Campaign Update: Biking the Barrier Island, 5-Towns to Pt Lookout

Long Island Streets is working on a safer bicycle path and green way connections in the Five Towns, over the Atlantic Beach Bridge through Atlantic Beach and ultimately protection the length of the Long Beach barrier island to Point Lookout. This tremendous linking of state, county and local roadway would allow people on bikes (and pedestrians, some of this is pedestrian/shared use) to access multiple LIRR stations, beaches, shops and more- safely, encouraging a more sustainable mode of transportation for our dense corner of Long Island. 

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On Thursday, we took a ride over the Atlantic Beach Bridge onto the shared use pathway straddling Rockaway and Lawrence on 878. It stops at Broadway, about 3 dangerous blocks short of the Inwood LIRR. Completing the bike path and possibly furthering it is part of Cumo's 878 re-construction, announced at Cuomo's press conference we attended and recapped in February on our News Blog. Completing safe access to Inwood LIRR is important, and that includes pedestrian crossings which are severely lacking. 

Thursday we also attended the Atlantic Beach Bridge Authority Board meeting and our message was very well received - bikes are crossing the bridge anyways, how can we make them pass safely for all road users? We referred to the NACTO bike design guides, however this is a drawbridge with a mid grid that we are uncertain how to address. Note: some bikes are fine going over the grid but narrow tires, wet conditions can be nerve-racking. 
The pedestrian path over the bridge is too narrow to accommodate shared use. We will have another update in January.

As for making a barrier island connection, we're holding tight on the Atlantic Beach bike reconstruction until we can get a copy of the visuals from DPW, but it looks like the bike path will be on Ocean Blvd, sidewalks will be put on the stretch past the Sands and into East Atlantic Beach, where the southside parking will be removed to accomodate a 2-way bike lane to the Long Beach border.

Long Beach has no plans for bicycle lanes, but has promised for years and having secured several grants. We're sitting tight on that one until the New Year with a change in adminstration and our fingers crossed. Last weeks City Council meeting, Atlantic Beach resident and Transportation Alternatives longstanding member spoke on behalf of a barrier island bike lane, a comment Executive Direction Allison Blanchette echo'd and reminded the Council that the administration has not delivered the Park Ave bike lane that they etched out years ago. 

We will most likely get protected bike lanes on Lido before anywhere in Long Beach. There is a strong movement happening in Lido for this. Thanks to Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and efforts of groups including LI Streets, Pt Lookout Civic Association, Lido Civic, Safe Routest to School Committee, and residents, Lido Boulevard's speed limit was recently reduced from 40 to 30mph. This week, a few intersections have received quick treatments where school kids are crossing. These projects are gateway drugs to bike lanes.


If you're in the area and would like engage on this project, get in touch!