Ocean Parkway bike path extended
The path, which is often utilized by walkers, joggers, runners, rollerbladers and bikers, currently ends abruptly in Oyster Bay adjacent to the Ocean Parkway. The final 10 miles of the stretch will be finished by the $16.2 million grant.

Courtesy Photo

Ocean Parkway bike path extended

Story By: RANDALL WASZYNSKI
10/10/2019


The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path has received state grant funding for its final leg: connecting the path with Captree State Park. The path, which is often utilized by walkers, joggers, runners, rollerbladers and bikers, currently ends abruptly in Oyster Bay adjacent to the Ocean Parkway. The final 10 miles of the stretch will be finished by the $16.2 million grant.

“The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will provide cyclists, runners and walkers new opportunities to get outside, while at the same time providing a new route for people to get to the many outdoor recreational activities the area has to offer,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This extension will give more residents and visitors a safe, healthy and environmentally sound way to get around Long Island.”

Extending the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will add to the growing network of more than 20 miles of shared-use paths built over the past decade on Long Island.

Since the path currently ends eastward at Tobay Beach in Oyster Bay, the extension will now introduce the Town of Babylon as well as Islip Town into the fold. The path will extend into the hamlet of Bay Shore.

Vasilis Xikis, a Bay Shore resident and an avid biker, said that the path will be a great asset for runners and bikers, like himself.

“[It allows for] more paths and trails for safer runs and exercise,” Xikis said. “Also as a runner, this will be very nice for larger group runs and trainings.”

Plants native to Long Island’s shoreline will be planted in the hundreds. There will also be shaded rest stops every three miles and informational panels discussing the plant and animal life in the area.

Nesting boxes will be installed off the path as a safe space for growing wildlife. Extra and special care will continue to be taken into consideration of the habitat of the endangered piping plover species during the path’s construction.

The path is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will feature traffic-calming measures, such as curves in the path. The curves will slow bikers down near driveways, and signs will alert motorists and path users of crossing traffic.

Local biking clubs and civic associations expressed support for the allocation of the funding for the final leg of the project to be completed upon its introduction in October 2017 by Department of Transportation alongside Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Now, just about two years later, the project’s construction is underway.

“As Islip Town supervisor, I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo for his efforts in expanding the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path,” said supervisor Angie Carpenter. “Our waterfront is one of our most cherished resources and we look forward to the benefit this project will bring to our residents and their enjoyment of our waterways.”

To accommodate summer beach visitors, major construction began after Labor Day weekend. Project completion is scheduled for the summer of 2021. n