2009-05-22 / Community

Rockaway Ready For Summer Season

New Rules And Regulations Set Forth By Parks
By Nicholas Briano

State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer hosted local community leaders, police and park personnel last Friday to discuss issues of regulation and enforcement along Rockaway's miles of beaches for the upcoming summer season.

The meeting, which took place at Peninsula Library in Rockaway Beach, featured representatives from the 100 Precinct, Department of Parks and Recreation and various community leaders and civic association members.

Although many of the summer season regulations are familiar to most, there are a few new rules that Parks will be instituting this year. One such being, the implementation of time specific bicycle lanes on the boardwalk. Bicycle riding on the boardwalk was prohibited, but loosely enforced in past seasons. Effective immediately, cyclists will now be allowed to rides bikes on the boardwalk year round except weekends and holidays from May 1 to September 30. In addition, Parks will designate bike lanes with signage and ground markings from Beach 67 Street to Beach 108 Street. However, despite no markings from Beach 108 to Beach 126 Street due to its narrowness, biking is still permitted, according to Rockaway Parks Administrator Jill Weber.

The boardwalk and beach hours remain the same. The Beach closes at 9 p.m. and boardwalk at 10 p.m. Parks will also encourage people to use the new recycling bins and to limit littering. Another issue brought up by the group, however, was that of dog walking on the beach and the continuous problem of residents not picking up after their dogs.

Weber says that dog walking is actually prohibited from May 1 to September 30 and that Parks Enforcement Officers have begun an aggressive approach to limit the amount of dog litter on the beach and boardwalks during the summer months.

A summons for failing to curb your dog will be a fine of $250 starting in June, and according to Parks Enforcement officials, a special task force detail recently handed out more than 90 fines for the offense last month alone.

"Hopefully that issue will be addressed because it is disgusting. Now is the time of the year that children begin to use the beaches and play. It is a health hazard," Barbara Larkin, from Belle Harbor Property Owners Association, said.

A call-in number, which is 718-318-4000, provides a daily recording of beaches that are open and closed along the peninsula. Another option is to dial 311 and ask for the beach hotline, which will connect an individual to the same recording with an option to check other beaches as well.

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