Why Margate Needs To Build A New Boardwalk

Klotz Ventnor Dune
Glenn Klotz

Long time resident, Glenn Klotz, believes Margate needs a new boardwalk. Many agree. Read the latest from Glenn:

The battle with the State of NJ about Margate’s beach is over. Today, Margate finds itself with a “new” beach design decidedly NOT of our choosing. The State of NJ used it’s power of eminent domain. They condemned and have taken the easement needed, to construct the current beach design. Sadly, there’s not much the citizens of Margate can do about it. That being the case, we need to find a silver lining in this onerous situation.

If life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Here’s my suggestion on how Margate can make the best of this unwanted beach situation….. and do it with style!

Margate Once Had a Boardwalk.

It’s been 56 years since Margate had a still standing portion of a city-wide boardwalk. The infamous Nor’easter Storm of 1962 took care of that last remaining section that extended south from the Margate Pier. Since then, Margate has been without a boardwalk or any walkway along the beach. We were fine without a boardwalk. Until now.

Back when the Margate boardwalk existed, most of our beaches were much narrower than today. With periodic replenishment of Absecon Island’s beaches over the past 100 years, the beaches have widened. Hopefully, they’ll stay that way for a long time to come.

The Margate boardwalk as it was constructed back in the early part of the 20th century, was a narrow, lightly built structure. It was built too close to the ocean. (no protection beyond being elevated) So, by design, it was probably much too exposed to survive.

By the time of the great Northeastern Hurricane of 1938, it was already pretty rickety and beaten up. In between that storm and the 1944 hurricane that made land fall, the old boardwalk was ultimately destroyed.

The silver lining to that sad story? We did learn from our mistakes. We can now build much better boardwalks. Better construction. Smarter protection.

New Era of Boardwalk Reconstruction on Absecon Island

Today, a boardwalk still extends from Absecon Inlet to Margate. It’s a brand new section (along Absecon Inlet) that’s just now being completed by the ACOE, Army Corp of Engineers. So, since we’re in a new era of boardwalk reconstruction, I propose that Margate builds a citywide boardwalk extending from Ventnor at Fredericksburg Ave., through Margate, all the way to Longport.

This new boardwalk would be built in the current dead / empty beach zone directly behind the newly built dune, aka ‘berm’. This new boardwalk would feature access ramps and stairs. It would be built to rigorous, modern standards. It’s railing would extend parallel in height, to the top of the dune/berm. (similar to Ventnor)

We should ask NJ DEP for permission to maintain the dune height, the same level as Ventnor’s. Yes, sea-view and breeze do count.

The current situation on Margate’s beaches is more than just annoying. It’s unreasonable. It’s extremely wasteful. Too much of the beach is now, unusable.


I greatly prefer Ventnor’s dune situation. Some semblance of seaview and breeze still exists for those using the boardwalk.

Such a project would probably require a public referendum (vote), to approve of and fund such a boardwalk. It would also require NJ State approval. All of this would not be easy to obtain. But, the advantages of such a structure would benefit Margate. I, and many others, believe it would be worth the effort.

It’s a proven, historical fact. Since Margate already had a boardwalk at one time, it should preclude us from having to ask the State of NJ for an entirely new set of permissions, in order to reconstruct a new boardwalk. Examples #1: Piers are permitted to be rebuilt after they’ve been destroyed or damaged. Example #2: Already existing jetties and groins can usually be rebuilt.

Dunes Grow Each Year.

Advantages of a New Margate Boardwalk

Advantage #1: Margate would regain much of the lost sea view and breezes, now cut off by the new dunes.

Advantage #2: Better access to the ocean. A system of ramps from the street ends. (like Ventnor and AC) These ramps would make beach access easier for everyone, especially families with kids, seniors, and those with limited or no ability to walk.

How about the simple pleasure of walking along and above the useless dead zone. A sit down on boardwalk benches. Bike riding, pushing baby strollers, roller-skating. A new boardwalk would dramatically convert a useless part of the beach (over 50% of it in many areas now) into a useful public space, once again.

We see little downside to maintaining a new boardwalk. AC and Ventnor has proven this is something we can easily do.

Added benefit: the new boardwalk would have much better protection from storm surge. The new dunes would help with that.


Popularity of the Boardwalk in Ventnor and Atlantic City.

Today, if I want to see the ocean and horizon, I go to Ventnor’s boardwalk. Walking down to a street-end bulkhead in Margate is no longer an option. There’s nothing to see from the beach blocks in Margate, except for a mountain of sand. We need our Margate boardwalk back. This would remedy our degraded access to, and views of, the ocean.

CHANGE WITH THE TIMES.

Margate didn’t ask for the beach work and changes we’ve endured over the past 18 months. We know they’re pretty much here to stay, barring a super-severe storm and accelerated erosion. So, instead of complaining, maybe it’s best to move forward and take advantage of the situation. Create a new attraction in Margate. Like the one we had in the early 20th century. A boardwalk.

I propose that Margate’s City Commission prepare a citywide, non-binding referendum to let voters and taxpayers decide. Should we build a brand new, citywide boardwalk in Margate?

If the measure passes, Margate would probably apply to the State of NJ’s Green Acres Program for funding help. A new Margate Boardwalk would enhance our beachscape. It would create a valuable new asset for Margate’s residents and property owners. It would be a wonderful new attraction for our visitors. I believe it would be extremely popular.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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62 thoughts on “Why Margate Needs To Build A New Boardwalk”

  1. I said it last year in 2017 and I’ll say it again…a boardwalk would be so beneficial to Margate for dozens of reasons. I love walking and cycling. It’s also become more dangerous to bike on the street due to inconsiderate drivers. In a Margate forum, I previously brought it up. Some said residents would be opposed to it. Most said they would be for it!

