I went to the final Boardwalk Focus Group Meeting where results from the boardwalk surveys and focus groups were discussed in great detail (click here for results & presentation). I am pleasantly surprised by some of the findings, most notably the boardwalk material type.
As you can see in the chart below, wood was the overwhelming #1 choice with 55.4% of the respondents wanting some sort of wood involved – whether it’s solo or wood/cement combo. While I am in the group that believes a boardwalk needs to have boards to be called a boardwalk (duh), the wood/cement combo does seem intriguing. Basically, a cement path would center hard wood boards on each side. Rollerblading would finally be possible and fire trucks would have better access to beach-side high rise fires. While I am not a fan of large vehicles on the boardwalk, safety of course outweighs everything. I just don’t like the leisure driving on the boardwalk. Yeah.. those have to be put to a stop (sorry… off topic rant.)
I am extremely pleased that only 10.2% wanted cement alone. A cement boardwalk is not a boardwalk, but a hot and ugly street filled with old gum, bad knees and puddles (blog = opinion).
One major issue among residents was the protection of our homes. On the topic of a sea wall in conjunction with the boardwalk, one resident said she lives off Pacific Blvd which has no boardwalk and was worried about water being pushed to her area. That is definitely something to think about. It’s also a topic I brought up in the past: Do we turn Long Beach into a bathtub? Because a wall just protecting one section of Long Beach isn’t the answer [Read – I’m not a big fan of Sea Walls (But what do I know)]. Again, Blog = Opinion.
Along with protecting our homes, one resident believes that extending the jetties will help; trapped sand will give us a shallower and longer beach. That is supposed to help lessen storm surges. Sounds logical.
Working with the Army Corp of Engineers alongside the boardwalk-rebuild was another popular topic. A resident was concerned with new boardwalk height. He said if we rebuild it at the same height, what happens if the Army Corp comes in and puts dunes 5 feet higher than the boardwalk? He added that everybody under 5 feet tall will have a wonderful view of the dunes and nothing more. The man has a point.