NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered a beach bummer on Friday, saying New York City’s beaches will remain closed because he can’t open them safely.
“We know right now a lot of the things that we look forward to doing starting right away, we’re just not ready for,” the mayor said on Friday. “We love barbecues, picnics, ballgames, going to the beach, all sorts of things. Those things are going to be different for the foreseeable future.”
That has officials from nearby Long Island steaming, reports CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
The Long Island senator believes if the Rockaways’ beaches in Queens are closed, people will head in droves to his hometown of Long Beach, or perhaps Jones Beach, creating havoc.
“For their own residents and for all New Yorkers in the downstate region, everyone’s beaches need to be operating by the same rules to not have too many people all go to one place,” said Kaminsky.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted Friday that New Yorkers will head to the beaches whether they’re officially open or not and other beaches will become overcrowded if the city’s are closed.
I'm not ready to give up on NYC beaches this summer. NYers will flock to them no matter what and would end up overcrowding other NY, NJ, and CT beaches if we try to keep them closed. We need a plan in place that lets people get relief from the heat and use our beaches safely.
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) May 15, 2020
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it clear Friday that he needed to coordinate his beach opening with other states, because what if New York failed to open when New Jersey did?
“It’s not in New York’s interest to have New Yorkers going to a Jersey beach, which is now going to be overcrowded,” he said.
But now city residents might have to do just that, or perhaps go to Long Island.
“It’s unrealistic to think they are not going to be coming to the beach, particularly when there is nothing else,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.
So what’s going here? The Governor’s office told CBS2 the city gets to decide when it opens its beaches.
The Mayor’s office said in a statement: ”We are reviewing the guidelines the governor laid out and will make all decisions based on the safety of New Yorkers.”
“I believe that everybody with an oceanfront beach needs to be reading from the same music sheet, having the same rules,” said Kaminsky, “and having the city beaches closed is a real problem.”
De Blasio says they will be constantly looking at the beach issue, and as for the future, he says, we’ll see what it brings.
Beaches that do open in New York will have to follow rules: masks are a must, no group activities, concessions and pools will be closed, and parking lot capacity will be limited to about 50% capacity.