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  1. #1
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    belt pkwy/plumb beach bike path

    Just read that the bike path along the belt pkwy.
    near plumb beach is no longer after the recent storms.

    Read it here
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    There's a photo accompanying that article of a piece of striped pavement passing within feet of the shoreline. I don't remember any part of the Belt Parkway path passing that close to the water. Is that the bike path in the photo? And, if so, has the water eroded THAT much of the beach away? I can't imagine so...

    (PS: Looks like someone with an aversion to "gay sex fiends" managed to hack this site!)
    Papa Tom

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  3. #3
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    wow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    There's a photo accompanying that article of a piece of striped pavement passing within feet of the shoreline. I don't remember any part of the Belt Parkway path passing that close to the water. Is that the bike path in the photo? And, if so, has the water eroded THAT much of the beach away? I can't imagine so...

    (PS: Looks like someone with an aversion to "gay sex fiends" managed to hack this site!)
    Yes, that is indeed the bike path, with a goodly portion now fallen into the sand. The path was right on the edge this past summer, so not surprised, even though it means that unless they fix it this winter (doubtful), my bike commute to work is now up Flatbush Ave., which sucks !.

    Time to update the website Tom !.

    Steve B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>Time to update the website Tom !.<<<

    I just want to get this right, as I haven't ridden the Belt in a while. Plum Beach is the one with the little round snack bar/restroom building just a few feet from the bike path, right?

    If I'm remembering correctly, the last time I rode through there, there was a pretty large sandy beach area between the path and the water. People used to do some kind of wind sailing there, I think.

    Has the water eaten the entire beach away?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    >>>Time to update the website Tom !.<<<

    I just want to get this right, as I haven't ridden the Belt in a while. Plum Beach is the one with the little round snack bar/restroom building just a few feet from the bike path, right?

    If I'm remembering correctly, the last time I rode through there, there was a pretty large sandy beach area between the path and the water. People used to do some kind of wind sailing there, I think.

    Has the water eaten the entire beach away?
    Yes to all.

    SB

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Wow. Any suggestion as to how I should denote this on my website? Does the damage appear permanent, or was the website that published the article just being hysterical and anti-NY City?
    Papa Tom

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  8. #8
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    I may ride by there tomorrow to see if it's as bad as the pictures show it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Wow. Any suggestion as to how I should denote this on my website? Does the damage appear permanent, or was the website that published the article just being hysterical and anti-NY City?
    I'd make a comment "The section from Knapp Street to Flatbush Ave. has a section immediately to the west of Plumb Beach closed till further notice, do to extreme beach erosion that resulted in approx. 1/3 the width of the path crumbling on to the beach."

    The City has barricaded the path with snow fencing and it's anyone's guess when it will re-open. To my eye, it's not something that either City DOT or Parks Dept. is going to fix internally, unless they opt for a quick and temporary re-location of the path closer to the parkway. Should they decide to keep the existing location of the path, they will need a retaining wall able to resist the pounding surf. That takes time and money.

    SB

  10. #10
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Notice added:

    http://nyrides.freehosting.net/brooklyn.htm

    Thanks for the info. Did you want to be credited on the site? (This might be your 15 minutes of fame...)
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  11. #11
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I was there yesterday. The area is passable, even rideable, if you don't mind a little sandy grass. The bike path is washed out for a hundred feet or more, and the sand, below, now comes up to the bike path which has collapsed in half. I think there used to be trees and bushes in that area. Officials had already put some fencing and signs about the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacy View Post
    I was there yesterday. The area is passable, even rideable, if you don't mind a little sandy grass. The bike path is washed out for a hundred feet or more, and the sand, below, now comes up to the bike path which has collapsed in half. I think there used to be trees and bushes in that area. Officials had already put some fencing and signs about the area.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I could see as I drove past at 10mph while stuck in traffic, you can indeed ride past the west end of the "Police Line - Do Not Cross" barricade (there's also a snow fence that prevents riding on the path) on to the grassy area between the path and the guardrail of the parkway, but once you've gone that 100ft. there's a huge wooden barricade that marks the west end of the parking lot and it did not look like there was a way to ride around it, it appeared you had to lift your bike up and over the barricade, then proceed thru the parking lot and onto the path at the restroom. Did you actually find a way to ride around the wooden barricade ?.

