Today’s news:

A better way to bike in Bay Ridge

Cyclists can look forward to an easier transition between the city streets and the Shore Road bike path.

The city’s Department of Parks & Recreation is designing a Greenway connector through Owls Head Park, linking the park entrance at Colonial Road and Wakeman Place with the bike path entrance at Bay Ridge Avenue.

“The project is being built with over $1 million in federal transportation enhancements funding,” said Phil Abramson, an agency spokesperson.

The connector — which is planned to be adjacent to the dog run — would take cyclists through the park instead of on roadways where they have to compete with motorized traffic, Abramson explained.

Work on the connector is expected to commence in spring, 2009, according to Eleanor Petty, chairperson of Community Board 10’s Parks Committee, who spoke about the matter during the board’s June meeting.

“The purpose of this project is to update an already existing path to a shared pedestrian-bicycle path,” Petty told the group gathered in the community room at Shore Hill, 9000 Shore Road.

The project – which was unanimously approved by CB 10 members present at the meeting – includes the replacement of asphalt paving, and the addition of new fences and curbs, as well as the rehabilitation or replacement of existing light fixtures, new greenery along the route, new signage, the reconstruction of the drainage system and re-grading where necessary.

“There will be seating placed in specific areas along the path,” Petty added. “The slope will be stabilized and flooding issues from poor drainage will be resolved.”

Currently, she noted, the area is “deeply mud-filled.”

The project will occur completely on parkland, Petty said in answer to one question.

One open issue is the addition of traffic signals near the access to the bike path. Petty said that the Parks Department representatives who had attended the June Parks Committee meeting had told the committee that the department, “Had recommended that DOT put a stop sign on Shore Road (at 68th Street) or a traffic light.

“There is a stop sign on 68th Street,” Petty noted. “However, the corner is still a dangerous crossing for cyclists and pedestrians.”

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