This is an updated opinion article to what Patrick Maguire wrote a few weeks ago regarding the 2013 beach/surf schedule. Please note: It appears that there was a lot of ugliness being said in the comments of that last article. Please try to be more civilized here and don’t forget that you’re talking to your neighbors. Also, because I know a lot of surfers and swimmers, I’m refraining from posting my own opinion on this topic; it’s a touchy one.
City Proposed Surf Schedule for 2013 V2.0
By Patrick Maguire
On Friday afternoon the city management released the 2013 Surf Beach Schedule v2.0 after looking through it, my first response what that is was not in a easily read format, I have listed below are some of my observations and questions this new schedule brings to my mind. I would be curious to see what other residents think of the schedule.
As I said before not one person who spoke at the meeting on May 7th said that surfers do not deserve access, in fact all were supportive of surf beaches but they wanted them set aside fairly and reasonably. Although this is similar to the schedule from last year I do not believe it is presented a clear manner. I have taken the city’s proposed schedule and popped it into what I think is an easier to read and understand format.
Looking at this schedule it raised some of the same issues I had last year. In speaking with fellow residents, to a person they said “well last year they rotated the surfing beaches”. If you look at the percentages each beach is impacted I think you will agree that the allocation is neither fair nor equitable.
Is the statement attributed to the chief of lifeguards that the surfing population on the average day is 2%? (Newsday reported that he stated on a weekend day 15,000 people attend the beach and of those 300 are surfers) Why is almost 25% of the time the beach is open given over to surfing when they make up 2% of the beach population? I understand surfers need more space but the difference is very large.
What feedback since the May 7th meeting, if any, was gathered from the non-surfing community and how was that gathered, or was it just a matter of saying “hey I got an idea, let’s go with last year’s schedule.”?
Why are some beaches affected 100% of the time while other beaches are not impacted whatsoever? Looking at the West End beaches, Virginia is never a surfing beach while the people on the Westernmost beach lose 25% of their summer to surfers. What is the reason for the great variety in that section.
In the “West-Central”, why is NY-Grand never impacted while the residents on the beach immediately to the east lose 47% of their beach time. I see one of 2 possible reasons for that A) The commercial interests on the beach in that location or B) the high number of DFDs (Down for the Day) in that location. Neither of these groups should take precedence over our residents. Regardless of the reason that the next beach to the west is closed to non-surfers 42% of the summer is neither fair nor reasonable. The two beaches that compromise Lafayette to Magnolia are each impacted over 40%, while the next 3 beaches to the east are not impacted at all, once again why the variance and was this done at the request of the surfing or non-surfing community?
Looking at the middle of town why are none of the beaches from Magnolia to Riverside set aside for surfing, once again I am lead to believe that is due to the high usage of those beaches by DFDs. If the surfing does attract many outsiders to surf here why aren’t some of those beaches set aside for Surfer DFDs?
Why are the surf schools are allowed to have one beach for themselves and not forced to rotate, the people at LB Road to Riverside NEVER have a chance to swim at their home beach, if the surf schools do provide benefits to the city than the entire city should bear the cost of that benefit by having them rotate. Even more ludicrous is the fact that of the 3 beaches between Riverside and Lincoln this plan has 2 beaches unavailable to non surfers 100% of the summer.
I realize our elected leaders are sometimes called on to make Solomonic decisions but to have such disparity in the allocation of this resource is hard to comprehend. Over 40% of the beaches are never impacted, while 22% lose over 40% or more of their of their time to surfers and of those, 2 beaches lose 100% of the time. Please let the council know what you think.
NOTE:I believe I have translated the city’s schedule properly. If you see anything I did incorrectly please let me know.