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    Jones Beach path to Tobay

    As posted on the CLIMB site this morning by club president Mike Vitti:

    For Immediate Release: October 8, 2013

    GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES START OF CONSTRUCTION ON NEW OCEAN PARKWAY SHARED-USE PATH CONNECTING JONES BEACH AND TOBAY BEACH

    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 Island’s 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, we’re enhancing safety and making it easier for cyclists, runners, walkers, and families to enjoy Long Island’s 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 Park’s 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 Governor’s 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 Island’s 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/rides...x?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.
    ###

    Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov
    New York State | Executive Chamber | press.office@exec.ny.gov | 518.474.8418

  2. #2
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Wwwwwwwwwwwowwwwwwwwww!!!! This is incredible news, if it's not just pre-election blabber.

    Now maybe they can finish the Bethpage extension, too?
    Papa Tom

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

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    Is there still an unmarked nude beach about midway between JBSP and Tobay? The new path will provide easier access.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Seriously, though. This is a big deal for those of us in the Jones Beach region. Since the first time I rode the Ellen Farrant Bikeway down to Zak's Bay, I don't think a day has gone by that I didn't dream about the path continuing not only to the Jones Beach Boardwalk, but to TOBAY (Town of Oyster Bay) Beach and beyond. When I saw the extension to the boardwalk this past spring, I was blown away. Now that they're talking completion to TOBAY by NEXT spring, I am totally re-energized about riding locally next year. Perhaps the bikeway WILL someday reach Robert Moses!

    Anyway, has anybody heard anything else about the stalled Bethpage project? It's an awesome ride as it is, but for my friends and neighbors who are holding off on buying bikes until the path is completely done, the momentum is dying down fast.
    Papa Tom

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

  5. #5
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    Now lets work on Captree

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    Senior Member Brian C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
    Now lets work on Captree

    It seems that they broke up the project. this was initially supposed to connect to the second Robert Moses Causeway bridge that was never completed (all three bridges were planned to be replaced). The end was supposed to be at Gardiner's county park in West Islip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. View Post
    It seems that they broke up the project. this was initially supposed to connect to the second Robert Moses Causeway bridge that was never completed (all three bridges were planned to be replaced). The end was supposed to be at Gardiner's county park in West Islip.
    I never heard that they were proposing West Islip, only to Captree.

    As was posted on the CLIMB site by Mike V., which dovetails with what I had heard, that it was delayed due to a legal challenge;

    "It was supposed to go to Captree but a judge who lives in Gilgo threatened DOT with a lawsuit and forced them to do additional work. Guess he was afraid that bicyclists were going to steal his big screen TV and ride 7 miles back to Cedar Creek Park with the TV over their shoulder or abduct his wife and kids in the same manner.

    This postponed the whole project until I recommended that they forget about Gilgo and go to TOBAY instead. It keeps the momentum going and gives a nice destination to the JFK Bird Sanctuary and we will recommend that the look out tower for bird watching that has fallen into disrepair be finally repaired so people can see the great bird's eye view from there."

    So if you are a CLIMB member, or not, make sure to thank Mike for this, seems he found an out for the state that got it rolling.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    is it only 5 miles?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  9. #9
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mike. You've done some great work for us on Long Island. I hope they someday name this bikeway extension after you!
    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 rumrunn6 View Post
    is it only 5 miles?
    It runs 3.6 miles one-way from JB to Tobay. I think the one-way distance from Cedar Creek to Tobay will end up as 9 miles.

    Construction has already started as BTW.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian C.'s Avatar
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    "I never heard that they were proposing West Islip, only to Captree."

    That was the original plan. they replaced the decking on one of the two bridges then 9/11 happened and the economy slowed and the plans went on hold. The idea was for people in Suffolk to have access to the path from the "mainland". I'm glad that this current plan is going through but I would love to see the full path before I die.

    I used to work for the State, and I can tell you the protests against the path by many of the homeowners were ridiculous. they were very concerned with our bathroom habits and that we might die of dehydration, despite all the public bathrooms and water fountains along the route.

  12. #12
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    I was on Ocean Parkway yesterday and there was work being done on the north side of the roadway - from the looks of it they were clearing brush and leveling the ground. This was between Tobay and Zachs bay. Does anyone know if the path will be on the north side (bay side) or south side (ocean side) of the parkway?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brian C.'s Avatar
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    North

    Quote Originally Posted by flattie View Post
    I was on Ocean Parkway yesterday and there was work being done on the north side of the roadway - from the looks of it they were clearing brush and leveling the ground. This was between Tobay and Zachs bay. Does anyone know if the path will be on the north side (bay side) or south side (ocean side) of the parkway?

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    North.

