Boardwalk Design Team Says Hello
Just days after a Community Board meeting, at which the Parks Department introduced its new design team for the boardwalk rebuild, Parks Department hosted the first of three community design meetings for Rockaway.
Monday’s meeting at PS 43 was centered on the neighborhoods that run from Beach 9th Street to Beach 72nd Street. Joining Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski were members of the design team, engineers and architects. Residents gave their input on coastal protection, recreation, and boardwalk reconstruction.
“We have a chance for everyone to work on these three categories. Very specific – not only the boardwalk reconstruction, but the opportunity during this project to expand on the community planning that you’ve been doing for the past year,” Claire Weisz of WXY, an architecture and urban design firm said. WXY is one of the subcontractors hired by CH2MHill, the firm the City chose to head its boardwalk rebuild project.
The meeting was about design and more. While the Army Corps of Engineers’ reformation study will not be completed until 2015, the Parks Department is looking at what kind of secondary protection could be put in now.
“Whatever we put here is going to stay,” Elizabeth Jordan of Parks explained as she went over several different protection options. Among the designs for raising the boardwalk and protection was one that was not shown at the CB 14 committee meeting last week. It includes a wall along the beach side of the boardwalk, much like fascia boards. The wall would be built from some of the old wood from the destroyed boardwalk torn apart by Superstorm Sandy.
Jonathan Goldstick, the vice president of CH2MHill said they are not leaning toward any particular design yet. “We’re not that far along,” Goldstick said.
Coastal protection ideas included plantings along the dunes, a baffle wall under or on the north side of the boardwalk to create additional protection, and additional dunes. Some at the meeting suggested better access, with more beach ramps and ADA access and more lighting. There was a consensus for bike lanes on the boardwalk. Residents believed any material used for the surface of the boardwalk should be slip resistant, not too rough and heat resistant.
Other ideas were greening the boardwalk and making whatever material is used look like wood. For recreation, some of the ideas were to extend the surfing beach, put security cameras every three blocks, put lights at the stage on Beach 15th Street, a tennis court, the need for bathrooms between Beach 17th and 59th Streets, and changing the lifeguard hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The September 23rd meeting was one of three scheduled across Rockaway this past week.
The second meeting was held the next night at the Knights of Columbus on Beach 90th Street. Weisz was on hand again to lead or “emcee” the meeting. Kavanagh and Lewandowski were there again as well.
Groups or teams were assigned to three discussion areas: the boardwalk; coastal protection; and recreation. Residents took turns offering ideas in these categories. Toward the meeting’s end, design team representatives from each category gave an overview of the ideas and suggestions offered.
On October 8th, a full presentation will be made at October’s Community Board 14 meeting.