Edwards Blvd Grant: Downtown to the Boardwalk Resilient Connectivity. So many questions!

This is what you currently see when you travel down Edwards Blvd from the LIRR to the beach:

2014-11-15 12.03.43YUCK!

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.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 10.20.14 AMAlso, 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.

2014-11-08 11.38.46

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!)2014-11-08 11.37.58

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.

Screen-Shot-2015-03-04-at-3.34.48-PM

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44 thoughts on “Edwards Blvd Grant: Downtown to the Boardwalk Resilient Connectivity. So many questions!”

  1. Anthony, I think they said the tree planting will be planned and executed in conjunction with upcoming street rehabilitations throughout the city, I would hope this rehab is also being done that way.

    I thought I heard the city reached out to residents who live on Edwards to get their feedback on what the city had in mind, I wonder if any of those residents read your blog and might be able to chime in with what they have heard?

  2. I almost forgot, instead of using this money for tourists, it should be used for the residents, maybe spend some of it to reopen the movie theatre, perhaps they could show a Huge Grant movie.

  3. “Anthony, I think they said the tree planting will be planned and executed in conjunction with upcoming street rehabilitations throughout the city”

    Ok, I must have missed that. I am glad that’s the case.

  4. Different funding. FEMA is paying for what we lost: Bathrooms. The dunes are part of a bigger Army Corp. Engineer project. I agree that I hope we hear about that project sooner rather than later.

  5. You cannot get off or on the beach at Edwards Blvd anymore. What is the purpose of a bathroom there when you already are putting them at National and Riverside? Doesn’t another location need one?

  6. I believe it’s specifically for those just off the LIRR or going back to the LIRR. That’s a lot of people, so it might relieve (pun) the lines on the other two.

  7. Won’t they have to go up the ramps at National and Riverside 1st and then go back there to get on the beach? Really long lines!!

  8. A safe street for bicyclists and pedestrians going from the LIRR and beach – bullshit. First off there are intersections and strips in LB Far more used YEAR ROUND with higher injuries and fatalities than Edwards. While your seasonal path of gold for tourists may seem like a lovely gesture, its a slap in my face and every person who has had a family member or friend who was the victim of traffic violence.

  9. Why would our Master Tree Replanting include the use of Japanese Black Pines ? The black pine population was wiped out when the pinewood nematode attacked them in the 1980’s. Thousands of black pine in Jones Beach and Ocean Parkway had to be cut down and hundreds of black pines in Long Beach died. NYS DEC no longer uses them and NO municipality on Long Island will touch them. Who is running this show? What a joke!

  10. It would make sense to redirect tourists towards National, past the TOURIST trolley, buses to other parts of the City and very active Kennedy Plaza (Arts in the Plaza, Farmers Market, Concert & Events) rather than the other direction towards an unsightly and highly dangerous Park Ave & Park Place.

    It’s like you are just re-routing people away from our city center in the summer (besides the beach) which is the Plaza.

    And then what about the rest of the year when it’s less tourist heavy and National is still a hot mess?

    The planners have thus far failed in a multi-modal approach to planning. Very fragmented, no concept of equity. No connectivity.

  11. Planning seems to be a difficult concept to those who are incompetent. Seems to be prevalent in this City Hall. The idea of simplicity might be a good one. Why not simply repave Edwards, do the sidewalks, plant STURDY trees and install the proper bike lanes? Just make it an attractive gateway from the LIRR to beach and back to Park Ave. Why does all the obvious things become so complicated in LB? Crazy fragile trees, traffic violence, million dollar bathrooms, it’s all so much noise. get the simple things right and the more difficult things will get done as well.
    Just my opinion.

  12. Nope please don’t move the tourists near Magnolia that starts the resident beaches. Keep the tourists on Edwards. They have no beach etiquette at all!

  13. Couldn’t agree more. Keep it Simple! Clean streets, paved roads, marked bike lanes, sustainable trees, clean up the windows on Park Ave, simple flower boxes. It would make a huge difference.

  14. Really? Because I see a lot of poor etiquette by residents, too. Especially the ones who seem to think there are residential beaches where non residents should not be allowed. I love entitlement.

    It makes no sense to ignore Kennedy Plaza, transit opportunities to other parts of the City, and whatnot.

    Not sure how the Economic Development and the team of obedient note takers messed this one up and why they even use the word “connectivity” when it is anything but that. Apparently the City reached out to residents to comment on this. I do not know which residents were asked. Maybe I’m an asshole getting worked up for nothing but….

    Unless this grant completely reworks the Park Avenue / Park Place / Edwards intersections, then it is pointless. This area between the front of the LIRR, the taxi stand and onto Edwards is the #1 hotspot for pedestrian injuries – beating Long Beach Road. If this golden grant does not address that intersection which includes the chaos of 40+ taxi cabs (I’ve FOILd the exact medallion # but was told by mgt that they had 40 cars on that side) plus local pickups, non-tourist passing through, residents driving to/from wherever….well, then you are going to see me throw the biggest hissy fit on the steps of City Hall.

