28 thoughts on “Boardwalk Phase II Community Participation Results”

  1. The City, Sustainable LI and the Long Beachers who participated in this study should be congratulated for these recommendations. While I’m sure we’ll hear some opposing views, it’s refreshing to hear the collective voice of our community.

    But, we can’t just sit back now and say “wow, that would be nice”. We need to put these recommendations into an action plan, complete with scheduled projects, funding clarity and the cooperation of a community that helps put these recommendations in place.

  2. D, the 1300 person sample size yields results that are likely to be +/-3% from the sample results, at a 95% Confidence Level, and assuming a total population of 30,000 people.

    Statistical jargon aside, this is a good sample size. As an example, this is similar to the sample size upon which the Nielsen TV ratings were based.

    And, while I agree with the plea by FixtheRoads, that was not in the scope of this review. The Infrastructure questions pertained exclusively to the Boardwalk.

    It raises a question as to what should be our priorities. Should we have a survey of what the Community wants, that results in feedback to a revised Comprehensive Plan?

  3. The statistical significance on any one question could be argued, but I agree that 1300 responses is a very respectable number. At least this gives us something to start with, even if we criticize specific results. Honestly, I never thought that “shade” would be the #1 need, and it’s a great point, and easy to act on. On the other hand, I doubt that the high importance of “fitness stations” would reflect the true sentiments of the “man on the street” (ie, “man on the Boardwalk.”) But hey, I’m an old guy.

    I note that some of the “where” questions- where to put showers, food, etc- just seem to reflect the most used beach entrances, or the areas with most responders. That’s the kind of thing that can be re-investigated later.

    I think one inappropriate “loaded question” was how often the Boardwalk should utilize “Sponsored Informational Spots.” I think if the question used the pain-language term “Advertising” many more people would have replied “none.”

    I have other questions about the results, but it is a wonderful first step that we actually have some numbers to look at. I think the 1500 “comments” mentioned might give us a lot more valuable info if they could be broken down a little more, though I appreciate the chart summarizing them. From the way I read this, the #1 comment was “preserve the current character of the Boardwalk.” I think that’s very cool, and shows how much people appreciate the current way of life around here.

    Of course, “statistical significance” of something like this can’t be much more reliable than the number of comments on a blog. But, like this blog, at least we know what some of our neighbors on the other end of town are thinking about. Thanks to everyone who got this poll together.

  4. You mention statistical significance, but you seem to be questioning sample size (n). Ed Glister is right, the sample size is enough. You could crunch the numbers a slightly different way here:

    http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

    If you want a 99% confidence level and are willing to accept +/-3.5% confidence intervals, 1300 people is exactly what you need.

    That being said, I was hoping they’d release raw data (names, etc. redacted). I’m not even sure if this is FOIA’able because a non-profit did it so it may not be considered a government record.

    There’s some really neat interactive ways to explore this data that a slideshow can’t do.

  5. Interesting results. So it looks to me as if taxpayers want things to remain relatively the way it always was with a few minor changes. Things that hearken back to earlier times – Clearly mark the bike lane. Make it safe to be on the boardwalk at any hour of the day or night. Keep dogs, skateboards, and litter off the boardwalk and heavily restrict retail. The changes going forward are more showers, bathrooms, places to sit in the shade and have a few healthy snack and lunch food options along with some fitness stations along the way. Is that about right?

  6. I totally agree that our roads need immediate attention.As a Lb. resident for over 40 yrs. I cannot understand why “Road condition” is not a priority.To date, I have sustained 2 replacements of runflat tires @ $800 each, and replacement of a section of the catalytic converter at $2500.Dodging the dips, holes and crevaces along with the bicycles moving against the traffic is like driving thru a mine field.

  7. I kinda know a thing or two in this area and agree the sample is great! To clarify Eds point in the NYMetro market the Nielsen sample is actually only about 300 Households, yes that’s right 300 and that is statistically significant enough for advertisers to spend billions of dollars here. I know this because I worked for a company that vetted the Nielsen numbers. The real questions that you need to look at with these types of surveys is the make up of the sample to help normalize it, de-duping of multiple submits, etc. But cave makes the point that there’s not much revolution here, it’s more common sense, but if we needed a survey to get common sense then so be it.

  8. That’s got to be the most ridiculous public policy position I have ever heard. Allow the roads to fall into disrepair so people can’t travel on them unless they go 10MPH. How about contaminating the water so people use less of it?

  9. “Its who is motivated to reply to such a survey in the first place that skews the results.”

    I say the same thing about the comments on this blog.

  10. Today, where politics are completely polarized and every elected official wants to make it sound like his choices are all pure democracy, you’ll see more of these foolish exercises. To their credit, the survey isn’t costing the City’s taxpayers much.

    As has been said, the results are common sense — results that the lowest civil servant could have devised.

    But it’s all good and it’s nice to see that most of us are on the same page.

    Contrast this with Rockaway, where NYC’s Bloomberg decreed a new 27-foot-high concrete boardwalk with molded words on it be built on new foundations in seven years.

  11. Eddie, I don’t see why you call this survey, or any future surveys, a “foolish exercise”. It’s important that we understand what Long Beachers want, listening to a thousand voices rather than just a vocal few.

    And I also won’t dismiss the findings, as Sam is inclined to do. Before you throw a cloud of suspicion over the results base your complaints on facts, not innuendo.

