Path Opens Today to Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Shared Use Path Completed Ahead of Schedule Allowing for Travel Along the Entire Length of Jones Beach Barrier Island
Photos are Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway's third and final section, now allowing cyclists, runners, skaters, and walkers to enjoy the scenic waterfront. The construction of the path's final leg, first announced by the Governor in October 2019, is approximately ten miles long, between Tobay Beach in the Town of Oyster Bay and Captree State Park in the Towns of Babylon and Islip and was completed three months ahead of schedule due to a mild, dry winter in the beginning of 2020. The path opens today to bicyclists and pedestrians.
"We are making record investments in our tourism industry and state infrastructure to enrich the lives of Long Island residents," Governor Cuomo said. "The completion of this project, three months ahead of schedule, is a testament to our commitment to bringing safe and smart transportation alternatives to Long Island all while highlighting Long Island's natural beauty and rich beachside history."
Completion of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway's third and final phase completes eight years of work on shared use paths along the entirety of the Jones Beach Barrier Island. The Greenway's first phase was completed in 2013 and runs from the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway along the Wantagh State Parkway to the Jones Beach Boardwalk. The second phase that runs from Jones Beach to Tobay Beach was completed in 2014. The trail also connects to the Jones Beach Shared Use Leisure Path on the barrier island's west end, which was completed ahead of schedule in 2019.
Travelers along the path can experience breathtaking views of the Great South Bay and the rising New York City skyline as well as hundreds of Long Island-native plantings, including beach grass, evergreen trees, bayberry plants, beach plums, and other native grasses and wildflowers to support pollinators such as bees and Monarch Butterfly restoration efforts. Additionally, travelers will have the opportunity to learn about Long Island's history and natural elements through educational panels that have been selectively placed along the path.
Safety measures for both path users and motorists were installed to calm traffic and highlight the new path crossings at driveways including curves in the path, green painted crosswalks, and reflective cable guiderail between the path and Ocean Parkway. The path was designed and built to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. New bicycle parking areas for path users now exist at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina, and Captree State Park. Signage was added to also direct users and show distances to nearby public facilities.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The early completion of this project demonstrates that the state's commitment to delivering for the people of New York has never halted nor waivered, even in the face of a global pandemic. We are excited to open the Greenway's final section sooner than expected for the enjoyment of all users and thank Governor Cuomo for his support of this an other recreational opportunities across Long Island."
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Exploring Long Island's coastline ranks among New York's most awe-inspiring outdoor experiences. I'm thankful to Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation for the early completion of Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path, providing a safe and scenic path for cyclists, runners and walkers to enjoy this landscape, and building on New York State's work to revitalize Jones Beach State Park."
Discover Long Island President & CEO Kristen Jarnagin said, "Tourism on Long Island is a $6.3 billion annual industry that draws visitors from around the globe to experience Long Island's world class beaches and extensive outdoor offerings. The addition of this new ocean front, outdoor attraction that spans Ocean Parkway, connects to additional trails and boasts stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Jones Beach is certain to be a new favorite for both residents and visitors alike."
Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver license.
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