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Public Input Forums on Boardwalk Start Wednesday

City to host focus groups to give input on new seaside walkway

A scene from Lincoln boardwalk and beach in January. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
A scene from Lincoln boardwalk and beach in January. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

The first in a series of forums soliciting public input on the reconstruction of the Long Beach boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy will be held Wednesday.

The City of Long Beach and Sustainable Long Island will host all the focus group forums at the Magnolia Senior Center, at 650 Magnolia Blvd., from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following dates:
  • Feb. 6 (focusing on residents living between the east side of Grand Boulevard and the west side of Long Beach Boulevard)
  • Feb. 11 (focusing on residents living between Nevada Boulevard and the west side of Grand Boulevard)
  • Feb. 13 (focusing on residents living between Maple Boulevard and the east side of Long Beach Boulevard)
“As we engage in this methodical approach for boardwalk reconstruction, including outside expertise, we’re happy to now be embarking on a comprehensive large-scale public input effort,” said City Manager Jack Schnirman at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He noted that the focus groups are open to all members of the Long Beach community.

The city posted an announcement about the boardwalk focus groups and online surveys on its website last week, when a newly-created website, LongBeachListens.com, went live to gather community feedback and where residents and business owners are asked to fill out separate surveys. Schnirman said that since it’s launch late last week, the survey has already had more than 900 responses.

The city will hold a city-wide meeting at City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20, when officials will present the findings from the online surveys and focus groups.

“I should mention that I was able attended the first focus group with the Chamber of Commerce and it was phenomenal,” Schnirman added. 

The city manager also gave an update on the city’s recovery process, in which he said the work to demolish the boardwalk and the sifting of sand to clean and return it to the beach will both be completed shortly.

Some resident took the opportunity during the council meeting’s Good and Welfare session to offer some suggestions about boardwalk and beach rebuilding.

John Bendo, president of West End Neighbors Civic Association, cautioned the council to remind residents that their input will be considered in conjunction with outside experts. “You need to manage the people’s expectations,” Bendo said.  

Resident Janine Gillespie asked the council members to take their time in considering a new boardwalk and refurbished beach, and encouraged them to “think from the bottom up,” by focusing foremost on safety issues, including rebuilding bathrooms and lifeguard facilities.

“The boardwalk is for the tourists; the beach is for the locals,” said Gillespie, whose husband, Paul, is chief of Long Beach Lifeguards. “... I just think we need to look the distance with this project,”

