by Joe Scotchie, Massapequan Observer, link to original post

Recently, state officials and local politicians gathered at various sites in Nassau County to announce the coming construction of multi-use paths, mostly those for bicycle enthusiasts.

Among those is the Ocean Parkway-Jones Beach Access path, which is designed to assist bicyclists traveling to the latter destination.

New York State Transportation Department (NYSDOT) officials said the path would provide a 0.7-mile connection between the end of the 7.5-mile Wantagh State Parkway multi-use path and the Jones Beach State Park East Bath House.  It will be constructed through the Jones Beach Theater parking area to the pedestrian underpass, where new storage will be provided for 100 bicycles.

NYSDOT officials added that the path is scheduled for construction work this fall with a spring 2013 completion date all at a cost of $1 million.

Those same officials, naturally, all hailed the coming construction. “Many residents from all across Long Island ride, run, and walk on the Wantagh Parkway Bike Path every single day,” said State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R – Merrick). “This project will give them greater access to Jones Beach, which is the crown jewel of the state parks system, and provide a critical link to the planned Ocean Parkway Bike Path.”

“I am pleased that the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have come together to extend the bike path at Jones Beach which will have numerous benefits to our residents by increasing mobility and accessibility through Jones Beach Park by bicycle and increasing the health benefits of bicycling,” added Assemblyman Dave McDonough (R – Bellmore).

Other projected multi-use paths include the Bethpage State Park extension, which begins through Trail View State to Woodbury Road and the Setauket to Port Jefferson multi-use path. The Setauket project is scheduled to begin construction in August with a May 2014 completion date. No date has been set for the construction or completion of the Bethpage State Park extension.

More than 18 miles of new paths, state officials said, are being added to the state’s 172 miles of on- and off-road bike routes across Long Island.

Officials with the NYSDOT and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation also traded compliments. “The New York State Department of Transportation is about more than roads and bridges,” NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said. “Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership on smart growth and sustainable development reinforces the critical role bicycle paths play in our multi-modal transportation system.  We’re pleased to partner with the State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in expanding opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians, and encouraging them to enjoy all the natural beauty Long Island has to offer this summer.”

“Transportation and recreation often go hand in hand,” added NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey. “With 18 miles of new multi-use paths, cyclists, runners, hikers and others will have even more opportunities to get out and explore Long Island’s beautiful landscape. I am grateful to Commissioner McDonald and the state Department of Transportation for their partnership in creating these tremendous new resources for safe and healthy recreation.”

Copies of the Long Island bikeways map and additional information regarding Long Island bike facilities may be obtained at http://www.511ny.org/rideshare/ rideshare.aspx?FolderID=149.

Filed under: Biking, Long Island, Trail Building

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