CB14 Says Yes To Bikes, No To Parking
If you attended to support the addition of parking along SFP, well, maybe not so much.
On May 2, the Rockaway Beach Civic Association (RBCA) held an emergency meeting about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) parking meter proposal, which would place metered parking on the south side of Shore Front Parkway. Most, if not all of those who attended the meeting seemed to reject the plan.
The following night, CB14’s Transportation Committee rejected the plan, including the addition of two-way bike lanes.
At the regular monthly meeting on May 9, while the full board agreed to vote against the parking proposal, it failed to pass the motion opposing bike lanes on the parkway.
Many residents were pleased with the outcome, feeling that many board members were unfairly targeting bicyclists. Vice President of RBCA Jeremy Jones was one of those in attendance who felt confused by the community’s and the board’s animosity.
“Why are you so threatened by me riding my bicycle?” asked Jones.
The DOT’s original proposal for Shore Front Parkway included bicycle lanes going in both directions.
Dolores Orr, chairperson of CB 14, noted that many residents at last week’s transportation meeting were opposed to the bike lanes on Shore Front Parkway.
As The Wave reported, while many residents were more concerned about parking then bike lanes at that meeting, Orr said she opposes the bike lanes on Shore Front Parkway because many cyclists do not follow the rules of the road.
“People won’t be able to cross if they cross in between the cars and the bike lanes,” said Orr. “The bike lane is on the boardwalk for all to use safely.”
Although Orr opposed the lanes, many board members felt differently about the bike lanes and believed they should be on the parkway.
Board member Noreen Ellis, who admits to only riding her bike leisurely, had said it would be unfair to cyclists who do follow traffic rules.
“We are a bike centric community for the whole year. Some cyclists use a bike as their primary mode of transportation and we will be taking away that option for them,” said Ellis.
Grace Miller, resident on Shore Front Parkway, was surprised by the way the board and members of the community looked at cyclists and reminded them that tourists will be bringing their bikes this summer to the Rockaways and deserve a safe place to ride them.
“I heard a lot of remarks on people who use bikes as second class citizens,” said Miller. “With the return of the ferry and more people bringing their bikes, we want to give them a safe bike lane when the boardwalk is too crowded for the bikes to ride on.”
After hearing the input from the community, the motion to not allow bike lanes on Shore Front Parkway failed, 22 to 9.
As for the parking proposal, some residents of Arverne By The Sea felt that they should have been included.