Monday, February 10, 2014

Motor Parkway restoration gains steam

From the Times Ledger:

Hundreds of petitioners have joined forces with a campaign calling for the Motor Parkway bike and pedestrian trail in Bellerose to be upgraded.

The campaign was started by Joby Jacob and Jana Suchtova, two Queens residents who say they use the historic path regularly but are unhappy with its abrupt end once it reaches Winchester Boulevard and Union Turnpike. Instead of continuing along the street, the Motor Parkway stops and those traveling on bike or foot must walk along the boulevard with no sidewalk or road shoulder to protect them from the cars.

The original parkway, built in the early 1900s, was a private road that stretched from Fresh Meadows out to Suffolk County. The city Parks Department maintains the 2.5-mile portion of the parkway in Alley Pond and Cunningham parks.

For bicyclists who ride eastbound on the section between Horace Harding and Winchester boulevards, the lack of road beyond Union Turnpike creates a safety issue, Jacob said.

As of the beginning of the month, more than 250 have signed an online petition agreeing with him.

Jacob said he has been in contact with City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), because all the roads and properties that would be involved in any changes are owned by either the city or the state. Though no suggestions are set in stone, Avella said he was in favor of the idea and would support Jacob and Suchtova along the way.

“The idea is great. We just need to make sure there aren’t any structures in line that could present a problem” said Avella. “I think it’s doable and we’ll see where it goes.”

Jacob said he is not necessarily asking for a pedestrian bridge to be built across Winchester Boulevard, but the idea could be revisited later if sufficient funds could be raised. For now, he said the only costs he anticipates being involved with the project are to move the Creedmoor building’s fence, put down the sidewalk and plant some shrubs.


Anonymous said...

This is a great idea! I hope it comes to pass.

Anonymous said...

Hope it happens !
I sign the petition and encourage others to do the same.