Another resident, Robert Shanley, who is involved with different arts groups in Long Beach, suggested that the city build a visiting center on both the boardwalk and at the Long Island Rail Road station.
Tonto Hertzberg February 06, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Cameras on the poles like they have in Manhattan. Can watch the entire boardwalk 24/7. Also scan the beach and down the sides streets as well. It would be a HUGE boost for security. Also allow the life guards access to the cameras from their HQs so they can monitor conditions along with police. Also, cameras focuse on every ticket booth to deter those not paying and employees stealing. Also, out color coded wrist bands on ALL beach goers. No wrist band and u have to get off beach. It would generate millions in addional revenue by making it impossible to be on beach without paying.
Charlie Cheswick February 06, 2013 at 12:52 PM
How about cameras in the bathroom stalls? Deter people from vandalizing the bathrooms. How about anal probe cameras? Protect beachgoers from early stages of colon cancer, huge revenue stream for the city...
Leonard Bauman February 06, 2013 at 01:10 PM
I want to see pay phones at Lincoln Blvd., Long Beach Blvd., National Blvd., and New York Avenue. I want to see lamp posts instead of ugly street lights. I want to see a toll of $2 for any city vehicles driving up and down the boardwalk for "Official Business." I want to see surveillance cameras on every lamp post. I want to see cops jogging the boardwalk instead of driving cars and eating sloppy oozing donuts. I want to see teenagers picking up trash instead of emanating trash all over the beach and boardwalk. I want to see can/bottle redeemers welcomed with open arms as they pick the trash for bottles and cans, instead of police harrassing them for doing this good deed! Last, I want all the old Yentas hanging out on the boardwalk surveying for eligible old male bachelors, to be seen and not heard! Will the City do any of these things- NO! City will spend the money for these things to hire 90 friends at $115,000 each to work a gravy train job in City Hall.
Tonto Hertzberg February 06, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Charlie: How about an anal probe for YOU? maybe we can find Michael jacksons other sequined glove.
delete me February 06, 2013 at 02:19 PM
bicycle racks, fish taco's and a playground on the beach. That is all I require of a beach. Oh, and working tampon dispensers in the women's bathrooms.
Charlie Cheswick February 06, 2013 at 03:00 PM
"Louis Riggiano Sr.," --is that the name you're going with this week? Surprised you didn't use the playground 'I'm rubber, you're glue' technique there, very close. Plus a baseless gay joke! Your 5th grade teacher should really end computer time already...
delete me February 06, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Louis if I knew who you were I'd throw a dirty tampon at your head for saying that.
Elliot Zuckerman February 07, 2013 at 06:23 AM
this is all to funny in the morning with my coffee, a nice new boardwalk would be just fine for me, in all the nice things said here I have not heard one word of thanks to all the hard working people that make this happen, so thank you patch, thank you city of LB and thank you all for providing such great reading. I on the other hand would love to see the the smiling faces on everyone that enjoys the boardwalk, I look very forward to returning to a nice run, bike ride and a place to just relax and see friends I have grown up with.You who feel the other way should just head north and leave this great community alone to the people that love it here. My real name
John February 07, 2013 at 08:13 AM
anyone else take exception to Ms Gillespie's comment that, "the boardwalk is for tourists"? other than that, Elliot nailed it.
Randi Ribarich February 07, 2013 at 10:49 AM
The Boardwalk was for LB residents as far as i am concerned. I lived here for 50 years and I do believe it is due to the people of LB who pay taxes here that our city could afford the upkeep of the boardwalk all these years and not the "tourists". I wish the "Tourists" would have to pay to park their cars in special parking lots and not use up all of the locals parking during the summer months plus get fined for throwing all their garbage in our streets. Dirty diapers seem to always appear in the summer time around the Broadway and Shore Road areas where we park our cars! I say no to a wooden boardwalk and yes to a cement sea wall and pathway! The boardwalk was an old idea. Lets move ahead to newer more cost friendly ideas!
Trying to Make Sense February 07, 2013 at 10:54 AM
John, my guess is that she would have said that differently if she knew she was to be quoted in PATCH the next day. She probably meant that we can live w/o the BW for as long as it takes to plan and execute the best possible outcome because we can still celebrate and enjoy our proximity to the surf and sand. We still have our beach and what we must not rush is this once in a lifetime opportunity to build a better BW. I agree with Elliot. We all miss the boardwalk and long for a return to our runs and bike rides and the social connections that bring on those BW smiles. I wish the City would have waited to run these forums until after the engineering advisors they hired put forth the various options they recommend we consider with the pros and cons for each. Engineers and coastal experts must take the lead on this and the public input should provide the fine tuning.
Charlie Cheswick February 07, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Making Sense, your name's very fitting!
Mr Dunes February 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM
We absolutely need a visitor's center on The Boardwalk. Next to new showers so out of towners don't go home to clean up before they go out. Let them wash up here and patronize our hurt businesses.
Elliot Zuckerman February 12, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Bring back the rides, the custard stand(hoody folks ) and the arcade. as for my friend who made the statement about visitors I grew up with her and she is a great person and I know she meant no harm, besides the best flowers she comes from a great family and she is a life long resident. stop bad mouthing her she has the same right to post as you all do..
John February 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM
I didn't "bad mouth" her, Elliot. I took exception to her saying the boardwalk is for visitors, a statement that I completely disagree with. nowhere did I or anyone else in this thread did any "bad mouthing".
Trying to Make Sense February 12, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Thanks for reminding us of "our right" to post Elliot. You have an obligation to read fully before you post. Not one bit of negativity, merely a question asked. When it is your position on an issue that is questioned or one of your friends questioned, you lecture(despite John's right to post his reaction to a comment that was published... please read. I know you lived here forever, so have others, and that plus a token will get you a ride on the subway.
Keef Destefano March 01, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Yea Tonto...Great idea..While we are at it,why don't we have armed guards at the entrances as well.They should consider unmanned drones as well...This way non paying beach goers can be easily picked off as there entering..

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