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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    >>>>how much farther does the trail go past where i parked??<<<<

    they tried to run it through the Rt. 135 right-of-way, but that didn't work out. Rather than give up because they lost that big chunk of traffic-free right-of-way, they compromised and striped some bike lanes on the roadways instead. In the end, we got a really nice bikeway from Woodbury Road to Merrick Road, which is more than we had before.
    I recall that the path was supposed to be on-street from its existing northern terminus on Woodbury, go up East Dr. parallel to Rt. 135 then use the un-used ROW to Convent Lane. NIMBY's squashed that, idiots.

    Truth is, there's precious little in the way of potential locations to put bike paths on LI. Thus you learn to use the roads to get anywhere.

    To Billy, the next best trails (IMO) to ride in the NYC area, is as Tom mentioned, the South and North County trails in Westchester.

    Google led both for good sites and maps.

  2. #27
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>I recall that the path was supposed to be on-street from its existing northern terminus on Woodbury, go up East Dr. parallel to Rt. 135 then use the un-used ROW to Convent Lane. NIMBY's squashed that, idiots.<<<

    Yes. But with Convent Road being crazy busy once you get to the area around an elementary school, I proposed that they continue it through the old Rt. 135 right-of-way between the Jericho Water District and the Mercy First Home and into my neighborhood, where they would transform a big, overgrown lot full of people's trash into a small park and trail terminus. From there, the ride to the Syosset LIRR would be simple and much safer.

    This plan made it to a hardcover proposal that was placed in the library for community input. The "old school" neighbors (two of them, to be exact) fought it, arguing that it would bring too much traffic and too many crazy cyclists to the neighborhood, and then the Jericho Water District (fresh off 9-11-01) argued that it would bring potential terrorists too close to their water tower. That was the end of that.

    Today, the new, younger residents of my neighborhood all complain that they have to drive all the way to Woodbury Road to get on the bikeway.
    Papa Tom

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  3. #28
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    what do u guys mean by "right-of-way"?

  4. #29
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    A right-of-way (aka "R-O-W" or just "ROW") is a stretch of land that has been put aside for a future roadway, trail, etc. We often refer to the "Rt. 135/Seaford-Oyster Bay Right-of-Way" or the "Bethpage Parkway Right-of-Way." In both cases, we are referring to land that had been purchased by NY State to accommodate the original routes of these roadways, but was never used.

    Today, the State still owns much of this land and has not done anything with it. In my neighborhood, the old Rt. 135 R-O-W exists as a series of wooded lots at the ends of several residential streets. Some residents clean them up occasionally, but others just dump their old mattresses and refrigerators there. A linear park with the Bethpage Bikeway Extension running through it would have cleaned all that up and turned over responsibility for cleaning to NY State.

    On another note: On Friday, I noticed a new green "info" sign for the bikeway planted on Southwoods Rd. It's got a historical photo of the Syosset LIRR station (c. 1912) that I paid a collector $25 for back in the mid-1990's and then used in my book about the community. I suppose the DOT got hold of a copy through the Syosset Library, which then shamelessly gave it away without insisting on a proper credit for me. Bummer. I coulda been immortalized on a bike path!
    Papa Tom

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  5. #30
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    By the way, Billy...A few months back, I created a poll to give the bikeway north of Bethpage State Park a new name, as the "Bethpage Bikeway" doesn't really make sense for a route that goes from Massapequa to Woodbury. Thousands of forum members voted. Well, OK, one or two voted (other than myself), and they officially re-named it "The Papa Tom Bikeway." I'd appreciate if you'd use the proper name from now on.
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  6. #31
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    lol ok....what is it they are still building on the "Papa Tom" bikeway? there was one short section where it looked like they were building a building and the path was a dirt road?

  7. #32
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Oh, you must be referring to the Papa Tom Museum.

