2001-07-14 / Letters

Boardwalk Filth

Boardwalk Filth

Dear Editor,

It is Saturday night and I have just come in from a walk on the boardwalk (or at least an attempt). I have finally had enough and need to vent. I am a lifelong Rockaway resident who lives at 1 Beach 105 Street. I don’t even know where to begin, but I will start with the Parks Department.

Having just come in from a filthy boardwalk and beach area, I have a few questions. Who is the genius that decided not to put garbage cans on the boardwalk? The boardwalk is filthy. In addition, the area before the boardwalk is a mess. As a resident it would be nice to be able to take a walk at night. It is not worth the aggravation. I find it ironic that the beach and boardwalk will be cleaned early in the morning just in time for the next group of Down For The Day’ers (DFD’ers) to make their next mess. It is only the residents that have to live with the garbage! Why can’t the boardwalk be cleaned after the beach crowd has left? If there are no garbage cans, the Parks Department should do something to clean this mess.

The second problem I have with the Parks Department is the lack of garbage cans on this block (Beach 105 Street). This is a subway and bus stop and there is plenty of traffic. The cans on this block are always taken by the handball and paddleball players to keep the balls in the court. This leaves no cans on the main walkway. Why can’t cans be tied to poles or anything that will keep them in this area? I understand it requires more work to pick these up, but the other option is that we have no filth! I counted six garbage cans around the entrance of the Kids Park on Beach 106 Street. We need this type of coverage on our block.

Moving on to the group of people who make this mess. I realize that the following complaint will most likely fall on deaf ears, as most DFD’ers do not read the Wave. With that said, I know we live in a politically correct time and nobody wants to say anything that might be construed as racist or biased. I am neither. The fact is however that most DFD’ers on this block are Puerto Rican. I know this because of the number of Puerto Rican flags waved both on the beach and in cars that pick them up. I do find it ironic that will all the talk of Puerto Rican Pride at the parade a few weeks ago, they don’t seem to have enough pride to clean up after themselves. I watch one after the other throw garbage on the grass or beach (where there are cans) as if it was a garbage can. I watch people getting picked up in cars and dumping their trash before they get in the car. Why are there no fines being issued? Why do we just accept this behavior?

I also believe that some people should be responsible to help in the clean up. I know that Key Food makes a killing on beach days. Their Styrofoam coolers are big sellers. Why are they not asked to pitch in on the cleanup? I just counted six broken up coolers sprawled out along the boardwalk. I won’t even mention the environmental issues here.

While I am on a roll, I must admit that it is not only the DFD’ers that make a mess. There are a number of tenants in this building that seem to think it is okay to let their dogs poop on both the buildings grounds and in the grass by the boardwalk. This is unacceptable behavior. It is bad enough to have people who don’t live here making a mess. We need to take pride in where we live and set a good example. I can’t tell you the number of times I stepped in dog poop around the building. Kids play in these areas and it must stop. The tenants know who the culprits are but the building says they can’t do anything. Seeing that according to the lease, pets are not allowed, I don’t understand why the building can’t take steps to fix this. Do cops no longer issue tickets for this? I think we, as tenants, need to take control of this issue. Talk to those tenants who don’t cleanup after their dog. Tell them they must clean up their act. Enough pressure will hopefully put an end to this.

I have lived in Rockaway all my life and love it here. The beach and the boardwalk are beautiful when kept clean. I just wish we could keep it cleaner. I don’t think it is impossible to do. We need help from the Parks Department and local police. I would hate to be another Rockaway resident who just gives up and moves away. We all must chip in.

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