2013-04-12 / Editorial/Opinion

Boardwalk Worries

The Parks Department is spending a bundle getting the beach open for Memorial Day. We hope the islands they’re building around the concession stands reflect the $17 million dollars they’re dropping on each one. We hope the design is so good it becomes an inspiration or a great foundation for the new boardwalk.

Wait, what about the boardwalk? At the Parks Department’s Town Hall meeting at Beach Channel High School on April 6th, there were top design officials in attendance (from both Parks and the Department of Construction and Design). None of them had a clue about designs, budgets, or plans of any kind for the boardwalk. We asked them if the Mayor’s Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) was in charge of a design plan and would offer a budget. The response? A palms out, shoulder shrug. Who knows.

We asked an SIRR spokesperson who gave us a non-answer: we can’t get into specifics (about what we’re planning or doing). That answer left us wondering if they were considering it at all.

The truth is, Parks and the Department of Construction and Design can’t do anything until Bloomberg gets his report from his SIRR team which he wants in his hands by the end of May. The report will have loads more recommendations than what to do about a Rockaway boardwalk. The report will address infrastructure challenges throughout the city; storm preparedness; public and private housing issues, and so on. Where will the boardwalk plans be buried in this report?

If there is an actual plan for the boardwalk we won’t hear about it until June at the earliest. Will it be practical? Will it be potentially great? Will it be worth be worth supporting at all?

Will it get started in time so that there is a continuous boardwalk for the summer of 2014?

Maybe a mayoral candidate will say: That boardwalk idea stinks. When I get in, we’ll do it my way.

It’s not too early to start demanding plans for 2014.

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