    Surveys are a proven technique, used by most industry leaders, to make decisions. I applaud the survey process and hope the City uses it in future decision-making, including the development of an updated Comprehensive Plan.

  12. Ed, perhaps I chose words that are too harsh. Or perhaps my view of common sense is tainted by intellect that isn’t quite common. Or maybe I’m simply being too critical. I agree with you that a survey can be a good thing. But do you really believe that some new information came from this? If elected officials are to govern by survey and by public opinion, why have them?

    Notice that the citizenry is only polled about meaningless nonsense. Were we asked about the new $150 million in bonded debt? Were we asked if we wanted our trees ripped out? Were we asked if we wanted to be the highest taxed City in the State?

    I agree with you, Ed that a survey can be a useful tool. But when its questions are chosen so that the results are truly of little consequence, it becomes nothing more than a warm and fuzzy political sham.

  13. Eddie, thanks for your clarification. You bring out some great ideas.

    Yes, it would have been much better if the City had surveyed us regarding the IStar issue, since that was a key strategic issue. But, I wouldn’t suggest a survey on tree removal since that was an operational decision (damaged trees removed, but replacements planted is consistent with a beautification strategy).

    You ask why we need elected officials since we could govern solely on surveys. While I’m a strong advocate of surveys to serve as input to strategy, elected officials don’t have to follow the survey recommendations. But, they then need to answer to the electorate during the next election, and clarify why they didn’t follow the collective will.

    And, if the survey is improperly structured or clearly biased then I agree we should be angry. I don’t think the boardwalk survey failed this test and I hope future serves, used as part of the development of a Comprehensive Plan, doesn’t fail this test.

    If a survey fails the sniff test, I’ll join you protesting that misuse of the public voice.

  14. Eddie is spot on with “warm fuzzy political sham”. This is meaningless survey crap – Would you like healthy snack choices on the boardwalk? Yes/No. This is meaningful – Should the City actively pursue tax revenue from properties that fraudulently operate under the guise of religious institutions? Here’s another meaningless question – Would you like showers at the boardwalk and where? Back to meaningful – Should the City issue parking permits to LEGAL residents in the West End and have metered lots/locations for non-residents? A lot of time and energy was put in to making colorful charts and graphs that represent common sense. The survey does look nice on paper, I’ll give them that much, but hopefully it didn’t cost us anything. To Ed Glister, do you really believe that LB elected officials answer to the electorate come election day? That’s precisely why we continue to have a City Council and not a Mayor. Hey, there’s great question for survey – Should we have a referendum to return to a mayoral form of government in which one elected official answers to her/his constituents?

  15. Hey Dweller, come out of the C.A.V.E. and see the light of day. While I share your angst over tax revenue and parking, don’t let those issues cloud the value of the Boardwalk survey. It’s our primary asset and we need to develop it with our residents voices in mind.

    You rhetorically ask whether I believe that LB officials answer to the electorate each Election Day? Yes, I do, in fact I believe they answer to us every City Council meeting.

    I’ve attended 3 of the last 4 City Council meetings and contacted City officials more than 20 times this year, and found them to be responsive. Have you attended any City Council meetings recently? (I don’t remember anyone named C.A.V.E. Dweller appearing before the Council.) Have you tried to work with them or City officials on an important issue? Or are you just content to complain in a blog and not really work towards change?

  16. My issue with this survey is that nonresidents were invited to reply so we have no idea how many of the 1300 replies were from the locals who will ultimately foot the bill.

    Additionally, the way the questions were worded left me feeling that decisions were already made, now we could choose how they be implemented. I don’t recall a single place we had the option to say no, this isn’t something to include.

    And finally, we have no idea what any of these amenities will cost or where that money will come from, which in real world decision making is a huge consideration.

    I want LB to be all it can be, but in my mind the infrastructure should come first. Too bad those 1300 respondents aren’t anywhere to be found to lend their weight to getting a true 24/7 emergency facility.

  17. @ Ed Glister, I’m not sure how you define “asset”. I’ll assume you mean it’s simply some thing or place we hold in high regard. Sort a collective resident judgment of what is important in our lives. As public property it’s not an asset available to meet debts. It actually costs us money to have it in our City. Lots of money. When you say “develop it”, what do you have in mind? Common sense things like showers and bathrooms on the beach has little to do with the boardwalk. A marked bike lane,some shady spots, a pull-up bar or two is all we need. Who’s paying for all this? Chris is absolutely right about first things first. Real leadership would make the hospital a priority. How about $150 million in FEMA funds earmarked to re-open a Hospital about to end up in Oceanside. “Who wants ice cream?” I do, I do! Who wants $150 million dollars to restore needed medical services, restore 1,000 lost jobs, and get $250 million back into the economy?” Ummm, What flavors do you have?

  18. C.A.V.E., I hope you’re not suggesting that our beachfront and boardwalk aren’t assets (or worse yet, that you think they’re liabilities). And, are you really against development of the beach front and boardwalk? Why do you think most residents and visitors come to Long Beach?

    I’ll agree with you that the Hospital issue is critical, from many perspectives, and might even be at the top of the “first things first” list. And, if you had attended the October 7 City Council meeting you would have heard an update on the hospital issue from the City Manager.

    But let’s not limit our thinking about improving Long Beach to only “first things first”. We’re (the City and these bloggers) much better than that. We need to get a hospital AND improve the beachfront.

    If you’re against beachfront improvement we may need you to change your name to C.A.E.

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