Another Year With Little Change In Beach Access
Two years ago, The Wave ran a front-page story on beach and boardwalk access. The story in 2007 was that the Parks Department was working with City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. to develop a plan that would increase the hours that Rockaway residents could use their beach and boardwalk and that would insure that more beaches would be open during the summer months by utilizing part-time lifeguards. It is now 2009. Addabbo abandoned Rockaway and its beach problems shortly after that story ran. Now he is a State Senator representing a mainland district and nothing has changed for Rockaway in terms of beach and boardwalk access, and the city is still fighting over whether or not parttime lifeguards are appropriate for New York City beaches. While it is too late for this summer, we would propose the following changes to our new City Councilman Eric Ulrich. First of all, the beach should be open to swimming from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., to allow those coming home from work on a super-heated A Train a chance to take a dip in the water before dinner. The beach should be open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. for those who want to run on the beach or just sit and enjoy the calmness of the ocean waves. The boardwalk should be open to joggers, walkers and sitters 24-hours-a-day. There are those who argue that people on the beach and boardwalk would annoy those who live close to the beach. We say that is the price of living on a public beach, that the beaches should be open and active during all hours during the summer. To cover those extra hours, the city should hire part-timers, off-duty cops and firefighters, students who are attending summer school and others who have only a few hours a week to give to the city. The beach belongs to the people, and they should have the right to enjoy their beach at their leisure.