    And to Tom, thanks but no credit needed.

    Steve B

  13. #13
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    I think I may have put my feet down and sort of waddled my bike through a narrow space between the wooden barrier and the guard rails but I didn't have to lift the bike over the guard rails as you suggest.

    I did have to duck under some yellow caution tape but I was photographing the damage at the time so I wasn't really thinking about every stop I may have made. If you're riding clipless this could be a pain, if you're using platform pedals, or even clips, it's only a minor inconvenience.
    Last edited by Stacy; 11-19-09 at 10:43 AM.

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    Stacy

    Thanks for the update

    SB

  15. #15
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I guess, given that this path is going to require major repairs, it's going to be time for the City to sit down and decide if it's worth the money and effort.

    When the new bikeway was first unveiled back in the 90's, I felt like one of the only people who was excited about it. For a few years, I drove out to Canarsie Pier from Syosset on a regular basis to ride from there to Knapp Street, across Manhattan Beach, through Coney Island, and onto the western portion past the Verazzano. However, I noticed that I was usually the only person on the EASTERN portion of the bikeway on any given weekend in the spring, summer, or fall. So, when the extension to Erskine Street - and then on to Howard Beach - took forever to complete, I figured the City was just dragging its feet because there didn't seem to be a lot of interest in the bikeway at that end.

    Eventually, I, too, stopped going out there to ride. The dangerous right-of-ways over the bridges had never been fixed, the areas around the beaches were always covered in sand and other debris, and there just didn't seem to be a good "vibe" on this bikeway. Since I stopped going, I rarely see anyone on the eastern end of the bikeway when I drive by.

    That said, I wonder if the City will address this problem any time soon. It seems many of you ride this way on a regular basis, but even 100 riders a week probably wouldn't warrant the cost of the repairs, especially because this is not really a "commuter" route and, therefore, wouldn't be eligible for TEA funding.

    What do you guys think?
    Papa Tom

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  16. #16
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    There's certainly a fair amount of interest. In the time I was riding on the grass I passed at least four other cyclists and a woman with a baby carriage. And this was a cloudy weekday afternoon, There was a vendor selling food and drink in the parking lot and someone laying flowers at the roadside memorial. After all, it is an official Belt Parkway Rest Stop. There were also dog walkers on the beach and a couple other people checking out the storm damage.

    There's still a good amount of beachfront left though I have to admit I was there during low tide. The situation may be quite different when the water is higher. Still, it's a popular spot for kite flying and kite surfing, topless bathing and all those other activities.

    Even if the City or the Federal Government doesn't come up with a solution in the near future I suspect there'll be a well worn path in the near future.

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    I use the Flatbush to Knapp section as part of my bike commute from LI to Brooklyn and NEVER see topless bathers !.

    When riding this path as well as driving the section east of Flatbush, I see riders all the time. Not the type of use that the Jones Beach path gets, but enough. and ton's riding down Flatbush and down to the Rockaway's via the Marine Parkway Bridge, especially in summer.

    The issues with the length of time it takes to get the city to move - with Tom mentioning the section east of Pennsylvania Ave. to Howard Beach is actually about in keeping with typical city funded projects, usually measured in years. Thus I'm not at all dismayed by the length of time it took to get the most recent stuff completed, but I work for the City University and am conditioned to slow pace.

    My big complaint over the years has been the lack of maintenance by the City Parks Dept., especially keeping the pathway clean, as Tom has mentioned. They do zip along the Belt, AFAIK.

    As to the Plumb Beach section, one thing that may speed things up is that the current eroded beach is all of maybe 20-25ft. from the parkway itself and THAT is something the DOT is going to have to deal with, as it will be maybe 2 more good storms before the parkway itself falls into the water.

