Can you imagine if we had a bike trail that went from Long Beach to Fire Island?

longislandbiketrail2(Map Updated with Meadowbrook path to Eisenhower Park)

Going alone with what is being said in my last bike lane post: I was talking to a fellow blog-reader over at Gentle Brew a few weeks ago about the economic impact a major bike trail system could have for Long Island.

Have Long Beach as the starting hub and it will go all the way up Loop Parkway to Jones Beach and Ocean Parkway and have it end up somewhere in Fire Island. It would be a one of a kind experience for not only residents of Long Beach and Long Island, but for NYC as well.

The Long Beach NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan, which was just released today, actually has a bike lane planned for Park Avenue (more on this later). 

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 1.54.21 PM

There is a trail being made as we speak on Ocean Parkway, but nothing is currently planned for Loop Parkway for us to get there. Lido Boulevard was just poorly redone and, in my opinion, even more dangerous than before. What a missed opportunity for us… Even to just safely ride a bike to Point Lookout would have been great.

Call of Duty loser calls Hostage Hoax for Swatting points?

Yesterday around 3pm a friend shared a link to a Facebook group called LI Fire Wire, which posts Notifications of Incidents for long island anything that involves the fire service. This particular message was the following: 

Long Beach, NY (Nassau co) *Hostage Situation* W Hudson St/Laurelton Blvd. A male armed with a shot gun claimed to have killed his family and will shoot at anyone coming to the house.

Normally I don’t believe everything I read on the internet, but this was already shared 66 times with actual comments on all the police activity in this area of Long Beach.

Several hours and 60 police responders later, we find out the hostage was a hoax, or a swatting, which wikipedia tells us is:

The tricking of any emergency service (via such as a 9-1-1 dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response based on the false report of an on-going critical incident.

Somebody lost a Call of Duty game and called the cops on the winner. But what is even more crazy is the fact that swatting is a game in of itself: The loser finds out where his opponent lives, makes the emergency phone call, then gets points based on how many responders show up, or even what kind (helicopters, etc.).

I’m lost for words here…

Unless this Call of Duty loser created a fake account with a fake credit card and somehow masked his location behind a proxy, he will be found. What an idiot. This is dangerous, insane and a complete waste of time for all involved. Luckily nobody got really hurt. Besides, everybody is playing Titanfall these days.

PSA: If you have unpaid parking/red light camera tickets, hide your car! [License Plate Reading-Vehicles are Patrolling Nassau County!]

bigbrother“Nassau County will begin booting or towing away vehicles on Monday [April 21st] to collect unpaid fines from scofflaws with three or more outstanding parking and red light camera tickets.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano unveiled the new scofflaw patrol vans, equipped with license plate readers, last week.

Full Article at CBSLocal: Nassau County Begins Boot And Tow Program

(Thanks to Joe for the link.)

Long Beach is mentioned in NY Times article on Battling The Young Adult Exodus

NY TIMES: “Long Beach, N.Y., with a year-round population of 33,000, has also been refreshing its downtown near the train station over the last couple of decades. The city has provided incentives to spruce up signage and facades, remodeled pavements and crosswalks, and provided more parking. A smorgasbord of ethnic restaurants flowered on Park Avenue, the main street.

Not sure what Park Avenue smorgasbord of ethnic restaurants they are talking about. We are doing ok, but could do better in that department, but check out the NY Times article on Long Island communities efforts to keep the young adults from moving away:  Suburbs Try to Prevent an Exodus as Young Adults Move to Cities and Stay.

“A recent report on the suburb-dotted New York counties of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk, based on United States census data, found that those young people seem to be lingering longer in New York City, sometimes forsaking suburban life entirely.

Demographers and politicians are scratching their heads over the change and have come up with conflicting theories. And some suburban towns are trying to make themselves more alluring to young residents, building apartment complexes, concert venues, bicycle lanes and more exotic restaurants.

I have mentioned this point of view countless times before, the last being just a few days ago with Patchogue. Young Adults are primarily moving away from Long Island because of the lifestyle. Yes, affordable housing is an issue, but the younger generation, for the most part, wants walkable communities with arts, culture and a sense of being. Read the full article here:  Suburbs Try to Prevent an Exodus as Young Adults Move to Cities and Stay. Thank you Michael for the link!

East End Parking To Receive Massive, Much Needed Upgrade

Looks like the parking mall located on Park Avenue between Roosevelt and Neptune Boulevard will be going through a much needed upgrade, with Nassau County money btw since they own those malls. Well, I’m going to miss the lake that occurs at the Neptune lot, but what can you do… The City press release also includes the wording for a crosswalk & Complete Streets, so I am very excited to see how this all pans out.

