Sheepshead Bay cyclists rejoice!
The 450-foot unpaved stretch of the Plumb Beach-Sheepshead Bay bike path that created a sand trap for cyclists was finally repaved in mid-December after more than two years of neglect.
The troublesome trench had long been prompting bikers to take a dangerous detour onto the Belt Parkway to avoid the sandy strip.
One rider who regularly plies the Plumb Beach path said he was glad the stretch was repaired, but questioned the delay in fixing a problem that was putting cyclists in danger.
“There’s definitely that side of elation — great that it is fixed — but there is also a question mark about how long it took to fix it,” said Stephen Arthur who lives in Park Slope and has been biking on the path since 2002. “Thank god no one was injured on the Belt Parkway. People were doing it at night.”
Former Councilman Lew Fidler allocated $450,000 in 2013 to repair the path, which residents say was damaged even before Hurricane Sandy washed out the broken pavement in 2012, but the repairs were repeatedly delayed. The Parks Department began construction in October and the path reopened to the public on Dec. 15.
One resident who used to dismount his bike and walk through the sandy patch in his socks said he is thrilled to use the paved path with his family.
“It was a long time coming — two years — but we have it now,” said Alan Cohen, who lives in Sheepshead Bay. “Me and my children are going to get on it as soon as we can and enjoy the beautiful scenery.”
Parks said it currently has no further work planned for the path, but may make other repairs in the area.
“While there are no future plans for the bike path at this time, Parks is consistently looking for ways to improve destinations that are vital to community recreation,” said Maeri Ferguson, a spokeswoman for the department.
Arthur said even though the city kept putting the brakes on the project, he is excited to finally spin his wheels.
“I’m looking forward to the summer,” he said. “Going down to the beach — that is one of the nicest experiences I have in the city.”