    Trouble is, the permanent fix requires a big project - rock jetties parallel to the road, a retaining wall, new surface for the path, etc... it's not going to be enough to simply plop down new asphalt as a bike path re-route.

    Thus my suspicion is that it's going to be a few years before this gets restored.

    SB

  18. #18
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>> it's not going to be enough to simply plop down new asphalt as a bike path re-route.<<<<

    I don't have a good visual of the westbound side of the Belt in my head right now, but what about that as an option? There appear to be some long stretches on that side of the highway that might be able to accommodate the bike path, wherever necessary.
    Papa Tom

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  19. #19
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
    I use the Flatbush to Knapp section as part of my bike commute from LI to Brooklyn and NEVER see topless bathers !.
    Well I didn't see the topless bathers from the bike path. You need to wander around the beach a bit I spent some time there several years ago shooting with a view camera. There were saxophone players, heterosexual sex fiends, all sorts of things you don't normally see at Coney Island

    From what I could see, it looks like the bike path, and the concrete supporting it, was functioning as a buffer between the sea and the Belt Parkway. It certainly would be in everyone's interest to repair it before it gets any worse.

    There's a segment on NY1 tonight about beach erosion in the Rockaways as well. I hope that doesn't overshadow the damage at Plum Beach. Maybe somebody needs to find some Obama dollars to make some massive improvements to infrastructure.

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    Google Maps satellite view has a decent image of the area.

    The bike path is pretty tight to the parkway from Knapp St to where the path makes a bend around the beach parking area.

    In the photo you can see where the beach is pretty much right up against the path, just to the west of the parking lot. That's where the erosion occurred and the path crumbled.

    There's also a fire hydrant (you can see a white blob near the guardrail) along this section and from my perspective, there's little room between the current position of the path and the guardrail to plop down a temp. bike path, so I doubt the city's going to go that route.

    SB

  21. #21
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    There seems to be a much bigger problem here with the erosion continuing UNDER the Belt Parkway at this spot.
    That may be enough to get them to correct it sooner rather than later.
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  22. #22
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    I ride their a lot, but no on the bike path, rather on the beach. I do kitesurfing at Plum Beach. The area is definately questionable. The location is a gay cruising (pickup/hookup) spot. Also a good deal of drug use goes on in those dunes. BUT, it is a great kiteboarding spot. I do ride my bike up the path from emmons ave up to flatbush and then into floyd bennet field.

    The road is VERY close to the water and a lot has been eroded. I think they will fix it. The path is not as popular as the west side highway in the city but there is a good deal of bikes on their on a nice weekend in the summer.

  23. #23
    My grammar sucks. a_phat_beat's Avatar
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    I havent been on the path in a few weeks, i can't believe that it may be gone. that section in the pictures is about a quarter mile from the start of the path. it was a little eroded at the edges where there was a drop off to the beach but not that bad at all. from the pictures it appears as the gate is up against where the grass was, so the entire paved area is blocked off. this path is right by where i live and i use it fairly regularly. I hope they get on the ball quickly and repair it. hopefully better than before as this was the location of that nasty sand-trap area that ALWAYS forces me to slow down. I never liked this section of the path as many people walk around haphazardly without looking, and rarely every pick up after themselves. Always seemed a bit shady to me. In any case, I can always ride up to flatbush ave to bypass this section while it's outa commission.
    "...I thought about evening when the boys wash up, sing, eat, raise a cup of wine in honor of love and life, and waiting at the door, the bicycle, stilled, because only moving does it have a soul, and fallen there it isn't a translucent insect humming through summer but a cold skeleton that will return to life only when it's needed, when it's light, that is, with the resurrection of each day." -- Pablo Neruda

  24. #24
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    It's official.

    Attachment 126700
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    WHAT's official? The link returns a "Not Valid" message. C'mon, Frankie...I gotta know!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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