2001-08-11 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Chatting With Chapey by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE THE ROCKAWAYS: CPR

The committee to preserve the Rockaways had its first meeting on Monday, August 2, 2001 at the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways.  Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader, chaired the meeting.

The initial purpose of the committee is to protest the placement of the DWI impound parking lot in Riis Park.  It is urgent that the community residents stand together against this outrageous proposal.

We are asking that residents and visitors sign the petitions against the
parking lot. Those petitions are being placed in the local stores.  We need your signature on these petitions in order to show the officials at the National Park Service, Gateway National Park and the New York City Corporation Counsel that we will not tolerate the DWI impound parking lot in Riis Park which is part of Gateway National Park.

To date, our community has been informed that the purpose of the DWI
impound parking lot is to raise money for many needed improvements in Gateway.  Essentially, they are telling us that the National Park Service is considering signing a contract with the New York City Corporation Counsel in which Gateway will be paid for the cars to be housed in Riis Park by the City of New York. The amount of money to be raised by this objectionable scheme will be negligible in comparison with the harm that it will do.  If Gateway is that hard pressed to secure funding, let's tell the officials that they should bring something positive to our beautiful beaches.

From an aesthetic point of view the DWI impound parking lot will be an eye sore.  Cars that are impounded under the current DWI procedures are permanently confiscated.  The individual owner is no longer permitted to claim the car.  Cars will be left to deteriorate in the space in the parking lot where they are towed.

 Some autos will be sold but the remaining autos will be left to rot in the Riis Park parking lot.  Is the National Park Service giving the Rockaways an auto auction center?

From an environmental perspective, cars, which are left in the parking lot, will leak oil into the soil and contaminate it.  Gas seepage will also
occur.  It will leach into the soil and create ecology problems.  To make matters even worse, during heavy rainstorms oil, grease and gas will integrate themselves into our beaches and the Jamaica bay.  The long-range
impact of the accumulation of these toxic substances in our area will be detrimental.

Environmental psychology is the study of how the environment affects
behavior.  It looks at ways in which humans and the physical environment influence each other.  One significant factor is that much of our behavior is influenced, in part, by a particular type of environment.  It is likely that, by putting a DWI impound parking lot in Riis Park, we will create an area that could increase the likelihood that vandalism will occur.

From a traffic standpoint, this DWI impound parking lot will increase congestion on our already overburdened Marine Bridge.  When the tow trucks start towing the cars over the one lane going in to the Rockaways it will create a traffic nightmare.

Where, but in the Rockaways, would we find the National Park Service and our city fathers contemplating putting a DWI impound parking lot in a national park?  As I mentioned in my column last week, if anyone dared to suggest an impound parking lot in Yellowstone National Park or Yosemite National Park every TV station and newspaper would cover the story.

Please join the members of our Committee to Preserve the Rockaways - CPR. Join us in a campaign to resuscitate the Rockaways and sign your name on our petition to say NO to any impound parking lot in Riis Park.  The members of the committee are Sharon Gabriel, Bob Sullivan, Eugene Pasternak, Owen Baxter, Sylvan Klein, Beverly Baxter, Bob Intelisano and Dr. Geraldine D.
Chapey. As you go to the store to shop please take time to sign our petition to permanently stop any idea of putting an impound lot in Riis Park. Thank you!


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