    We have to hold our City accountable for keeping residents safe and not making expensive decisions that do nothing but gloss over problematic intersections while paving a faux picture of safety.

  15. When you get off the train the first major north/south street you see is Edwards. Most people use it to go to the beach for this very reason, it’s the first thing they see. Even if they cleaned up National, Edwards would be the one all the tourists would go down.

    It makes sense to improve the one people are actually using.

    Also since there are more people crossing at this intersection doesn’t it make sense that there would be a higher instances of accidents there?

    I know the taxis make it worse, but statistically you should see more accidents at this intersection if you have more people crossing there.

  16. Army corps project was supposed to kick off last November now they are saying this November. Reminds me of that song, See You In September…

  17. This has to go at Edwards because it will be an elevated walkway that starts at the train and is abridge over park ave that stays elevated all the way till the beach. This was pedestrian traffic coming from the beach doesnt need to worry about street crossing and the cars don’t have to worry about hitting the stupid tourists. this will be linda the same idea as the repurposed elevated train lines in the city. It’s actually a good idea. They just need to do it right and not screw it up. I know I am asking a lot.

  18. How about, instead of an elevated walkway from the train all the way to the beach, we do free hot-air balloon rides to the beach? Yeah, that’s a good idea.

  19. It is NOT an elevated pathway, dummies! That would be a ridiculous Waste of energy. They are ripping out the middle of Edwards Bld and creating a river-like middle passageway with gondola’s and paddle boats. What you may not have realized is that tourist trolley is actually amphibious and will bring tourists to the beach via the new Edwards Blvd Riviera and then float down West where it will drive back thru the West End back to the LIRR.

    Long Beach Duck Tour.

  20. Apparently they lowered the speed limit across the City by 5MPH at last night’s City council meeting? When do the ticket blitzes start against residents?

  21. A ticket blitz would be pro resident, pro safety for neighbors who live on residential streets who occasionally walk or ride across them ( people in neighborhoods do occasionally do such things even if it is only when they exit their cars to carry groceries in). Nothing to fear Sam, just obey they law which allows a perfectly sane speed limit for our densely populated neighborhood streets. Simple. Part of the announcement of new traffic ordinances included light timing on Park to improve drive times on that major artery, so rejoice. This is data driven, smart legislation designed to protect the people you love. Congrats to LBStreets for promoting policy that enables family friendly traffic laws that also will support LB’ s vital transition toward a more walkable and bike able community, something that every study of suburbia’s future identifies as an essential element of residential desirability.

  22. Can we make the canal deep enough so that instead of boats, we use submarines? That would be the most efficient use of the money IMO

  23. Its just a move to generate more money from residents – a hidden tax through the speeding ticket system. Nothing has fundamentally changed on the streets where the speed limit was lowered, the 30 MPH speed limit has been there for decades. No one will obey it, and the City knows it, they just want the money.

  24. Yes Sam, my point exactly. Changing ordinance is useless without achieving compliance. I want jerks who fly through my neighborhood’s streets to be worried about enforcement, a ticket blitz. Generating money from self centered law breakers who disrespect the the safety and quality of life of my family and neighbors sounds sensible. Call it a hidden tax on law breakers… not you, right Sam?

  25. Speed limits are not supposed t be arbitrarily set – its not a “feel good” thing. Traffic studies are supposed to be done, and the 85th percentile of typical speeds found on the road should be used for the setting. I drove on the “new Park Street” today, not a single car was going 30MPH. And the same will be true on the side streets at 25MPH. So in essence now, everyone has been transformed into a “lawbreaker”, which is exactly what the City wants. Its not about safety, just like it wasn’t when the County put up the school speed cameras.

  26. Sorry but you’re wrong Sam. Lower speed decreases bodily injury and death. The data that’s being used for New York City’s Vision Zero plan applies down the road in Long Beach. In fact 20 mph is the more appropriate speed limit for residential neighborhoods. 20 is plenty. But it is easier to make it 25 simply to abide by current state law and not require a home rule request. This isn’t about addressing a sudden epidemic of pedestrian/car incidents, it’s about creating a safer environment and limiting the most horrendous outcomes that can occur when cars hit people.

  27. @TTMS : But without enforcement nothing happens. They didn’t enforce 30MPH and everyone ignored it as they will with 25MPH unless its enforced. As stated above it could actually be a source of revenue for the city if they bothered to enforce the laws already on the books. Let see what can be enforced that isn’t: Speed Limits, No Thru Streets in WE (where people speed to avoid traffic lights), Stop signs, and Double parking to name a few.

  28. So Sam says lowering the speed limit makes everyone a lawbreaker.

    MeinLB says that without enforcement nothing will happen.

    I think you both miss the intent of the law, similar to what TTMS says: lower speeds result in fewer injuries and deaths. While Sam and MeinLB don’t believe that people voluntarily comply with speed limits, many do.

