Bumpy Road: Ocean Parkway Cyclists Won’t Get Relief From Cracked Bike Path Until 2022

A rough road remains for bikers, pedestrians seeking access to Coney Island's attractions and beaches.

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

Cyclists who are sick of the broken pavement along the historic Ocean Parkway bike path better put some new suspensions on their rides: The Parks Department says the path, which leads to Coney Island, with its attractions and beaches, won’t get smoothed out for almost three years.

A spokesperson for Council Member Mark Treyger’s office told Streetsblog that, according to a schedule shared by the Parks Department, the physical construction of the bike path won’t start until Spring 2021 — and won’t finish until a year after that.

That means that riders won’t experience any relief until a whopping three years after Treyger’s and Borough President Eric Adams’s February announcement that they had allocated money to fix the rocky road.

Built in 1894, the Ocean Parkway bike lane is a historical marvel, but it has fallen into such disrepair that riders and neighborhood residents feel like they’re rumbling along the path’s original, century-old pavement..

According to the project listing on Parks Department’s website, the rehabilitation and redesign of the bike path hasn’t gotten out of the design stage — first step of fixing the path. The project will replace broken concrete, broken benches and damaged trees along a seven-block stretch between Avenue R and Avenue X.

“We’re trying to find out how we can speed up the process, because this is a space that’s used frequently, and local residents depend on this bikeway path,” a spokesperson for Treyger told Streetsblog.

“There are the equivalent of deep dangerous potholes along the entire stretch of the Ocean Parkway bike path,” Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives told Streetsblog. “We need to not only make biking safe but also to encourage it. If the City is serious about its Green Wave plan to make cycling safe it will invest a modest part of the $242 million spent every single year on road repaving for motor vehicles on repairing this vital biking corridor on a much shorter timeline.”

As of press time, the Parks Department did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Joe R.

    NYC seems to be in a race to the bottom with third-world countries in the infrastructure department. If this bike route had been in any European country, especially the Netherlands, it never even would have gotten close to looking like this. This is a f*cking embarrassment. It really is.

    The city needs to step up its game. Perhaps cyclists need to mount a class-action lawsuit against the poor state of streets in this city. The seemingly mostly incompetent contractors they hire to fix them don’t help, either. They don’t know the meaning of the words “underlying problems”. When you see a pothole, you don’t just dump asphalt into it. You dig down until you hit the primary source of the problem, then correct it. When you’re all done with that on the entire street, only then do you resurface it. All the street resurfacings in this city are quick and dirty.

  • I hope they can design some kind of flexible or easily replaced design, because tree roots gonna grow. The pathway replacement they did over the past few years is already lumpy as heck (I recommend going South through Ditmas Park instead of the OP bike path – much safer and way more beautiful).

  • AJ

    Today I experienced another example of what you’re describing. Last night, the top layer of the road was milled away, I was curious when they would apply a new top layer so I asked the contractor. According to him it is going to take a couple weeks… So that’s a few weeks of rough, crumbling roads and paint chips. In many developed countries it is possible to repave immediately after milling away the top layer, why can’t that be done here?

  • Joe R.

    I never understood that, either. It always happens by me. They’ll mill a road, then it’ll be like that for weeks. Then when it’s finally repaved Con Ed will break it up a week later. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

    DOT doesn’t understand what a hazard milled roads are for cyclists. When I encounter one, if there’s no detour I’m aware of I’m forced to ride on the sidewalk. At least if the milled roads were paved a day or two later these hazards wouldn’t exist.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Yeah there’s probably nothing to look forward to here but more of the same.

  • Wilfried84

    This map saved me from some bumpy rides when i remembered to look at it during street milling season.
    http://marcel.dejean.nyc/millmap/map.html

  • Joe R.

    That map is great at showing DOT’s piecemeal, disjointed approach to street repaving. We should repave all the streets within a given area in a short frame. When that’s done, move on to the next areas, and so forth. It’s far more efficient this way since you don’t have to move your equipment that far to reach the next place it’ll be used.

    Instead, they might repave 10 blocks on one road, then a year later the next 10 blocks, and so forth. By the time they’re done, parts of the road are already in need of repair again.

  • see

    Because it was something he experienced every day on his drive to and from the gym, Mayor de Blasio ordered an expedited repaving of FDR Drive in 2015.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/nyregion/mayor-de-blasio-promotes-smoother-ride-on-fdr-drive.html

    “I like to give Polly reports from where I am around the city of what I’m seeing, and I certainly call her when I hit the bump in the road,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I tell her exactly where it is, so she can follow up.”

    A better manager could order an expedited project delivery for the bike lane on Ocean Parkway, but the problem remains that de Blasio is so self-centered and narcissistic that he only cares about things he experiences directly.

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