2011-05-27 / Community

Memorial Day Smoke-Out

By Nicholas Briano


The nearly 500 acres of Rockaway beaches from Beach 9 Street to Beach 149 Street are now smoke-free. The nearly 500 acres of Rockaway beaches from Beach 9 Street to Beach 149 Street are now smoke-free. Rockaway residents should keep in mind that this Memorial Day weekend when you and your family head out to the beach, leave your smokes at home.

The city smoking ban that covers parks, playgrounds and beaches has gone into effect. Although much published criticism this week has shifted to the lack of enforcement, Parks Enforcement agents who routinely patrol the beach are authorized to give out summonses that start at $50 for anyone who lights up on the beach.

The smoking ban was passed by the New York City Council in February and went into effect on Monday. Both of the peninsula’s two City Council members,

Eric A. Ulrich and James Sanders Jr., voted against the bill.

The law is not limited to beaches, but includes pedestrian plazas and public parks. According to published reports, just 125 Park Enforcement patrol agents are going to be responsible for covering 1,700 parks and 14 miles of beaches citywide. The law will not be enforced by the NYPD.

Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said this week that he expects the ban to be mostly self-enforced.

“What we have found from other communities with smoke free parks and beaches is that if there are good signs and an awareness of what the rules are, in general this can be selfenforcing,” Farley said this week.

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