Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on the new Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway, a 3.6 mile shared-use path between Jones Beach State Park and Tobay Beach in Nassau County. The $3.8 million project will enhance safety and ease of transportation for cyclists and pedestrians by providing vital links between beach communities in Nassau County.
Building a new shared-use path along Jones Beach State Park and Tobay Beach gives New Yorkers and tourists a new way to enjoy the natural beauty of Long Islands beaches, Governor Cuomo said. The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will provide a scenic route for visitors to walk or bike between Wantagh and Tobay Beach, creating an additional asset in our efforts to promote tourism and recreation in Nassau County.
The State Department of Transportation is proud to partner with the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Town of Oyster Bay, public officials and community organizations to provide another unique travel and recreational facility that demonstrates the critical role bicycle paths play in our multi-modal transportation system, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald said. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, were enhancing safety and making it easier for cyclists, runners, walkers, and families to enjoy Long Islands exceptionally beautiful natural treasures.
With more than six million visitors each year Jones Beach remains one of the most visited Parks in our system, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said. It is wonderful to be able to offer each of them another option to commute, exercise and enjoy this iconic destination and strip along the Atlantic Ocean. Governor Cuomo continues to make parks a priority and the Department of Transportation has been a terrific partner in helping us achieve another project which will enhance the experience for everyone at this beloved spot.
The new Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway is being constructed on the north side of Ocean Parkway and will connect the recently completed Jones Beach access path at the Parks Parking Field Five to the Tobay Beach parking field, 3.6 miles to the east. When completed, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel from Cedar Creek Park at the beginning of the Wantagh shared-use-path, through Jones Beach facilities to Tobay Beach, a total of 8.8 miles, on a safe, paved Greenway.
The new Greenway will be 13 feet wide, will meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disability Act and will include a cable guiderail to protect users from Ocean Parkway traffic. The project also includes enhanced landscaping, educational signs, informational kiosks, benches, and storage for 24 bicycles at Tobay Beach. Path users will also have access to the Tobay beach facilities, including the bay and ocean beaches, restaurant, and playground.
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. said, Thousands of bicyclists, runners, and walkers already use the Wantagh Shared Use Path. Soon they will be able to continue along to the Ocean Parkway, enjoy the beautiful south shore coastline, and have access to Tobay Beach. The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway is a smart investment that will be widely utilized, and I applaud the Department of Transportation for moving it forward.
Assemblyman David G. McDonough said, With the completion of this project Long Islanders can enjoy 8.8 miles of paved paths which connect the islands beautiful beaches. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo, Commissioner McDonald and Commissioner Harvey for working together to make this project possible.
Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino said, "It is very important that we rebuild our damaged infrastructure as quickly as possible and in a manner that provides for a higher level of safety to everyone who enjoys our beaches. I am proud to represent this area and am very motivated to make sure that the job gets done right."
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said, I commend Governor Cuomo for partnering with us to further make Nassau County a destination for cyclists, runners, walkers, and families to recreate and enjoy all that our parks system has to offer along our south shore. These new shared-use paths will surely benefit Nassau County while enhancing safety and improving transportation routes to our beach destinations.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said, The Town of Oyster Bay is pleased to work in partnership with the State Department of Transportation, as well as the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, to establish a safe and fun new method of travel along Ocean Parkway. This newly created pathway will not only offer new recreational activities for all to enjoy, but through our partnership with the state, allow cyclists the chance to store their bicycles safely at Tobay Beach, of which I often refer to as the crown jewel of the Town, which has been completely restored in the aftermath of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
Michael Vitti, President of the Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists, said, "We want to thank NYSDOT for planning and creating a world class bike path along the ocean. People who live on the south have an option to use their car less, reducing traffic to the beach while also increasing bicycle tourism on Long Island. Let's increase the momentum and create more green infrastructure on Long Island. We welcome and support more bike paths and connections to help get more people on bikes more often. It's a win - win with the health benefits and air pollution reduction as well.
This project is part of the Governors commitment to providing mobility improvements for all roadway users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. Virtually every state road on Long Island features some accommodation for bicycling, except for high-volume highways and parkways where bicycling is prohibited. One particularly picturesque example is the Montauk Highway/NY Route 27, a 30-mile-long, signed, on-road bike route between Southampton and the Montauk Lighthouse. Another is NY Route 114, a 15-mile signed bike route between the Village of Greenport on Long Islands North Fork and the Village of East Hampton on the South Fork.
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. General information about cycling in New York State is available at www.dot.ny.gov/display/programs/bicycle.
This project is being constructed by Intercounty Paving Associates, LLC of Hicksville, Nassau County, under contract with the NYSDOT.