This is what you currently see when you travel down Edwards Blvd from the LIRR to the beach:
With that, I was happy when I first heard about the Downtown to the Boardwalk Resilient Connectivity grant that was announced October, 2014 by Governor Cuomo [LINK]. This funding is for 68 Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects across New York State. Our ‘City of Long Beach’ share is $1,063,851, which, according to our city, will be used for Edwards Blvd:
The proposed project, covered by this grant, will transform one of the major boulevards in the City of Long Beach, Edwards Boulevard, into a more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly thoroughfare that includes elements of resiliency and green infrastructure.Edwards Boulevard is the gateway to the beach from the Long Beach multimodal transportation hub. [LINK]
So exactly for what? Green infrastructure? Bike & Pedestrian projects?
This grant is specifically for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects. Are we just talking proper bike lanes and a wider sidewalk? Does it really cost $1,063,851 to repave this small stretch of street with some blacktop and a few painted lines? I would love to see the final vision our city has planned.
Also, what about the trees? According to the Tree Replanting Master Plan, that stretch of Edwards Blvd will be getting the following:
- Amanogawa Cherry – lining the sidewalks (pink dots).
- Japanese Black Pine– median south of E. Beech to E. Broadway (black dots).
- Red Maple – median north of E. Beech to E. Park Ave (red solid line).
Since green infrastructure was mentioned, Does this grant cover the cost of these specific trees? I would just hate to see trees planted, only to be torn down later for this greater vision.
While I have no idea when work will begin, this grant is specifically for tourism. Edwards is the path between the LIRR and Beach/Boardwalk. I know some of you are going to cry about the privately owned vacant hospital or paid firefighters, but this grant has NOTHING to do with either. Let’s just all be happy that a section of our city will be given a major facelift. Be it for tourism, but as a resident I’m happy to see potential beautification improvements and you should too. I personally don’t care what part of town gets the attention. The better Long Beach looks as a whole, the better it is for all of us. What would you folks like to see this money used for regarding this project?
(keep the red bricks!)
UNRELATED TO THIS GRANT: Edwards Blvd will be getting a bathroom on the boardwalk. While that has nothing to do with this NY State grant, it’s just another example of changes that will be coming to that thoroughfare. The location of this bathroom is perfect for the LIRR crowd from NYC. Pee here before you get on the train.