Howard Beach and Ozone Park will be home to new bike routes on the Jamaica Bay Greenway, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The only problem is figuring out where.
The DOT has been hosting community workshops and asking for the input of residents on where they think the new routes are best for safety and convenience.
Currently, the Greenway is an 11-mile bike path that hugs Jamaica Bay, connecting Brooklyn and Queens.
It runs through Howard Beach, through Broad Channel to the Rockaways and then across the Marine Park Bridge to Brooklyn.
The DOT said there has been strong advocacy by residents for the Greenway to be expanded to Ozone Park to connect to the soccer and baseball fields on Conduit Avenue, across the street from Resorts World Casino.
For this connection, the DOT proposed using 155th Avenue or 156th Avenue.
While it’s looking to add new stretches to the Greenway, the DOT is also hoping to improve existing ones, like the part that connects the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge to the Belt Parkway in Howard Beach.
One is to use 84th Street, a two-way road, instead of the existing paths on 91st Street and 92nd Street, which are both one-way. This would give both cars and cyclists more room on the street, said Alice Friedman, the DOT’s project manager for the Greenway.
The other option would be to add a path where 78th Street meets the Belt Parkway and use the existing grass area along Spring Creek to connect to the Addabbo Bridge.
Finally, there is a plan to build a route through Spring Creek connecting the parkway and the bridge. But Freidman mentioned that would be a long-term plan.
For the path on the Addabbo Bridge, which connects Broad Channel and Howard Beach, the DOT proposed three options:
- Keep the path the way it exists with one lane on each side of the bridge,
- Move the parking lane out and let the bike lane hug the sidewalk on both sides, or
- Put two bike lanes on the south side of the bridge next to each other.
Most people found the last option the most viable for this section but would like to see an actual barrier between the car and bike lanes.
When all community workshop events are finished, the DOT will draft a finalized plan of what it believes it should look like, based on the residents’ input and their own planning.
The DOT expects to have the draft finished by the spring of 2015.
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