Bellone Calls on NYS Department of Transportation to Build Biking Trail Along Robert Moses Causeway
“Suffolk County residents still do not have a bicycle path to the beaches along the Ocean Parkway,” Bellone said.
Suffolk County Director Steve Bellone recently joined Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo), chairman of the New York State Senate Transportation Committee, and members of the Suffolk cycling community in calling the New York State Department of Transportation to build a touring bike. path along the Robert Moses Causeway. The Great South Bay Greenway, a 5.5 mile road, would extend the recently completed Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway on the Robert Moses Causeway and connect the road to Gardiner County Park.
“With all the progress we’ve made in making Suffolk County bike friendly, how come almost 30 years after its first proposal, Suffolk County residents still have no way to go. cycle to the beaches along Ocean Parkway, ”said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “We need the NYS Department of Transportation to extend the recently completed 5.5 mile Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway, through Captree Island and Robert Moses Causeway, to Gardiner County Park. This extension would provide Suffolk residents with the same opportunities as their Nassau counterparts – a safe and scenic cycle path leading down to the beach.
Unlike residents of Nassau County, residents of Suffolk currently do not have the option of cycling to the beaches along the Ocean Parkway. Instead, residents of Suffolk County must ride their bikes to the beach and pay a parking fee. The creation of this trail, which was first proposed in the 90s and is a key part of the county’s hiking and biking master plan, would provide residents with an easy and convenient bike path to the beach, would connect a number of regional assets, would support tourism, promote green transport and improve the safety of cyclists.
Lauren Bailey, Director of Climate Policy, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said: “Connecting Suffolk County cycle lanes to create a true network will benefit the health of the county by improving safe cycling options and reducing traffic congestion. . Long Island’s beaches are hidden behind the roads, making outdoor recreation inaccessible without a vehicle. Improving access to bicycles is an essential first step in modernizing the way we travel in Suffolk. “
Rosemary Mascali, Co-Chair of the Sustainable Transportation Committee of the US Green Building Council Section LI, said: “A trail crossing the Robert Moses Causeway and connecting the new Coastal Greenway to Ocean Parkway would allow cyclists, runners, skaters and walkers. from Suffolk County to also enjoy our scenic waterfront. The connecting trail would also help improve air quality, provide many health benefits, and reduce our dependence on cars. “
Carter Strickland, New York State Director for the Trust for Public Land, said: “It is essential to connect more greenways to a true network that will create the emission-free transportation network we need. Not only will the Great South Bay Greenway reduce car traffic for everyone, it will give residents of Suffolk County without access to a car a safe way to enjoy the beaches of Ocean Parkway.
The extension would complement Connect Long Island, the county executive’s signature regional development and transportation plan. In 2015, County Executive Bellone first launched its Connect Long Island initiative, a regional transportation and development plan that promotes long-term economic growth in Suffolk County through a model of increased access and mobility. by alternative modes of transport. The plan supports investments in regional transit systems, such as the Long Island Railroad, the implementation of new modes of transportation, the creation of transit-oriented developments and the connection of these developments and centers- cities focused on public transport with major research and educational institutions.
Over the past few years, Suffolk County has taken a number of important steps to make the county a bike-friendly community. In March 2020, Suffolk County completed a master plan for touring bikes, which offered more than 1,200 miles of cycling infrastructure. When fully constructed, this new cycling network would put 84% of Suffolk residents within half a mile of a cycling facility. Additionally, in September 2019, a first regional bike-sharing program of its kind on Long Island, Bethpage Ride, was launched. The program operates 200 bikes at 40 stations across the county. The county executive also recently signed legislation that helps keep cyclists safe on the roads. The new law, which is the first of its kind in New York state, requires drivers to pass on the left and allow cyclists at least three feet of space when passing them on the same side of the road.