    (Actually, I haven't been on the northern section in a couple of weeks, so I don't know what building you are referring to. Also, none of the path is dirt anymore. You may have caught a section of the Greenbelt Mountain Bike Trail.)
    Papa Tom

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  8. #33
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    they cut it out maybe since u been there, its before u get to the bethpage picnic area, they have signs that say the path is closed but everyone goes thru the blockade...its about 100 yards of dirt and some building or maybe another parking lot getting built off to side....looks more like its gonna be a building thou...maybe it is the papa tom museum

  9. #34
    Senior Member kaos joe's Avatar
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    The construction you saw is the site of a new water well and pumping station for the local water district.
    joebike

  10. #35
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    What a great route! Woodbury to Tobay in 2 hours, back in 2:20 (hello headwind!). I did it yesterday for the first time. Left from Trail View, took the woods trail south for one short stretch, right on Woodbury Road, left onto Froelich Farm (this is an easy one to miss!) where it joins the bike path and then took the path all the way south to Clark and then followed your directions. Thanks for the great route!

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelerner View Post
    What a great route! Woodbury to Tobay in 2 hours, back in 2:20 (hello headwind!). I did it yesterday for the first time. Left from Trail View, took the woods trail south for one short stretch, right on Woodbury Road, left onto Froelich Farm (this is an easy one to miss!) where it joins the bike path and then took the path all the way south to Clark and then followed your directions. Thanks for the great route!
    yeah i know that wind!!
    here was my route Rode 42.22 mi on 6/6/14 on 06/06/2014 | CYCLING Training Log Entry | MapMyRide

  12. #37
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    Sorry, a few months late into this discussion, but I just found out about a much easier, bike-friendly link from the Bethpage Bikeway to the Jones Beach Bike Path:

    - Exit off Behtpage Bikeway right onto Clarke, heading west, as others have said.
    - Make a left onto Washington Ave just after Tackapausha Preserve, heading south
    -Cross over Sunrise Highway, make a right on Waverly Ave, heading West
    - (Here's where things change) - Cross under the SOBE and make a left onto Seaford Ave heading south.
    - At Merrick Road, make a quick left-right dogleg onto Neptune Ave., heading south
    - Make a right onto Cedar Street heading west, and enter Cedar Creek Park at the soccer fields through a pedestrian and bike only entrance.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
    Sorry, a few months late into this discussion, but I just found out about a much easier, bike-friendly link from the Bethpage Bikeway to the Jones Beach Bike Path:

    - Exit off Behtpage Bikeway right onto Clarke, heading west, as others have said.
    - Make a left onto Washington Ave just after Tackapausha Preserve, heading south
    -Cross over Sunrise Highway, make a right on Waverly Ave, heading West
    - (Here's where things change) - Cross under the SOBE and make a left onto Seaford Ave heading south.
    - At Merrick Road, make a quick left-right dogleg onto Neptune Ave., heading south
    - Make a right onto Cedar Street heading west, and enter Cedar Creek Park at the soccer fields through a pedestrian and bike only entrance.
    That's seemingly an OK route, will have to give it a try.

    Thanks wintermute.

  14. #39
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
    - Exit off Behtpage Bikeway right onto Clarke, heading west, as others have said.
    - Make a left onto Washington Ave just after Tackapausha Preserve, heading south
    -Cross over Sunrise Highway, make a right on Waverly Ave, heading West
    - (Here's where things change) - Cross under the SOBE and make a left onto Seaford Ave heading south.
    - At Merrick Road, make a quick left-right dogleg onto Neptune Ave., heading south
    - Make a right onto Cedar Street heading west, and enter Cedar Creek Park at the soccer fields through a pedestrian and bike only entrance.
    I just tried that route and do not recommend it.

    Washington Ave. has a good amount of car traffic on it. South of Sunrise it has a concrete roadbed with blacktop shoulders. The concrete has many patches and is in poor condition. The blacktop shoulders are no better. There is a good 1"-2" difference in height between the two surfaces so going around parked cars can be treacherous. Having to make to jump on the 1" higher concrete with with the difference running parallel to your movement is easy way to crash and the car traffic won't give you a break.

    I also traveled at the worst time, 11:00am Sunday and with the 2 churches on the road there was cars everywhere.