  2. Maybe.
    The Margate bulkhead is not a straight line. I would like to see preliminary plans on how the boardwalk would navigate the zigzags.

  3. My family would love to have a boardwalk and it would make bike riding so much safer! I don’t think any of the beachblock residents will go for it though. I wouldn’t want people walking in front of my windows all day either.

  4. No matter what season there’s nothing like a stroll on the Boardwalk! I think it’s an excellent idea. Not sure how beachfront property owners would feel.

  5. Is this a trick question…? YES! A boardwalk would be more than just a consolation prize for the utter destruction of our beaches. The HEALTH benifits of a beautiful walk/run or bike ride along the ocean as well as better beach access should be motivation enough!

  6. Stan Silverman

    Right now there is one set of ramps to cross the dunes to get to the beach. A boardwalk would probably require a 2nd set of ramps. Not sure the residents of Margate would go for that.

  7. I think it would be great! It would also make biking in Margate much safer since it would move most bikers from the dangerous street to the safer boardwalk.

  8. Love the idea, but we should take into account how it would impact beach front property, let us not due what the state of NJ did to us to the beach front people. But bet it could be done

  9. Shirley Capella.

    I agree. It would permit adults and kids to ride bikes and jog and get normal exercise. We would be off the streets. Might not even need a bike lane. It would be a great asset.

  10. Judy DeGennaro

    I would love a boardwalk. My husband and I ride bikes and walk on the Ventnor boardwalk and it would be so nice if we could just get on a boardwalk in Margate.

  11. Diana Goldstein

    Great idea. Beachfront properties have already lost their view due to the dunes. This would be a good way to exercise, enjoy the sea breeze and see the ocean again! As a Margate resident I would like to know how the construction of the boardwalk will be funded.

  12. Great idea, Glenn. I’d like to see the state pay for it since they created this mess in the first place, but I know that probably won’t happen.

  13. It is difficult to read about your wonderful idea without regretting the damage to Margate caused by one Chris Christie and his band of ignorant politicians and the inept Army Corps of Engineering. Your plan would mitigate the damage and destruction to Margate’s beautiful beaches. NJ should provide a 100% grant. But get someone other that the ACE to design it.

  14. Great idea! I grew up at the Jersey Shore and always remember riding my bike on the boardwalk in the mornings but had to start all the way in Ventnor from Margate.. this would be a great addition to Margate.

  15. The dead space you mentioned can be used for other things other than a boardwalk, for example, on beach dog parks. There is only one in all of Margate, in a very distant location that most residents cannot reach on foot.

  16. When I think of the shore, I think of the boardwalk! For exercise and fresh air!! Great idea! I’m totally for it!

  17. Barbara Silver

    Love the idea. Safer for families riding bikes and pushing strollers. The bike lanes in Margate are often taken up by runners that use these lanes making bike riders moving into automobile lanes.

  18. Barbara Maskos

    A boardwalk to Longport would be wonderful. More room for walking,biking and enjoying our beautiful Ocean view. Some benches for sitting and chatting and people watching. 🙂Great idea.

  19. I would strongly support a Margate boardwalk to improve views over the dunes, beach access with high dunes, and safety to exercise (run or bike) there as opposed to the roads. Let’s ask our local government to investigate options, costs, financing, and see if we can get state dollars to support the project.

  20. I think a boardwalk is a great idea. It would make our view nice again and help people get to the beach easier!! What do we have to do to make this happen?

    1. Hi Carol! Come out with your family and friends on April 5th for the next Margate City Commission. I’ll be putting this article on the record and hope others will add to it . We need to get the City Commissioners to hear us out on this issue and hopefully get behind an effort to rebuild our boardwalk. Thanks

  21. I’m all for this project. As a cyclist I would love a continuous bikeway from Margate through Atlantic City, not to mention the safety factor. Although bike lanes along Atlantic Avenue are a plus, cyclists still must deal with close by vehicles zipping past them.

  22. Ellen Brookstein

    One great benefit would be that it would ease congestion on the boardwalk on busy weekends because the same group of walkers/runners/riders would be spread out over a much longer distance!

  23. One problem I and many Margate residents have is the access over the new dune. My father is 80 years old who just went through cancer treatments. He an other elderly people will have trouble getting over these dunes because the sand on the walkway is too steep and the sand is too soft. Also the railings are to low and cheap. You could get splinters to easily. There is only one ramp that is done properly. Why hasn’t this issue been addressed. If you guys at Downbeach Buzz know somebody that can fix this problem, it will greatly be appreciated. Thank You.

  24. We recently bought a summer home in Margate & are very excited for this summer! We would love to be able to walk/bike on a boardwalk in our town rather than having to go Ventnor & Atlantic City. I think rebuilding the boardwalk in Margate would be a great idea!

  25. Margate homeowner here. My family would get tons of use out of a boardwalk/bike trail along the dunes. If that doesn’t work out, we should plant native vegetation in that spot like cape May, sea isle and Avalon so it looks more natural. We should plant trees and shrubs along the boardwalk as well. Happy to help if I can be of assistance.

  26. Also— we could put a small ice cream shop and arcade with skee ball by the library or by Lucy if we build a boardwalk. Let’s make the town more family friendly!

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