Parking Wars Dominate CB 14

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The Rangers game against the Ottawa Senators this past Tuesday evening, May 9, did not deter droves of people from attending Community Board 14’s (CB 14)  monthly meeting. However, with defenses and offenses thrown like hockey pucks across the room about adding parking and bicycle lanes on Shore Front Parkway, it was definitely an evening of intense action. (For those who missed it, the Rangers lost 6-4, ending their season).

However, before we get into the intense drama, here are a few goals that were won without pushback.

First off, CB14 unanimously agreed to endorse the street renaming of a section of Broad Channel’s (BC) Church Road, honoring the 100th anniversary of the death of BC Volunteer Fire Department’s chief, Christian Hoobs (pronounced Hubs). According to Edwin Wilmarth, chief of operations and a 49-year veteran of the BC Fire Department, Hoobs, born in 1917, was one of the department’s founders, who also built the local Catholic church and ran many businesses in the area. “He is such an important historical and inspirational figure in our community, and unfortunately, to this day, he is the only person we lost due to a fire in over a century. Naming a street after him is a no-brainer. Hoobs more than deserves this recognition for his work towards elevating and building up the BC community,” Wilmarth said.

Next, CB 14 agreed (not unanimously as there were a few abstentions) to request traffic cameras at local Catholic schools, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Academy on Beach 84th Street and St. Camillus Catholic Academy on Beach 99th Street. According to NYC law, speed traffic cameras must be placed 1/4-mile from the front door of a school. The cameras are placed in school zones to photograph speeding vehicles, and can be operated from an hour before the school day to an hour after it, as well as from 30 minutes before a night or weekend activity to 30 minutes after it. This includes vacation times, when classes and activities may still be going on inside the facility. So be aware, if you commit a violation in a school zone, you can get a $50 speeding ticket in the mail.

During public speaking, in a one-minute bullet, Dan Guarino, former Rockaway Times Reporter and Wave Newspaper Associate Editor, active Rockaway Artists Alliance board member, (and the list goes on), stepped up again to announce his bid to run for District 32 City Council against Councilman Eric Ulrich. “I have lived in Rockaway for over 35 years, actively advocating for our peninsula. I know what we need, and with your support, Rockaway will soar!” Guarino said.

Now for the action…Parking, parking, parking…Though in their last meeting, CB 14 agreed to not support the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) plan to add metered perpendicular parking on the south side of Shore Front Parkway, folks came out to protest.

Edwin Williams, president of the Harbour Pointe II Arverne Homeowner’s Association said, “We were not invited to that last meeting. Shore Front Parkway is an important throughway for Arverne By The Sea residents. How could the Rockaway Beach Civic Association dictate what we need, without consulting us?”

CB 14 board member and president of Rockaway Beach Civic Association, John Cori, responded, “We sent out information to everyone about the meeting on our mailing list. We posted on the Facebook page, “Friends of Rockaway Beach,” we exhausted every avenue to reach out to everyone concerned and invested in this important issue.”

As Williams and Cori, along with other members of CB 14 jostled about the district lines of Rockaway Beach and Arverne, a young man in the back, who will remain unnamed, kept shouting out, “Liar. Liar. Rockaway Beach does not include Beach 72nd in Arverne.” The board discussed revisiting the parking issue, but voted to not revisit it, and the decision to not add parking remains.

As for adding a bike lane on Shore Front Parkway, folks on each side were adamant. However, CB 14, though divided, decided to add the bike lanes.

What an intense night!

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