Beach Advocate Can’t Believe The Hype
John Cori, a Rockaway Beach resident and founder of the beach advocacy group Friends of Rockaway Beach, begs to differ. Cori says the once beautiful boardwalks of Rockaway are actually decaying and in dire need of repairs.
Driving along Shorefront Parkway, you may take a quick glance and smile, thinking the boardwalk and the beach look beautiful, he suggests. If you take a serious look, however, at the damage not only on the boardwalk but below as well, it can quickly change your mind.
“People tend to judge Rockaway’s boardwalk like one might judge a book by its cover.” says John Cori, who utilizes his group’s Facebook page to spread awareness of the conditions. “Rockaway is being dumped on. Beams are rotting away, staircases are falling apart, and open sections of the boardwalk are decaying. The conditions are absolutely deplorable.”
If you take a look at the Friends of Rockaway Beach Facebook page, the images posted of the damages not being attended to may come as a surprise to you. The conditions seen clearly show the extent of damage and potential safety risks looming beneath the boardwalk’s structure. A picture taken at Beach 91 Street shows a broken ramp at the stairs to the beach which poses a major threat to children who could easily slip and fall six feet, he says.
John Cori states that about 80 percent of the boardwalk on older sections needs major help. Even though more recently, select boardwalk repairs have taken place along the peninsula, a major overhaul is still needed to restore beauty and stability to the entire Rockaway boardwalk.
According to Cori, the amenities need improvement as well. The rusted handball courts, the oldest in the city he says, along Shore Front Parkway may look great at a quick glance but up close, the fences and metal poles are completely covered in rust and “literally falling apart.”
Cori believes Rockaway’s 44 handball courts are underutilized and suggests removing the handball courts and putting down artificial grass for soccer fields.
“There aren’t enough fields for kids to play in from Far Rockaway to Breezy Point.”
For massive change to happen, a plan must be created and impemented.
“Even if there is no money as of yet, there must be a plan to gain the money needed for our beaches. Rockaway has, without a doubt, been neglected for far too long,” Cori said. “Our boardwalks were built in 1926; 85 years later and they are in desperate need of repair before the damage ruins one of Rockaway’s best features.”