    Taking Clark past the SOB and wandering through the residential streets is much safer.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
    I just tried that route and do not recommend it.

    Washington Ave. has a good amount of car traffic on it. South of Sunrise it has a concrete roadbed with blacktop shoulders. The concrete has many patches and is in poor condition. The blacktop shoulders are no better. There is a good 1"-2" difference in height between the two surfaces so going around parked cars can be treacherous. Having to make to jump on the 1" higher concrete with with the difference running parallel to your movement is easy way to crash and the car traffic won't give you a break.

    I also traveled at the worst time, 11:00am Sunday and with the 2 churches on the road there was cars everywhere.

    Taking Clark past the SOB and wandering through the residential streets is much safer.
    Yeah, I could definitely see that being a problem. I live on Washington, so I guess I'm just used to it. But that Neptune Ave into Cedar Creek Park is huge. Maybe Clarke to Seaman's Neck Road southbound instead of Washington may be a better bet. There's still a decent amount of traffic, but it's a wider, newer road, with only residences along it's length.
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  16. #41
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    Here's my route:

  17. #42
    SpIn SpIn SuGaR! FIVE ONE SIX's Avatar
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    ^^^^^ he's right, that is the safest route. i used to take the back roads from Massapequa to the Tobay bike path in the summer, and i used the same exact route, the only difference was that i make the first left after you go under 135 and make the right on Park where it starts...

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX View Post
    ^^^^^ he's right, that is the safest route. i used to take the back roads from Massapequa to the Tobay bike path in the summer, and i used the same exact route, the only difference was that i make the first left after you go under 135 and make the right on Park where it starts...
    Thats my prefered route as well, stay on Park.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Ferdinand NYC's Avatar
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    I am just finding this thread now, because I did a search on the Bethpage Bikeway, which I might be riding on during this coming weekend. I wanted to throw in a couple of comments.

    I live in the City, right at the Brooklyn/Queens border; and I ride on Long Island very infrequently. But I will have to cross the border for something on Saturday morning; and I was thinking of doing some riding out there after I get done.

    The warnings about the hills on the LIE service road at the northern end of the Bethpage Bikeway are useful. If I remember correctly, believe that I rode this Bikeway northward last summer, and I got off of it at Washington Ave. to come back home to the City; so I didn't experience those hills. I am thinking of going south this time; maybe I'll just skip that northernmost bit and start at Washington Ave. I am always happy to avoid hills! I have found that the nice thing about southern Nassau is the same thing that's nice about the southern parts of Brooklyn and Queens, namely, very few hills.

    But I found curious the elaborate side-street routes offered in this thread in order to avoid using Merrick Road between the southern end of the Bethpage Bikeway and Cedar Creek Park. Last week I rode that street for almost its whole length between Cedar Creek Park and St. Albans in Queens; and it didn't strike me as terribly noteworthy.

    On that day I went down to Jones Beach by bike for the first time. I had first gone out to the Floyd Bennett Field area in Brooklyn from my home in Woodhaven; so from there I went through Rockaway and the Five Towns. I then turned east through East Rockaway and Oceanside, ulitmately joining Merrick Road at Foxhurst Road in Baldwin, and taking it for 5 or 6 miles to Cedar Creek Park and the beginning of the Jones Beach Bikeway.

    After riding on the Jones Beach Bikeway down to its end at Tobay and back up, I came home by staying on Merrick Road (with one small detour, noted below) all the way into Queens (where it becomes Merrick Blvd.), until I finally turned off of it at Baisley Blvd. so as to jump over to Rockaway Blvd. I think this was approximately 15 miles.

    (I detoured off Merrick Road coming home only in order to avoid its crossing with Sunrise Highway. I turned north at Village Ave. in Rockville Centre, then left at Lakeview Ave., which eventually becomes Hendrickson Ave. I then took that street to its end at Railroad Ave., where I turned left and finally rejoined Merrick Road in Valley Stream.)

