2014-08-08 / Top Stories

Not On My Boardwalk Redux

By Jonathan Wolfe

Members of Queens Community Board watch the Parks’ presentation. Members of Queens Community Board watch the Parks’ presentation. The outbursts began shortly after Emil Martone of the Economic Development Corporation mentioned the “special moments” in the proposal by the Parks Department for Rockaway’s new boardwalk.

In this case, the special moment was a “tanning table” that no one on Community Board 14 wanted.

For the second time.

“We’ve already said no to these things,” said CB14 chairwoman Dolores Orr. “The community board voted in June that we didn’t want these things. Did the EDC and Parks not get our email?”

After a few moments of confusion punctuated by screams of “stupid!” and “ridiculous!” from the public, Jill Weber, Rockaways Administrator of the Parks Department, conceded that they had, in fact, received the email.

With confirmation behind them, the community board spent the rest of the evening pelting Martone with their questions and concerns.

The controversial “Chaise Seating” proposal. The controversial “Chaise Seating” proposal. The tanning tables are wooden structures that have seating areas facing the boardwalk and a sloping back facing the beach. According to Martone, they were invented to fill a “non-designed area” at the various entrances to the boardwalk.

Along with the tanning tables, the Parks Department proposed chaise lounges as part of the “beach furniture” that will inhabit the boardwalk; the community board rejected both.

The board expressed concern that the tanning tables and chaise lounges provided opportunities for people to sleep on the beach and an ideal surface for skateboarders.

When the community board asked why the original designs had been modified, Laura Prussin of the Parks Department said that the Public Design Commission wanted them to be more “beachy” and use different materials, not the concrete proposed for the furniture before.

The equally controversial “Tanning Tables.” The equally controversial “Tanning Tables.” Board member and community activist John Cori pounced on this explanation, claiming that the beach furniture would be, “a projectile into our houses in the next storm.”

Board members wondered why these ideas had not been presented to them in the past. Frustration with the Public Design Commission grew until board member Peter Larkin asked, “Who are these design geniuses that come up with these stupid ideas?”

The public burst into cheers and applause.

Another flare-up occurred when Martone was discussing the plans to spell out “Rockaway” on the boardwalk in giant lettering.

The word “Rockaway” bridges two different phases of construction. By July 4, 2015, “ockaway” will be spelled out, but the “R” will not arrive for months. Martone said the “R” will take “less than a year” to be added, however, an exact date was not given.

One portion of EDC’s proposal that the community board accepted was the plan to install thermal plastic markings in the bike lane every few meters instead of marking the entire lane. The board was also pleased to hear that plans for the lighting of the boardwalk were unchanged.

Before the meeting ended, Martone mentioned that they were examining the possibility of using piles with a 20-inch diameter for later phases of the project, as testing had shown that they were just as effective as the original 24-inch piles. The piles are the pipes that will be driven into the ground and will support the boardwalk.

The meeting closed without comments from the public, upsetting a few in the crowd.

Construction of the new boardwalk began in April 2014. According to the Economic Development Corporation, the project is currently on schedule and is slated to be finished by May 30, 2017.

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How about something

How about something "AIRCRAFT" inspired to celebrate Rockaway's strong link to AVIATION ! Don't forget about the men who made the FIRST TRANSATLANTIC crossing in the Curtiss Nc-4 Flying Boat from Rockaway Beach, NY ! How about a statue of these brave men that History forgot. Let's show them that ROCKAWAY DID NOT FORGET their GREAT contribution to Aviation ! It's a sin that they are always over-looked !

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