Last year, because of years of damage and disrepair, the city announced plans to renovate the Coney Island Boardwalk, replacing the classic wood planks with slabs of concrete. Locals were up in arms about the possible changes, and the city then tweaked its plan in order to include imitation wood along the Riegelmann Boardwalk. But even that would be too much compromising for some.

Initially, the city Parks Department planned to convert a five-block stretch of the boardwalk into an all-concrete walkway; in their revised plan, they said they wanted to place a strip of concrete down the middle of the Boardwalk with imitation wood on either side, from Brighton 15th St. to Coney Island Ave. But at a Community Board 13 meeting last month, locals rejected the latest proposal wholeheartedly: “People are not going to be able to walk barefoot over that. They’re going to burn their feet...if waves hit a hard concrete surface, it’s energy will not dissipate and there’s an opportunity for great property damage," Brighton Beach activist Ida Sanoff said, according to Brooklyn Paper.

Friends of the Boardwalk President Todd Dobrin is pleased that the Parks Department is at least listening to the community's concerns, but he still doesn't like the latest plans: "They claim that just the amusement area is historic...You can't call it a Boardwalk anymore if it's concrete." Critics claim that the Parks Department favors concrete both because it is cheaper ($90 a square foot compared with $114 for plastic lumber and $138 for wood), as well as more favorable for city vehicles to drive over. "They're more concerned with being able to have vehicles on the Boardwalk than the actual visitors to the Boardwalk," said Brighton Beach resident Bruni Figueroa.