2008-11-14 / Editorial/Opinion

Give Obstructionism A Rest

There are people in Rockaway who will argue with you at the drop of a hat. Especially if you are working for any of the governmental units that impact Rockaway and you want to do something good, if not perfect, for the various communities that make up the peninsula. We have seen it many times in recent years. We would now be swimming in a beautiful four-lane swimming pool at the new YMCA if a small group of residents had not talked the community board into putting a hold on the project. We might well have redeveloped the Beach 116 Street shopping street years ago if not for strident comment from a small group of locals. We might well have had the beginnings of a marina at Terripan Point if not for a small group of locals who want a ramp for large boats added to the plan for a ramp that would accommodate small boats and people-propelled craft such as canoes and kayaks. The list goes on and on. Want to use your cell phone? Sure, but don't put a tower in my neighborhood. Want airport safety? Sure, but don't put that Doppler radar tower at Floyd Bennett Field. Think that Beach 116 Street looks like a ghetto? Sure, but don't put up eight-story buildings. Want a high-speed ferry from Far Rockaway? Sure, but don't go too fast because you'll ruin the bay ecology. Want to get rid of the toxic dirt

on Beach 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive? Sure, but don't truck it through our streets. Want to make the confluence of Cronston Avenue and Beach Channel Drive less of a death trap? Sure, but let's not direct motorists out of their way. Last Monday night, the city put forth a great plan that will provide recreation and parkland between Beach 9 Street and Beach 32 Street. What did some members of the community board say? They wanted to put a hold on the project because it would take a significant number of parking spaces from a parking lot that is seldom used, even in summer. They want to put a hold on the project until that "problem" is resolved. They should not hold up the project. The eastern end of the peninsula needs all the recreational land it can get. It does not need more parking spaces. We have to stop being our own worst enemy. When a plan will somehow harm the community, fight it. Don't, however, fight a plan just because government sponsors it. We have been obstructionist against our own interest for too long, and it has to stop.

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