QUEENS, N.Y.(PIX11)—To Mayor Bloomberg, it's a no-brainer. The wooden boardwalk in the Rockaways after Sandy looks like a train wreck.
The concrete one looks pristine and perfect. As the mayor told The Wave, a Rockaway newspaper, "there will be no more wooden boardwalks in Rockaway or anywhere else."
But that's not sitting well with a civic group called Friends Of Rockaway Beach. "It really should be up to the people of Rockaway," says the group's co-president John Cori. "Ask them their opinion, concrete versus wood. Can't shove concrete down our throats," Cori added.
Cori showed PIX11 the rock jetties that he says protected the boardwalk, whether it was concrete or wooden. There are roughly 40 stone jetties between Beach 86th and 17th streets. Above 87th, there aren't any rock jetties and the boardwalk's a mess.
The Friends Of Rockaway Beach are holding Sunday to push their point. "We need to have jetties," co-president Eddie Pastore told PIX11. "We need to have deeper beaches. We need to have a seawall boardwalk. Rockaway people cannot suffer like this again."
The same debate -- wood versus concrete boardwalk in Coney Island -- will be decided by a judge this month after Brooklyn pro-wood activists sued to stop the city from making the boardwalk concrete.
In the Rockaways, the Parks Department says it's still studying the situation. Residents see both sides. "We've always had a wooden boardwalk," Sarah Boden said. "It'll be sad not to have a wooden boardwalk."
But, Natalia Assa sees the other side. "Concrete will survive a storm, but Wood feels much better for walkers, joggers, strollers," Assa added.
Sunday's will highlight the need for more protective stone jetties. Once that's decided, organizers say there will be time to figure out whether the boardwalk should be wood -- or concrete.