2001-06-09 / Letters

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Dear Editor;

Today, as I was taking a nice long bicycle ride from one end of the peninsula to the other, enjoying the sunny summer day, I noticed many beaches were closed on the eastern end of the peninsula, particularly the beaches starting at 114th Street and going east.

As I rode to the west end of the
boardwalk and beyond, every beach was open west of 116th Street. I had to wonder--why beaches are open where there is no parking, no stores, no food--basically all private beaches for the Belle Harbor residents? Why aren't the beaches open where there are train station stops, delis, plenty of free parking, apartment buildings and private houses with many residents right across the street?

There are many people who come to Rockaway every year to rent bungalows for the summer months, only to find that the beaches anywhere near their blocks are closed. I happen to live on 110 Street, and the nearest beach that is open for me is either 114th or 105th Street. Why do I live on a beach block where my beach is always closed, as it was last year? What's the point, except that I cannot afford to live in Belle Harbor?

The Parks Department has even roped or barricaded these beaches off while they sit on their dune buggies waiting to go tearing up the sand & "pounce" on anyone daring to go onto one of these beaches to even just sunbathe. Why can't I use the beach in my own backyard, even if I do not go swimming in the ocean? Why don't the residents of Belle Harbor have to walk blocks to have a day at the beach? Where do their friends park when they come to enjoy a day at the beach on the weekend?  

I know my friends have plenty of legal & free parking, 2 delis, pizza & more right around the corner, but alas--no day at the beach for us 'lowly' Rockaway Park residents. How is it determined which beaches are to be closed and which are to remain
open? Are the lifeguards paid out of pocket by some residents & not others? I did not see anyone come by my block & take up a collection. Why can't the Parks Department spread out some of our few precious lifeguards a little more evenly throughout the peninsula--it's only fair....

P.S. Put the trash cans back on the boardwalk!


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