    So I was on Merrick Road/Blvd. for about 20 miles of my 77-mile trip. While that street is not a joy to ride on, neither does it merit total avoidance. It's no worse than, let's say, Astoria Blvd. in Queens or Lexington Ave. in Manhattan. And it's not as bad as Northern Blvd. in Queens and Nassau, or Old Country Road in Westbury (where I go sometimes because my mother lives there).

    I certainly wouldn't class Merrick Road with streets to avoid at all costs such as its neighbouring road Sunrise Highway, or something like Linden Blvd. in Brooklyn or Bruckner Blvd. in the Bronx. Riding on Merrick Road for the two miles necessary to connect the Bethpage Bikeway to the Jones Beach Bikeway strikes me as not a big deal at all.

    Of course all major streets are defective in that they don't explicitly allot room for bicycles. This is a symptom of a deep cultural problem; we as a society went the wrong way a long time ago. This problem will probably never be fully solved; it can only be slightly ameliorated in spots. In the context of everyday riding in a densely-populated urban area, Merrick Road is rather unremarkable based on what I have experienced.

    If I were just tooling around locally, I would not use Merrick Road and would use other streets because they are far more pleasant. But, if I were on a long ride, I would have no hesitation in using Merrick Road, especially if it were only for a couple of miles.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Ferdinand:

    The quiet side streets on my alternate route between the Bethpage Bikeway and Cedar Creek Park are not only a way to avoid Merrick Rd; they are also pleasant to ride on. I agree that if you're used to riding Astoria Blvd, Queens Blvd, or any street in Manhattan, Merrick Road is no big deal. But to most of us country bumpkins out here, it's a good enough reason not to ride at all.
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  21. #46
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with cars whizzing by at 50mph, it's the parked cars that open doors or pull out without any warning.

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    Merrick Rd may not be any worse then many city streets, but if we have alternatives, we use them. Just as the NYC on-street bike lanes try to avoid the the more congested streets, so do we.

    I find Sunrise on a weekend to be a better route then Merrick Rd. as it typically has a parking lane that isn't used much on weekends. Merrick is typically 2 lanes of 50mph, no decent shoulder and countless strip malls and shops with cars entering/exiting. No thanks.

  23. #48
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I think what Ferdinand was saying is that, in the context of a ride that includes roads like Astoria Blvd and the Queens portion of Northern Blvd, Merrick Road is not so different. I'd agree with that. But for the sake of a newbie rider unfamiliar with those roads, I felt compelled to defend my position on using Merrick Road alternatives.

    +1 for oldnslow's comment about parked cars being as much or more of a danger than moving ones.
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    Senior Member Ferdinand NYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I think what Ferdinand was saying is that, in the context of a ride that includes roads like Astoria Blvd and the Queens portion of Northern Blvd, Merrick Road is not so different. I'd agree with that. But for the sake of a newbie rider unfamiliar with those roads, I felt compelled to defend my position on using Merrick Road alternatives.
    Yes, I can see how Merrick Road as well as any of the other streets I mentioned would be off-putting to a new bicyclist. My comments were really intended for people who bike a lot, I suppose.



    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
    I don't have a problem with cars whizzing by at 50mph, it's the parked cars that open doors or pull out without any warning.
    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    +1 for oldnslow's comment about parked cars being as much or more of a danger than moving ones.
    I, too, can agree with that. And not only do parked cars represent a danger to us bicyclists, they also constitute a important part of the deep cultural problem to which I alluded above. On-street parking is a central feature of the distastrously wrong-headed policy of encouraging and accommodating widespread individual car ownership.



    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Merrick Rd may not be any worse then many city streets, but if we have alternatives, we use them. Just as the NYC on-street bike lanes try to avoid the the more congested streets, so do we.
    New York City's bike lanes don't really avoid congested streets. Indeed, part of the point of bike lanes is to make these big congested streets more usable for bicyclists. These big streets typically go a long way; so they are particularly useful for bike travel. Examples of such bike lanes are found on many Manhattan avenues, and also on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn (which boasts New York City's longest on-street bike lane contained on a single street) has some quiet residential sections; but it also has wide congested sections.

