2013-09-20 / Letters

Mr. Mayor Lend Us Your Ear

Dear Editor: (A letter sent to mayor Bloomberg) Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I have been advised by your office that a company has been chosen to design a new boardwalk for the Rockaway peninsula and I write to you today to implore you to include the community in its planning.

After the storm, in the rush to prepare the beaches for summer, the city acted much too quickly in the installation of bathrooms and lifeguard stands throughout the peninsula. While wellintentioned, these structures are almost universally disliked and were installed against the wishes of the elected officials, the community board and a majority of the residents. Furthermore, there are recent news reports that the structures are incomplete, damaged, rusting and held together with duct tape in spots. I have seen these deficiencies myself.

My office has been inundated with complaints about these eyesores and the many problems that are beginning to surface with them. The biggest complaint however, is the lack of community involvement in the design and implementation of the structures. I would like to avoid this issue with the design and construction of the boardwalk.

I urge you to direct the Parks Department, Economic Development Corporation and the chosen designer to lay out a plan of how they will include the local community in the design process of the new boardwalk. This process needs to be open, transparent and inclusive and when decisions are finally made, they should be explained fully. It is imperative that the residents of Rockaway don’t feel as if they are being ignored once again by the City of New York.

The Rockaway boardwalk has historically been the heart and soul of the peninsula. This new boardwalk will be in place for many years to come. It is vital that we get the design right.

Thank you for your time, courtesy and consideration.

COUNCILMAN ERIC ULRICH

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