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Bicycle Infrastructure

Ocean Parkway Bike Path to Get Long Overdue Fix

12:01 AM EST on February 12, 2019

It’s two more years of this cracked pavement on your bike ride. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

The city's first bike lane will no longer be the city's worst bike lane.

The Parks Department will begin fixing the bike path on Ocean Parkway between avenues R and X this spring, thanks to a $1-million allocation from City Council Member Mark Treyger and $500,000 each from Borough President Eric Adams and the Council itself.

Cyclists have to be part rider and part mountain climber on Ocean Parkway. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Cyclists have to be part rider and part mountain climber on Ocean Parkway. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Treyger's contribution represents 20 percent of his entire discretionary budget — an indication of how seriously needed and overdue the project is. The work will also include new benches and other amenities.

"Our local residents depend on the Ocean Parkway Malls, whether it's cyclists who get to work and school or the families and seniors who use the pedestrian path and benches as social gathering spots," Treyger said. "Maintenance of the Ocean Parkway Malls ensures the safety of the many community members who use and rely on this public space. We also need to ensure that we are preserving and protecting the infrastructure necessary for  more transit options and connectivity between southern Brooklyn and the rest of the borough."

The Ocean Parkway bike path runs roughly between Park Circle in Windsor Terrace to Coney Island on an island between the southbound lanes and the southbound service road. The Olmstead and Vaux design for the European-styled boulevard did not initially include a separate lane for bikes, but in 1894, the wide pedestrian island was split to accommodate cycling, which was having its first major boom.

Many cycling websites have embraced the path's history, but have also, for years, bemoaned its lack of maintenance. The southern part of the bike path is frequently mocked on Twitter.

It is unclear why the Parks Department allowed the path to fall into such a poor state of repair. There may be a jurisdictional issue, however: There have been hundreds of alls to 311 to report broken sidewalks along Ocean Parkway since 2010 — but every one of them was referred to the Department of Transportation, not the Department of Parks and Recreation, city data show.

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