    It will connect to the new section they built this spring at the tunnel leading to the east side of the east bath house.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Y'know, my one concern about this extension is that it now makes the bikeway unrideable, in its full length, for younger kids and more "casual" riders. I've taken my wife out on the bikeway from Cedar Creek to the boardwalk - and she loves it, but the ten mile round trip is about all she can take. Same thing with neighbors and friends who don't ride as much or as hard as I do.

    I think what might happen is that the Jones Beach parking lots will become a new starting point for the bikeway extension to TOBAY, which means that NY State will be collecting the parking fee, and the Town of Oyster Bay will provide beach services for free. This is a loss for the Town, especially since it's unlikely that cyclists are going to dine in any of the overpriced restaurants at TOBAY. I hate to say it, but I think either proof-of-residency or a nominal fee should be required of bicyclists reaching TOBAY.

    If I had an extra couple of hundred grand laying around, I'd propose opening and operating a cyclists' cafe and bike shop somewhere along the route. Anybody in on that?
    Papa Tom

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

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    [QUOTE=Papa Tom;16159271] Town of Oyster Bay will provide beach services for free. This is a loss for the Town, especially since it's unlikely that cyclists are going to dine in any of the overpriced restaurants at TOBAY. I hate to say it, but I think either proof-of-residency or a nominal fee should be required of bicyclists reaching TOBAY.

    /QUOTE]

    Well, NY State has always provided beach services for free if you biked to JB, so how is this different ?.

    OTOH, the Town does have a point if they require the beach to be accessible to TOBAY residents that arrive on a bike, with non-residents being charged a fee - though the $50 they charge for daily non-resident access in a car to the Atlantic/TOBAY is quite frankly, absurd. So maybe a $4 or $5 would be appropriate.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Well, NY State has always provided beach services for free if you biked to JB, so how is this different?<<<

    Good point. I guess I'm just a little jealous that SOMEBODY is going to make money and it's not going to be the Town of Oyster Bay, to whom I pay my taxes (which support TOBAY Beach). At least, in your scenario, NOBODY is making any money! (cont'd below)

    >>>>though the $50 they charge for daily non-resident access in a car to the Atlantic/TOBAY is quite frankly, absurd.<<<<<<

    Is THAT what they charge for a day pass? It was ten or fifteen bucks about 10 years ago, if I remember right. Wow! Screw 'em, then. Let them make their money off the people who arrive 5 or 6 in a carload!

    What's your opinion about who is actually going to ride the entire path?
    Papa Tom

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

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    What I saw this summer was a definite increase in users that I associate with the extension to east bath house. Pretty much all those were adults who can ride the 11 mile RT from Cedar Creek, so any families I saw I assumed started at CC and headed south.

    But I wasn't parked at Lot 5 doing a survey, so don't really know.

    I can see a family parking in Lot 5 then going to the beach, grabbing some hot-dogs then hoping on the bikes for a run down towards Tobay, with ice-cream after. 7 miles RT might be an OK distance and it does give options to either ride east and back or north and back. I think the $8 charge to park a car to take your 2 or 3 kids on a protected bike ride is something parents will not have a problem with, it's cheap for an activity with kids. Recall as well that Nassau County is requiring county activity passes and charges a parking fee to use Cedar Creek on weekends, so no different then going to JB. I've no clue if they allow or charge more for non-county resident at CC.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I had a chance to thank NY State Senator Carl Marcellino yesterday for getting the ball rolling on all the new bikeway extensions back in the late 1990's. Not too many people know this, but Sen. Marcellino was VERY instrumental in getting the Bethpage Bikeway Extension funded more almost 15 years ago. He and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto also had a hand in putting together this extension of the Ellen Farrant Bikeway to TOBAY Beach.

    Say what you will about Republicans, but on the local level, they've been really responsive to the wants and needs of the bicycling community over the past 15 years!
    Papa Tom

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

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    They are making good progress.

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    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>They are making good progress.<<<<<

    I almost took a drive down there last weekend to check it out, but the turnarounds on Ocean Parkway are so few and far between that I decided not to waste all that gas and mileage. How far have they gotten, and why isn't all this energy being channeled toward finishing the Bethpage Extension?
    Papa Tom

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    >>>>They are making good progress.<<<<<

    I almost took a drive down there last weekend to check it out, but the turnarounds on Ocean Parkway are so few and far between that I decided not to waste all that gas and mileage. How far have they gotten, and why isn't all this energy being channeled toward finishing the Bethpage Extension?
    I believe Nassau County is the holdup on the Bethpage extension, so out of the State's and contractors hands.

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    Looks like the road bed has been fully excavated / crushed stone base installed / close to paving

  24. #24
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnywhale View Post
    Looks like the road bed has been fully excavated / crushed stone base installed / close to paving
    Perhaps my traditional New Year's Day ride (usually along the Jones Beach boardwalk on a cruiser or a folder) will be along Ocean Parkway this year instead!
    Papa Tom

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

  25. #25
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    Will there be bike racks at Tobay?

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