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From the City of Long Beach Facebook page:

East End Parking Mall To Receive Massive Upgrade

Traffic Safety Concerns To Be Addressed with Additional Traffic Light and Crosswalk to Help Support Local Businesses

Long Beach, NY – The City of Long Beach is pleased to announce that it will begin accepting bids on Thursday, April 18 for reconstruction of the parking mall located on Park Avenue between Roosevelt and Neptune Boulevard. Along with the resurfaced lot, this project will include the addition of a traffic light and a more walkable crosswalk to address safety concerns and help support local business. The project is a step toward the Complete Streets policy that the City Council authorized the adoption of last year. Complete Streets are safe, comfortable, and convenient for travel for everyone, regardless of age or ability – motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation riders. Continue reading

Living With The Bay: Dikes, Promenade, Open Space and a New Marina [AWESOME!!]

rebuildbydesign

“I think now is the time for bigger-scope projects to move forward,” City Manager Jack Schnirman said, referring to Rebuild by Design, a competition initiated by President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and aimed at protecting the South Shore from a Category 2 hurricane.

Read more of this awesomeness at the Long Beach Herald: Rebuild by Design project would begin in Long Beach

I am very excited and really hope this comes to fruition here in Long Beach. This is real forward thinking. I am sure you will all agree how important bay protection is for Long Beach. This would be major step in doing just that. Plus, it’s also a beautification plan as well. Although dated, this old post might help you remember how terrible that section of Long Beach really is: THE FORBIDDEN ZONE OF LONG BEACH: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY.

Read more about Rebuild By Design here: www.rebuildbydesign.org

Patchogue Village, a good model for Long Beach to Follow?

For the times they are a-changin’

                     -Bob Dylan

Newsday is running an article on the amazing revitalization of Patchogue village, a once beaten down and vacant downtown (read -Patchogue Village sees dramatic gains in development a decade after Swezey’s closed).

I haven’t been to Patchogue in a couple years, but was able to see something exciting happening when I was there. Something, I wish would happen right here in Long Beach. I am glad to read how all these revitalization efforts in Patchogue are working, but all this comes with some courage:

“Patchogue has always survived because it adapted to things,” Pontieri said. “This community was ready for leadership that wasn’t afraid of change.”

Growth, change and support from those who live there and run the damn place; that’s what is doing it. The concept of the suburb are dying. Unfortunately many in Nassau County just don’t get it, as I see gated communities going up all over Garden City and elsewhere on Long Island. All these bring traffic. Shopping centers disconnect communities and bring more traffic. None of these new developments are walkable or allow you to ride a bike even if you wanted to.  Do you know that new gated community where Roosevelt Racetrack once  was is right across the street from a movie theater, restaurants and stores? It’s terrible how it was developed. Those who live there have no choice, but to get in their cars to get anywhere.  Unless they want to jump over a wall. Doesn’t anybody want fresh air or exercise anymore? Many people, especially the younger generation, do not want this type of closed-off lifestyle anymore. They feel disconnected. That is why areas such as Brooklyn and even upstate like the Hudson Valley are embracing the concept of the downtown. We need to change, otherwise Long Island is going to be the following: A place for rich people with pockets of poor who serve the rich people. Large shopping centers, traffic, parking woes, no more culture, chain restaurants, no more sense of community or sense of being is not where I would want to live.

[WALDBAUMS, I AM LOOKING AT YOU!!]

Not that we have it so bad here in Long Beach, but both our downtowns could use a tremendous facelift and revitalization. I love the idea of bringing a place to belong to an area. This attracts art, culture, amazing businesses, people and $$$. Right now, a quick walk around our downtowns, particularly on Park Avenue, is a scary one at night. It just seems so dead and desolate.

“You can’t have an economy that stagnates. You can’t have an economy that has no growth,” said Suffolk County Legis. Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue), a village resident who maintains his district office there. ” . . . Otherwise, what happens is you lose your young people and your workforce. What we’ve done here in Patchogue is we’ve found a new growth model that works.

And look, they even had a failing theater, which now revitalized and better than ever:

[Patchogue Mayor Paul V.] Pontieri said the arts are a key component of Patchogue’s turnaround. Venues such as Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts attract customers who patronize village restaurants and shops, he said.

The village-owned theater opened in 1998 after a $3.35 million renovation of the old Patchogue Theater, which had closed a decade earlier. It now attracts about 150,000 people a year to live shows and concerts, “putting a tremendous number of people on Main Street,” Pontieri said.

I refuse to read the comments on Newsday relating to the article because I am sure most of them are from people who fear change, still think Red Hook Brooklyn is a ghetto and big box stores are the future. These people need to wake up and smell the coffee, for the times they are a -changin.

For me personally, I would love for our downtowns to be redeveloped this way: Walkable, sustainable and alive.  Check the full article at Newsday: Patchogue Village sees dramatic gains in development a decade after Swezey’s closed.

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