    How about both Sam and MeinLB complying, in addition to TTMS and I already doing so voluntarily. It might just save lives.

  29. Allow me to up the ante, and you can call this a proposal if you’d like:
    How would you all like our Assemblyman to support home rule legislation applicable to all NYS Munis to improve road safety in neighborhoods, let’s call it Safety NETZ (Neighborhood Enforcement Traffic Zones) legislation. It begins with local munis being empowered to create Safety NETZ in residential neighborhoods within their villages/towns/cities. These would be areas in residential neighborhoods where clear signage announces that fines and points will be drastically increased for moving violations, not dissimilar from construction zones we encounter with such signage on NYS highways. The difference, in order to incentivize enforcement, would be to allow participating munis or. their police departments to keep the extra fine $ for local use. Hell, maybe even allow speed cameras in locations or moveable locations so that motorists who speed understand that neighborhood safety, the wellbeing of our children, sisters, fathers, and neighbor, our loved ones, is non negotiable. No gotcha cameras like the one that was on Lido Blvd, just street locations in NETZ where people live and play. Everyone forewarned, no tolerance clearly defined. How’s that for enforcement Mein? Of course there would be typical leeway of 9 mph or so up to 34 mph so as not to transform the average citizen into a lawbreaker Sam. Sanity, safety, incentive and revenues I say respectfully. What say you.

  30. No, you obviously know nothing about traffic engineering. Speed limits are supposed to be set based on a traffic study of what typical speeds on the road are and setting the 85th percentile of the distribution as the limit, because you can only hope to gain compliance by setting a speed people will actually travel at. What you want – is a police dragnet/speed trap on all roads. You got your wish – everyone is now speeding on every Long Beach street. There is 0% compliance, and LBPD was running a speed trap on eastbound Park Street tonight at Lindell as a result. This is not about safety, its about money.

  31. Yes, the “Waldo Florida approach”. Do some research on the abuses to motorists caused in that locale for decades, finally ended last year. You want the same for LB residents, why am I not surprised, typical statist.

  32. Not interested in Waldo Sam, just stopping the abusive and disrespectful behavior of the few motorists who speed through neighborhoods where children play and people walk dogs and neighbors ride bikes and new parents walk babies. In fact, I would think compliance would result from the signage defining possibility of consequences within the zones kind of like when people were in fact slowing down near school zones. Statist? For obeying laws designed to decrease injury and mortality by speeders? Revel in ideology, I’ll commit to responsibility.

  33. @TTMS: Sounds like a good possibility in my book. But we could start even easier than that. Put a cop on the ends of the streets in WE with a hand held radar gun and write tix for speeding down those tiny blocks. Could do the same thing for people ingoring no thru streets on narrow blocks in WE where people speed down the streets to beat traffic lights on Beech. Enforce the stop signs and stop lights. As and example I don’t think I have ever seen anyone come to a full stop at any of the stop signs at NY and Broadway.

    Same thing for all the people who roll through the red lights without a full stop to make a right turn.

    Here’s one more. How about reverse the traffic flow on the narrow “Streets” in WE on North side of Beech so traffic flows from Park to Beech. It would drastically limit the number of cars on those narrow blocks as it would generally just be local traffic versus the people trying to beet traffic lights on Beech.

    Here is another suggestion how about the traffic lights on Park through the center of town. If you are walking East on the North side of Park or West on South side. The lights don’t face you and there are no walk/don’t walk signs so you just need to guess what color light is by flow of traffic and you have no idea how long before light changes.

    I admit my suggestions are somewhat limited to WE but that is where I live and the traffic issues I see. I’m sure there are other issues that are specific to other neighborhoods as well but I don’t personally know what they are.

    @ED G: I think the enforcement is needed because history has demonstrated that the traffic rules are ignored by many if not most if there is no enforcement of them.

    Finally as an aside that could be seen as a dark side to all this potential enforcement. There was a great piece on the HBO Program “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver about cities using traffic fines and surcharges to fill their coffers to the detriment of the citizens who cant pay these fines. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/last-week-tonight-john-oliver-783637) Something that must be considered.

  34. My “modest proposal” was based on two factors: witnessing dangerously fast driving on residential side streets and hearing other locals complain about it for over 30 years, and the reality that the PD can’t/ won’t prioritize enforcement in the easier manner you reference. Despite being tagged a “statist” by Sam, I have a strong libertarian streak and worry about govt intrusion, but public streets are “public” and Sam has no valid argument for his privacy (or “right” to disrespect the rest of us by speeding. His Waldo reference is nonsense as that was a very obvious speed trap on a major road snaring snow birds heading to FL. I would hope that clear bold signage re Safety NETZ would be deterrent in its own right with a limited revenue stream from cameras but incentive for the PD to actively enforce on the street. Thanks for your thoughtful feedback.

  35. Has anyone ever seen a handheld radar gun being used by a police officer in LB?

    Some years ago a member of the LBPD told me that he didn’t believe that any member of the force was trained or certified for using them.
    Does anyone have reliable information on this?

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