2003-09-19 / Community

Shore Front May Close For Summer Recreation

By Brendan Brosh
Shore Front May Close For Summer Recreation By Brendan Brosh

The Rockaway Beach Civic Association is proposing to close part of Shore Front Parkway for recreational purposes. Before the proposal can be endorsed, however, a community consensus must be formed.

Jonathan Gaska, District Manager of Community Board 14 thinks it’s a good idea. "A few years ago, we closed the south side of Shore Front Parkway and a lot of people enjoyed it. It made life more pleasant and quiet for the residents along Shore Front Parkway."

The program was discontinued as legal challenges prevented it from happening again.

In a letter dated August 27, the Dayton Beach Park Corporation circulated a ballot to shareholders trying to build a consensus on the proposal. Shareholders were given four options on the ballot: 1) Close all eastbound lanes for June, July & August; 2) Close one eastbound lane for year long recreation; 3) Allow parking on the South Side of Shore Front Parkway and do not close any lanes for recreation; or 4) Leave the South side of Shore Front Parkway as is. No parking, no recreation.

Non-responses were counted as a "do nothing" vote to leave Shore Front Parkway as is.

For the proposal to become a reality Community Board 14 must make a request to the Department of Transportation.

"We’re going to give it a shot if we have consensus from the community," says District Manager Gaska. If the majority of people give it a favorable response and there are no legal setbacks, Gaska believes that the proposal will be accepted by the DOT.

Some members of the Chamber of Commerce approve of the closure but the Chamber itself has no formal position. Executive director Liz Sulik says, "the idea has never come before us to be endorsed or not endorsed."

While the majority of Rockaway residents approve of the proposal some people think the closure of Shore Front Parkway will create a safety issue. Colleen Steinbuch, a mother of three, says, "the kids will get used to it and get injured when it’s opened to traffic again."

As for traffic concerns, Paul Jamin says access wouldn’t be a problem. "I think it would be a great for recreation purposes. There’s not that much traffic anyway."

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