On February 1, I had the occasion to go to a store on Beach 116 Street. It was the first time I really stopped and looked at the block, and what I saw was disturbing.
Starting from the ocean, there are the vacant and boarded-up bar and concessions, the abandoned movie theater, and the tumbled-down rooming houses, all on the east side. But what was really disturbing was the 200 block. There is the vacant old Jamaica Savings Bank, the empty boarded-up store and bar next to it, and the empty clothing store across the street. Plus, I was approached by several panhandlers and asked for money and cigarettes. One of them looked downright menacing. It was a very unpleasant experience. Instead of the block getting better, it seems to be getting worse. If I were a storeowner on the block, I would be concerned that conditions there may be driving away customers. I know there is a Beach 116th Street merchant’s organization. What is being done about this? Are our local elected officials involved in a plan to improve conditions?
I think The Rockaway Times would be a good platform for those responsible for the block to let the readers know what the plans are to improve the block. Plus perhaps a police officer on a foot post on the block would be welcome.
(Editor’s Note: The 116th Partnership which has been instrumental in making actual improvements to the block since Hurricane Sandy is in the midst of becoming part of a larger merchant’s group. Stay tuned for details).
More Than A Ferry Guy
The following was sent to the New York City Parks Department regarding resiliency money.
1. The NYC Parks Rockaway beach/ parks maintenance facility should be rebuilt. The first line of defense for storm preparation is the proper maintenance of the sand moving equipment. It would not be a good idea to have a maintenance facility that could easily flood from a storm. All neighborhoods in Rockaway that use the beach and parks would benefit from an updated/new facility.
2. Any new structures on the boardwalk, such as concessions or bathrooms, should not block the bike path. At the present time, in Rockaway Beach (near the concessions/bathrooms) the bike riders must disembark their bikes because the shaded structures were built too close to the concessions. By the way, the shaded structures do not provide shade at these locations.
3. The Plans to rebuild the bathrooms at the foot of Beach 116th Street I believe is a waste of money because there are new bathrooms within 50 feet of location. Parks may want to put showers in this area and then remove the showers that are close by which have created a pedestrian and bike traffic jam.
4. I would like to see at least one new concession with rest-rooms that are open all year round on the boardwalk. Jones Beach on Long Island in the wintertime has concessions that are open, and does a brisk business from visitors who walk and ride bikes on their boardwalk. I feel it would be nice to have a destination on the boardwalk. How about Sylvia's by the Beach?
If possible, the concession should be built so that the seating area will have a view of the ocean. The structure would have to be built so the seating area would be slightly above the dune height. At the new concession, the boardwalk should run behind the structure so that in the wintertime, the seating area could be enclosed creating a year round destination with an ocean view. On the Jersey Shore there are concessions with this feature and do a great winter business. The lifeguard parking area located near the concession could be converted into concession parking from Sept.15 to May 15 (with a three-hour limit).
5. Smaller concessions or kiosks should be built with a trailer design and could be taken away in the wintertime for storage. In the summer season the trailer could be put backed into place like a truck pulling into a factory loading dock, thus not blocking bike or pedestrian traffic on the boardwalk and the entrance would be level with boardwalk. Since the Concession would be level with the boardwalk, the large expense of handicap ramps would be eliminated. The trailer could connect to utilities similar to an RV pulling into a campground. The trailer's design should look like Rockaway's old beach bungalows and not look like a trailer. The trailer idea would not block the view of the ocean for residents nearby.
6. Before any new park facilities are built anywhere else on the boardwalk, the playgrounds on Shorefront Parkway destroyed by Hurricane Sandy should be restored, especially since the Shorefront area between Beach 108th and Beach 72nd streets is the main area used by beach visitors in the summer time.
Cheers for No Fears
I'm sitting here this morning basking in the sunshine and warmth of South Florida, and reading the letters to the editor in this week's edition of your newspaper!!
I left The Rock on November 10 for an extended winter down South. I was reeling after the election and from what I perceived as a town that does not fit my core values and political leanings. Mind you, I have lived here since 1954!!
But, after reading these letters bashing ol' Kevin for his well-meaning views on little furry creatures and the letters from Rockaway women that are standing up to be publicly counted, I am looking forward to returning and joining the loyal opposition.
But what really made my day was that we finally have and have had for the past few years, a local newspaper that will print what the people of Rockaway say and feel… no matter what side of the coin it is coming from!! In these worrisome times of media bashing and fake news, I feel it is important to do anything to support our media and free press. The Rockaway Times has my support!! I hope it has ALL of your support!!
Name PROUDLY not withheld: Bruce BernfeldBLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS