2005-09-16 / Community

Beach 116 Re-Do Starts Next Week

The reconfiguration of the parking on Beach 116 Street, which includes four tiers of parallel parking and a more traditional center median, is moving into high gear now that Community Board 14 has approved specific plans.

“We expect to mobilize the workforce next week,” Matthew Monahan, Department of Design and Construction spokesperson, told The Wave Wednesday. “Barring any unforeseen field conditions and the weather, we expect to have the work completed by Thanksgiving.”

DDC is proceeding now that Community Board 14, at its meeting Tuesday night, overwhelmingly supported the Department of Transportation’s reconfiguration plan that includes parallel parking along both curbs and both sides of a 9-foot-wide median. The roadway – 31-feet-wide on either side of the median – will have 7-foot-wide parking lanes demarcated by 6-inch-wide painted lines, according to plans. That leaves 16 ½- foot-wide lanes for traffic.

DOT said parking will be regulated by Muni-Meters, and agreed to investigate the addition of bicycle stands. Specific plans for plantings were not discussed, but it is expected there will be fewer or no trees included in the reconfiguration.

The Community Board’s vote Tuesday came just one week after nine members of its Transportation Committee unanimously supported the plan after weighing the issue during a special meeting at The Beach Club. At that meeting, DOT made a thorough presentation and addressed concerns over safety and traffic jams caused by double-parked cars. Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore and Beach Club co-owner Steve Good attended the full board meeting to offer support of the plan that was eventually approved. Rockaway Beach Surf Shop owner Tom Sena, was the only other audience member to speak on the issue. He appealed for a slimmer median.

John Martin, DOT Capital Planning Director, meanwhile indicated that Sena’s shop, where trucks are often seen along the curb offloading, would have a loading zone that takes away just one parking space. The parallel parking reconfiguration brings 30 and 40 percent more capacity to the street while utilizing just 50 percent of the total available curb/ median spaces, Martin said. Bus stops, fire hydrants, the firehouse, corner offsets and the subway station – where cars can’t park – make up the other 50 percent.

Martin and DOT Queens Borough Commissioner, Constance Moran, who have attended numerous meetings on this project, were visibly pleased as board members announced their vote and it became clear the plan would win support. Brian Magoolaghan

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