(Photo Credit: Interboro Partners)
Newsday recently ran an editorial regarding a competition being run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Read: Editorial: Governments must work together to survive new storms). The contest: come up with preventive measures to protect the south shore of Long Island from future Sandy-like storms. While the editorial talks about issues of ‘inter-municipal cooperation’, it highlights one proposal by Interboro Partners, who wants to convert many of the north/south medians on the boulevards in Long Beach into channels. Quoted from the Interboro Partners facebook group:
“[It’s] A system of “straws” built along north / south streets in Long Beach could help drain the bay during storms and tidal surges. Instead of covering them in a culvert, we propose to create an open channel that can be used as a new public space–a new community spine–that can be adapted to suit the needs of each block it passes through.”
What do you folks think of this proposal?
Me? It’s a really interesting concept. We had that crazy rain storm last spring which flooded the boulevards and Park Avenue. Perhaps a system like this could have helped? Although I wonder… how does this work when the tide is high? I’m no engineer, but I always felt something useful could be made with those boulevard medians. I really do like this concept and love this type of thinking outside the box.
Unlike New Jersey, we are not stronger than the storm. We tend to forgot how we live on a barrier island, which sole purpose is to really protect the mainland. But alas… we love Long Beach and refuse to move out. That means something needs to be done. Status quo is not good. I feel like I read somehow how our island used to have natural channels from ocean to bay going through already – around Neptune Blvd area…(please correct me if I’m wrong on that). Perhaps this concept is a really all what we need?
While I do love the open space look those medians offer, I’m not a bit fan of the fields of dog poop. Those medians aren’t very green either…. grass isn’t exactly eco-friendly, especially when you don’t use native grass. If this proposal never goes though, I would love for something to happen to those medians – perhaps just turn them into dense mini-forests, or dare I mention my parking proposal from 2011 which everybody (including myself) hated: Is it time to kiss those grass medians goodbye? (Open Space vs Parking).