Little Bay Park fence a problem for joggers

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THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan
THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

A newly-erected fence at Little Bay Park is blocking a jogging path and pushing pedestrians onto a detour road for cars.

A newly-erected fence blocking a running path at Little Bay Park is pushing pedestrians onto a detour road for cars, The Courier has learned.

The chain-link fence was put up about one week ago when construction for a comfort station at the Bayside park began, according to the city’s Parks Department.

Runners heading toward Fort Totten say they are brought to a halt near the roller rink.

“It’s a problem because we can’t get around to the other side,” said Robert Martucci of Floral Park. “That’s where we were headed right now, but we can’t make it.”

They are forced to choose between turning back around and hopping a rail to continue their jog alongside oncoming traffic on a small detour road heading toward the Cross Island Expressway.

“It’s very annoying. It’s blocking the path. Now you’re endangering your life by passing through the highway,” said Fay Alvarado of Bayside.

Victoria Lippert, a regular jogger from Bayside, said the fence is necessary but should not impede pedestrian traffic.

“Traffic is heading onto the Cross Island Parkway, and you’re walking against it,” she said. “It’s very dangerous.”

But Ron Seltzer, a regular walker from Whitestone, said the incoming comfort station is worth any inconvenience.

“The walk is cut in half. I don’t like it, but I’ll put up with it because it’s definitely a plus,” he said. “I never liked going to the port-a-potties.”

The Courier placed multiple inquiries to the Parks Department after receiving a tip from regular joggers last week.

An agency spokesperson responded on April 8, saying the contractor plans to move the fence five feet into the park to “allow for improved pedestrian access” immediately.

The fence had not been moved as of press time on April 10.