2013-08-30 / Editorial/Opinion


We like Parks people. They work really hard. They take a lot of crap. They have the best of intentions.

But when they don’t do their jobs well, we have to do ours. The people of Rockaway are right to call them on their missteps –especially since those missteps are usually a result of Parks acting without consulting the people who know best: the people who live here and use the beaches.

Without community input, Parks rushed to get the beaches open. Their plans were centered around the boardwalk islands. But a lot of time, money, and attention went to waste because there was no sand on the beach in front of two of the concessions. Visitors stayed away. And it was without community input, Parks chose the lifeguard and comfort stations that have been nothing if not controversial.

And there’s more. The Trap bags were placed right against the stanchions. It seems clear that they will be crushed by equipment or have to be moved when the new boardwalk is built. People from the community pointed this out to no avail. This will be another costly misstep.

There’s no bike lane on the boardwalk islands. We hope, we really hope, they’re not planning on some insane “bike hours” plan.

Which brings us to the selection of a design team for the boardwalk rebuild. We look at what the current design team brought us and we think there must be other design teams to consider. And there are. But Parks and EDC seem bent on making the choice themselves.

They can’t expect Rockaway people to be force fed and not resist. They must know that Rockaway wants a say in which design team they choose. There’s no Bloomberg mandate to open by Memorial Day. They can’t claim it’s a rush job. So Parks, take an extra week and reveal the five or six designs that were submitted to the Rockaway community. If not, duck.

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