    Still, we do have a few bike lanes on pleasant small streets that even newbies would be happy to ride on, such as Dean Street and Bergen Street in Brooklyn, and Woodward Avenue and Onderdonk Avenue in Queens.

    Anyway, I get the point of not taking Merrick Road if you don't have to; I treat Queens Blvd. the same way, especially during morning and evening rush hours. (Though a bike lane has just opened along a one-mile stretch of that street, and I have made plenty of use of it already.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    I find Sunrise on a weekend to be a better route then Merrick Rd. as it typically has a parking lane that isn't used much on weekends. Merrick is typically 2 lanes of 50mph, no decent shoulder and countless strip malls and shops with cars entering/exiting. No thanks.
    This surprises me! I guess I had some early bad experiences with Sunrise Highway back when I was a kid; and it left a deep impression. I grew up in eastern Queens before escaping to the urbanised parts after I got older; and one time during my early explorations I found myself near the Green Acres Mall. Yow! Let me outta here!

    I must say that all subsequent brushes with Sunrise Highway have only tended to reinforce that perception. So I would be intererested to know what section of that (to me) fearsome street you find navigable on the weekends.




    Back to the Bethpage Bikeway -- the question now is how to get the Washington Avenue entry to it. If I go there, I will be coming from a point just over the City line on Union Tpke. The idea is to get there while avoiding Jericho Tpke. and Old Country Road -- both of which I consider more frightening than Merrick Road, incidentally.

    From visiting my mother I am already familiar with the route through Mineola, Carle Place, and Westbury on Westbury Ave. / Maple Ave. And I have taken Union Avenue from the end of Maple up to a nice little bike lane on Prospect Avenue in New Cassel. Prospect Avenue becomes John Street in Hicksville. And then it ends just past 106/107.

    From that point, the most direct eastward through street is Old Country Road. No, thanks. I could take Woodbury Road for a stretch; but I took that street once last year and I really didn't like it at all. (And Papa Tom mentions his dislike for it in this thread.) Despite my trepidation, that seems to be my best -- or least worst -- option.

    A look at the map shows that I will then have to wiggle my way through Plainview (in part using a nice little street with the lovely and familiar name of Jamaica Avenue). I see a street called Manetto Hill Road that connects to Washington Avenue near where I want to go; but the pictures I see of that street look pretty bad.

    I could attack the whole thing from the north; but that gets me into the hills that I am seeking to avoid by getting on the Bethpage Bikeway at Washington Avenue rather than at Woodbury Road.

    So, if anyone has some suggestions regarding getting from the end of John Street in Hicksville to the entry to the Bethpage Bikeway on Washington Avenue, then I'd be happy to receive them. But it appears that I will just have to deal with some unpleasant sections of some shoulderless streets in order to get there.

    And, when I get to the bottom of the Bethpage Bikeway, I guess I will be able to compare these streets to Merrick Road, because I will have to get back home! Actually, I think I will take Merrick Road only as far as Merrick Avenue, and then go up to Stewart Avenue, which is a much nicer way to head back towards Queens than are Jericho and Hempstead Turnpikes.

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    About the most annoying area to ride in, in Nassau, is between Garden City and east of Hicksville. There isn't a road or route I'd recommend while trying to go west to east.

    Thus I'd suggest heading up to the LIE service road at some point (Little Neck Parkway is my preference) and just head east. Yes you will hit some hills, but I ride the hills as preference then trying to find my way thru Westbury and Hicksville.

    The LIE service road ends at Woodbury Rd. If you don't want to bike path at that point, head up Sunnyside Lane, it's a bit more gradual then the path, hang a right over the NSP and LIE and make a left on Executive Drive and over to Washington. Again, some hills but better then the congested alternatives.

    As well and FWIW, my east/west south shore route is to avoid Merrick and take the following from the Bike Path. Clark, Park, Old Mill, Wilson, Grand-Smith, Babylon Tpk., Seaman, Lakeview, Franklin, Dutch Plains. That gets you into Queens from the east. This is also the route of the Ride to Montauk as well as Montauk Century's.

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