middle could also be used for concerts. Decorated ticket booths for sure. Just let’s make sure we keep it in keeping with the beach and ocean, serene and not too glitzy.

  10. I Agree with Anthony. A boardwalk must be made out of boards. In addition to the previous comments that mentioned hardwood boards, hurricane fasteners, screws, and gazebos.
    I think we should look into raising the elevation of the boardwalk. From what I remember, I think the new boardwalk could probably be 1-3 feet higher without blocking 2nd floor views. It should definitely be built as high as possible. We’ve all learned the hard way when it comes to hurricanes every inch matters. Plus a higher boardwalk will have a better view of the new dune that will be built.
    Also It’d be great to have a bike lane with the boards orientated parallel to the shore.

  11. Most NYC people come to the beach and go right home not spending money in LB. If they could shower, change, and take a bike from deco they can go to West End, East End or even center of town restaurants instead of heading home. Some type of bath house is needed.

  12. 1. Ornate lights are a must
    2. Decorative trashcans, don’t want to see the over flowing metal wired cans chained to a railing!
    3. Rails need to be nice looking

    4. A few of those Gazebos that Jess posted one of them could have chessboard tables where people could play games.

    5. If the ticket booths are going to come back then how about making something like these where they not only sell your beach pass but so much more.

    6. Nice Chin-up bars at the ends and middle of boardwalk not the pipe ones that were placed.

  13. 4. A few of those Gazebos that Jess posted one of them could have chessboard tables where people could play games.

    5. If the ticket booths are going to come back then how about making something like these where they not only sell your beach pass but so much more.

    6. Nice Chin-up bars at the ends and middle of boardwalk not the pipe ones that were placed.

  14. I would hate to see dogs on the boardwalk and beach. Not everyone likes dogs and it’s nice to have a place to go where I’m not subjected to incessant barking and inconsiderate owners letting their dogs run around. Not to mention the possibility of stepping in dog poo while walking barefoot.

  15. Although I am in favor of reduce reuse recycle, composite materials get hot, hold the heat and get slippery in the winter because the water sits waiting to evaporate. I have a complete new deck made of composite material, this is my experience. Take a look at some of the benches, they are a composite material, some are bleaching out and some are cracking from the sun. Do wood, screw the subsurface and screw the deck, please don’t do composite. Use concrete from Long Beach Road to National and where there are concerts.

  16. Hi AJR. The “composite” mentioned in the HCB design refers to the beams, joists, and pilings. Although the decking could be plastic or concrete, the decking pictured is intended to represent real wood decking as that was the overwhelming preference of our community and what the boardwalk HC beams were designed for. However, besides allowing LB to leave your existing pilings in place and save on demo costs, the high weight capacity of the composite beams would allow you to install concrete decking where you did need it as you would under restrooms for example. The HCB beams are chameleon-like in that they can accommodate whatever decking choice may be required along the length of the structure.

  17. BOARDWALK WISH LIST: To have it directly make money for the city! #1 A boardwalk design that incorporates hundreds of storage rooms and lockers beneath the boardwalk where beachgoers who rent these spaces on a daily to seasonal basis can store, depending on their needs, things like surfboards and beach chairs. Out of town visitors would pay a considerable amount (and the city would receive a much needed revenue stream) if they could store bulky items that they could bring once and leave there all season. Long Beach citizens would also find storage rooms and lockers to be a benefit if they did not have to lug their entire family’s beach gear each time they visit too. Smaller lockers would be perfect for wallets, keys, shoes, etc. and could be rented by the hour. WISH LIST #2 Electronic advertising and message boards that can be placed on the beach facing facade of the new boardwalk every hundred feet or so, down it’s entire length. Not only can these boards be programmed to show important beach and emergency information, they can also look like the elaborate advertising boards that run the perimeter of soccer fields at every European stadium. The city can sell these advertising spaces for a pretty penny during the summer months and have an additional revenue stream here as well (and I can see the volleyball leagues keeping score on them too). #3 And finally, a great idea to use all of the good wood that can be salvaged from the old boardwalk would be to extend it each way to cover the West and East Ends of the City!!! Most of these dunes are gone anyway, can we design anything that goes there now with the thought that boardwalk extensions can be put there in the future? Forget 2.2 miles, let’s go 4.0!

  18. Bring back a rollercoaster and a flat ride and some fair ride and some shops and entertainment in the boardwalk and food so u don’t have to go to the middle of town for food and entertainment

  19. That’s what I say… They took that away from us years ago.. The Boardwalk was never the same….I am also a taxpayer and have been for 58 years,,,,,I don;t know where you think you live, but we had/have seaside heights and coney island folk here before you moved in and they will be here after you leave……this is Long Beach .not Palm beach

  20. For the record, the term “boardwalk” is not named for the boards used. The name originated in Atlantic City in 1870 when Alexander Boardman conceived the first beachfront walkway. It was called Boardman’s Walk which was eventually shortened to Boardwalk. So, though real wood would be nice, truth be told, it can be made of anything.

  21. I’d call that more of a happy coincidence. If Mr. Boardman was Alexander Finkelstein, I think ‘boardwalk’ would have won out over ‘finkelsteinwalk’…

  22. I think storage is a great idea! One benefit that I can see possibly coming from it is the parking situation. Going to the beach with kids seems to require endless amounts of stuff that makes it difficult to walk if you live a bit farther, like over by the bay. A lot of the people I see circling for spots are families. If people felt that their belongings were safe then they could leave all their gear at the beach and just walk. I know that would be a nice relief for those that live close to the beach.

    Or maybe not…. Maybe people will still throw their one measly beach bag in the trunk of their s.u.v. and drive the three blocks….. But, I’d like to think it’d be the other way.

    I do think that they would be hugely popular with the day trippers so we would need to implement a scheduled registration to make sure locals got first dibs. Which seems to be an obvious way to go about it but sometimes I think the obvious flies over the heads of planners…

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