Construction Project Planned for Beach 73rd and 81st Street Area

Information meeting: Hosted by Councilman Donovan Richards

Presentations: The Department of Transportation and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

Location: 348 Beach 71st Street

Overview: The meeting began with a presentation from the Department of Transportation (DOT). Specifically, the agency informed residents of construction plans for Beach 73rd and Beach 81st Street on Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Rockaway residents are well-aware of the fact that the streets were heavily damage from Superstorm Sandy, and the presentation provided information on the extent of the damage and what would be required in order proceed with reconstruction efforts. The DOT noted that the water main, the increase in road width near NYCHA’s Hammels Houses and adding green medians in the area were some of the proposed projects.

According to the DOT, these measures will help reduce speeding, create simpler and safer left-lane turns and provide safer pedestrian crossings by creating larger sidewalk space. The final phase will involve the planting of shrubs and trees.

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and Councilman Donovan Richards is urging everyone living in the zoned areas to expect limited water use while the water main is being replaced. “The water will only be shut off for a couple of hours,” said Richards.

City officials view the projects as enormously beneficial for the community, but some residents are not satisfied with the DOT’s objectives. Residents at Arverne-By-The-Sea are concerned about the lack of street signs and medians in their area. One of them asked, “Why are the medians on Beach 79th and 81 Streets?” The DDC representative informed the resident that they could not build a median over a water main. The homeowner then requested to see sketches of the plans. When the sketches were presented and reviewed the homeowner proclaimed, “There’s a water main right under the median on these streets! What are you trying to pull?!” The DDC official indicated that it may have been due to a “budget issue”.

Councilman Richards told residents that they should be grateful the community was given funding for the projects. “We often get short-changed in this community. This time we got the money. Let’s get the project started,” Richards stated.

Ladies and gentlemen, expect the summer of 2016 to have service disruptions and numerous street detours before and during the construction period.


Weekly Update From Mayor’s Ofiice Of CommunityAffairs Unit

Weekly Overview


The City has successfully beaten back cuts to Medicaid and CUNY in this year’s state budget, while funding for universal pre-k and de Blasio-supported measures to boost the minimum wage and provide paid family leave are poised to become law…the Mayor’s Fund’s efforts to house veterans got a boost… the Mayor drew the link between global terror and income inequality…the TLC is modernizing its sexual harassment policy…DOHMH is helping New Yorkers quit smoking…more NYCHA developments are getting free Wi-Fi…the city will have a Mental Health Council, thanks to the First Lady…the “best-trained class” in NYPD Academy history has graduated…the City expanded paid six leave protections two years ago and our economy has added 250,000 jobs since…and NYC is showing solidarity with the LGBTQ community in North Carolina.


The Details


The State Budget – A state budget agreement has been reached in Albany, paving the way for the passage of a $156 billion state financial roadmap with significant effects on New York City services and finances. The Mayor, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and a coalition of legislators, policy advocates and community leaders rallied to beat back more than $1 billion in proposed cuts to City higher-education and health-care programs. With the passage of additional K-12 school aid, paid family leave and a minimum wage increase, the budget includes state progress on several initiatives at the core of the Mayor’s agenda.


Mayor’s Fund & Private Sector Combat Veterans Homelessness – The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, the Mayor’s Fund, and Enterprise Community Partners to support the City’s efforts to end veterans homelessness. The Mayor’s Fund also announced that it has raised $500,000 from private partners, including the Real Estate Board of New York, to help fund the City’s Veterans Housing Initiative. The grant and private investments will help fund initiatives aimed at transitioning veterans from the shelter system to permanent housing. The number of veterans in shelters or on city streets has fallen 90% since 2011. Last year, the City helped place more than 1,000 veterans in permanent housing. In December, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development praised the de Blasio administration for effectively bringing an end to ‘chronic’ veterans homelessness in New York City.


TLC Sexual Harassment Prevention – The Taxi and Limousine Commission is proposing a series of upgrades to measures aimed at preventing sexual harassment in cabs. The stricter harassment penalties – a $1,000 fine and 30-day suspension – would coincide with enhanced driver education and more descriptive definitions of inappropriate conduct. The proposals, set for public hearing later in the month, have received praise from anti-harassment and passenger advocacy groups.


DOHMH Anti-Smoking Campaign – The Health Department has launched “Quitting is Hard, Cancer is Harder,” a new ad campaign kicking off the agency’s Nicotine Patch and Gum Program giveaway. The effort is designed to help New Yorkers quit smoking. Eligible New Yorkers can receive a NYC Quits Kit, a coaching guide in four languages, and a two-week supply of patches and/or gum by calling 311 or visiting


NYCHA Free Wi-Fi Expansion – Two Fort Greene NYCHA developments – the Whitman and Ingersoll Houses – will be covered by free outdoor Wi-Fi access in April, thanks to a public-private partnership with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The deal builds on the de Blasio administration’s efforts to bridge the digital divide and bring high-speed, affordable wireless services to NYCHA developments across the city.


NYC Mental Health Council – Mayor de Blasio announced the establishment of the Mental Health Council. The Council, led by First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Richard Buery, will coordinate the promotion and implementation of mental health prevention and treatment programs across City agencies. It will consist of 20 representatives from a variety of city agencies, including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Administration for Children’s Services, the Police Department, Fire Department, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and the Department of Aging.


Paid Sick Leave Anniversary – The City celebrated the second anniversary of the de Blasio administration’s expansion of sick leave protections that now cover 3.4 million private and nonprofit-sector workers. In the last two years, thousands of employees have benefited from the coverage and another 9,600 have received restitution from employers who have violated the law. At the same time, the city has added more than 250,000 private-sector jobs, driving down the unemployment rate and quieting critics who predicted the legislation would hurt businesses.


House on the Rock Church Conducts Boardwalk Service

It was a bitterly cold day when people gathered at the entrance of the boardwalk on Beach 95 Street. But that didn’t stop the House on the Rock Church from conducting services with members of the Christian community.

The service began with a hymnal by all in attendance. Shortly after, Pastor Garry, the church’s founder, invited attendees and onlookers to pray. As the prayer concluded, Pastor Garry reminded everyone about the power of hope and how it affects everyday life. He illustrated the point by reflecting on the hardships Rockaway faced in the wake of Super Storm Sandy.

Additionally, he talked about the loss of his father and how hope and the power of prayer helped him overcome his grief. To the shock of many, the pastor also revealed how he was trapped in a fire and had 30 percent of his body burned. The horrific event occurred two days before Sandy descended on Rockaway. “If I had given up hope, who knows where I would be,” said Pastor Garry.

The pastor closed his sermon by noting that everything being built round us will cease to exist. “One day, the things behind me will no longer be here. The new condos, the homes being built on sand and the new boardwalk will be gone. But trusting in Jesus is forever… and will help build a mountain of hope,” said the pastor.

After a final prayer, kids received candy and took part in an Easter egg hunt.

For those interested, Pastor Garry has invited members of the community to visit his church, which is located at 91-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.