1.) Flag poles and bike racks on beach blocks from 127th to 149th Street
The Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction are working collaboratively with the community in designing and constructing the damaged streets and sidewalks resulting from Hurricane Sandy. It is anticipated that all work will be completed by late October.
The area from the entry of the baffle wall to the beach falls into the purview of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Our Community’s full design of the beach entry area called for concrete inside and around the baffle wall. Parks initially told us the only work that FEMA would pay for is to replace what was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Our design calls for a Flag pole and forty bicycle racks on each block. This remains our objective.
Parks initially denied our request to put concrete in the baffle entry area saying it never existed. We went back and forth for some time until our VP, John Signorelli pulled pictures from Google for each block showing that concrete was in the baffle wall area before Hurricane Sandy. Parks then agreed with us and applied for FEMA dollars to pour concrete into the baffle wall. Parks is now issuing a contract for concrete within the baffle wall. We anticipate that the work will start sometime this Fall.
The concrete in our design on the beach side of the baffle wall was denied. Parks is unwilling to provide the flag poles and bike racks that we requested. We are being told by the Queens Parks Commissioner, Dorothy Lewandowski, that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will not allow the concrete on the beach side of the entry area. Considering all the concrete that has been approved by the DEC for the boardwalk and bathrooms, it seen inane that they would deny our communities request. It is also questionable in fact if Parks fought for our request at all. We understand that the NYC Parks Department has an excess of $200 million FEMA dollars for the Rockaway beachfront area. The impacted communities are requesting that Parks collaborate with the civics and work with the State DEC to resolve this issue. Our community is a very patriotic community, and flag poles existed on every block prior to Hurricane Sandy. The pictures on our web site of bikes thrown haphazardly around the beach entry areas and on sidewalks is a clear indication of the need for bike racks. Bike racks are necessary for both safety and environmental reasons.
2). Electrical Poles and Wire Cleanup!
Our Association recently had a meeting with representatives from the Queens Borough Presidents Office, PSE&G, Charter (formerly Time Warner) and Verizon. The discussion focused on developing a plan to remove unnecessary wires from electrical poles, make certain wires are not hanging too low from pole to pole, and remove decommissioned poles that have been replaced. A plan of action was developed, and it is hoped that corrective measures are taken immediately on the eleven beach blocks in our community, and expanded to all the blocks in Belle Harbor and beyond. We are requesting that the work be completed by this December if not sooner. See photos of poles and wiring on our beach blocks on our web site.