The unused land on Shore Front Parkway will be used not for parking, but for more bike lanes, after CB 14 voted on the DOT plan on Tuesday night.
A large group of locals showed up at the meeting to support more bike lanes and oppose more parking.
Civic association president John Cori was the prime mover against the parking plan.
Board members Ozzie Edwards (left) and Ed Williams argued that their communities were not in on the input prior to the vote and that many in their communities do not even know what community board is.
The focus was on Shore Front Parkway and a city proposal to place metered parking on the south side of the busy road and the debate got contentious at the monthly meeting of Community Board 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Tuesday night.
After several committee and civic association meetings, the community board decided to turn down the parking plan, but accept a plan for more bike lanes to complement those on the boardwalk adjacent to the parkway.
There were actually four recommendations that came from the board’s own transportation committee.
The first was to turn down the city’s parking plan. That vote was carried with 27 yes votes to one opposed and four abstentions.
The second resolution was to reject the proposal for two bike lanes. A “yes “vote actually was in opposition to the bike lanes. There were 9 yes votes, 16 no votes and one abstention, rejecting the motion and approving the increased bike lanes.
The third was to clearly mark the bike lanes that already exist on the boardwalk. That vote carried with only five no votes.
The final resolution was to place speed cameras on the parkway nearby St. Camillus School on Beach 100 Street and St. Rose of Lime School on Beach 84 Street. That vote carried unanimously, although a number of members had left the meeting by the time the vote came up.
There was an early motion to table all of the other motions for more discussion, but it failed to get a second and died without a vote.
Even though the vote opposed the parking plan, there is still a chance that it will happen.
The city’s Department of Transportation says that Shore Front Parkway has become a “speedway,” with the majority of motorists driving 5 to 10 miles above the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit on the road.
The need, the city agency says, is to “calm” the road before placing enhanced crosswalks and new curb-cuts on the road.
Devices such as speed bumps, bike lanes and even parking calm the road, the agency says.
If the bike lanes do not do the job, they the agency will revisit the question,” DOT officials say.
John Cori, the president of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, was the prime mover against the parking plan, which was supported by some in the community.
His organization took the lead in defeating the plan, which angered some other board members who live in proximity to Shore Front Parkway.
Both Ozzie Edwards and Ed Williams, officials in Arverne-by-the-Sea homeowners associations, say that their members were not asked about the plan and therefore had no input. They argued that many of their members are new to the peninsula and do not know about the Community Board.
There were more than 30 speakers, most of them opposed to the parking plan and in favor of more bike lanes.
The Dot will monitor the traffic during the summer months to see whether the new plans will sufficiently calm the speeding traffic.