2002-06-01 / Letters

Here We Go Again

Here We Go Again

Dear Editor;

In a few days it will be May 15th and here we go again with the laments from many residents, tenants and owners alike, for the lack of parking due to the summer parking restriction rules.

Without taking sides, I believe a change is due to the present rules. We like to think of our region as a "summer resort" and in a way it is. We live near the most beautiful 12-mile beach in the North-East region but with an handicap, that s our summer doesn t last long enough to generate enough revenue to attract more investors and more visitors to really be competitive as full-fledged summer resort. How long does our summer stretch? More importantly, how many beach days do we really have? The answer is not too long and not too many. The few ones we have are not in the May 15th or September 30th weeks. If I am correct, then why do we have a parking restriction for 4 and half months? Only last year we could have counted the beach days on one hand. The vacant and in a state of abandonment of the stores on 116 Street, facing the beach are the living evidence that our beach days are too few. They are not enough for any vendor to recoup the initial investment and make a decent profit. Those store are not the only evidence. The hotels and "fast-food" stores certainly don t spell a financial success either.

For the above reasons Arverne hasn t been developed yet. The real reasons are not the low or high-income housings that have kept Arverne stagnant, but the lack of any inviting profit that a development would produce as a full-fledged summer resort. Sure we had a guy from Canada willing to spend two billion of dollars for the development of Arverne. With much probability, he came down in August and liked what he saw: a paradise to be financially exploit, a piece of America to be rediscovered. But, hoey, when he came back in December with his investors, they saw a different scenery: an abandoned piece of land fit only for grass. The so lauded "billion dollar project of the century" faded away. If a profit could have been made, Arverne would have been developed as a summer resort or as a playland years ago, believe me.

The American investor, when comes to make a profit, is second to none

For the above reasons, the summer parking rules should be revised. In trying to please all, the rules should be restricted from Memorial Day to Labor Day, giving the pros three months of parking restriction and the cons one month and half of freedom from parking space hunting.

Let us have a parade for Memorial Day / Beach Opening Day and a parade for Labor Day / Beach Closing Day. Is everyone happy? See you on the beach.

Congratulations to John Lepore for assuming the presidency of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways. John has the vitality and the capacity to be a great leader.


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