Sunday, October 28, 2012
Rockaway Beach a victim of its own success
From the Daily News:
About 7 million people visited the beaches in Rockaway this year, more than double the number of recent years, according to city figures.
They were lured by the waves, sand and a new batch of groumet foods available at the boardwalk concessions.
But while the crowds are good for businesss, local officials said, they are also stretching the already thin police and parks resources to the breaking point.
“We are finally getting what we want,” said John Lepore, president of the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce. “But the maintenance could not keep up. We need to clean up more often and have more security.”
Community Board 14 fired off a letter to Mayor Bloomberg last week, asking him to increase the number of police and parks workers assigned to monitor Rockaway beaches.
They pointed out the boardwalk is still battered from years of use and storms and there are not enough ramps to make the beach accessible to everyone.
“Our beaches are dirty at times due to the shortage of an adequate amount of garbage baskets,” Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska wrote in the letter on behalf of the board. “We are also deeply concerned with the lack of adequate police staffing during the summer season.”
The board does give the Parks Department credit for working “miracles” with limited resources but said the administrative “sleight of hand” no longer works.
“Rockaway is treated like a stepchild,” fumed City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “You would never see this in Central Park.”
From the Daily News:
Some Rockaway residents are worried that long-awaited beach replenishment plans are washing away.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already started dredging the East Rockaway Inlet, a move that will provide sand for eroded beaches along the western sections of the peninsula.
But unlike previous years, the sand will not be piped up to the beaches. Instead it will be dumped around Beach 30th St. and then moved separately by Parks Department contractors.
“I’m concerned that if they stockpile it, it will erode away,” said John Cori of Friends of Rockaway Beach, which launched a “Demand the Sand” campaign.
This summer the city announced it dedicated $3 million for a project to move dredged
sand to fill in the battered shoreline between Beach 85th St. and Beach 105th St., centered around Beach 92nd St.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder said he was concerned that the dredging project moved so quickly that the Army Corps was unable to work in conjunction with the Parks Department.
In previous years the two agencies worked together on a plan to dredge and then pipe the sand to specific beaches.