Cyclists have been riding on the Belt Parkway to avoid dismounting at the destroyed portion of the bike path.

Bicyclists will have to endure another summer of rubble on the Plumb Beach bike path, as the city has again postponed repairs to the 300 feet of asphalt swept away by Hurricane Ida in 2009.

Authorities from the Parks Department confirmed to Sheepshead Bites that work on the Plumb Beach bike path – part of the popular Shore Parkway Greenway – will not begin at least until the Army Corps of Engineers replenishes sand at Plumb Beach. That task is not expected to begin until early fall.

Once that’s done, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will need to assess the area and give the green light for a new bike path, according to Martin Maher, Parks Department chief of staff. Then the Parks Department will work with the local elected officials and the Department of Transportation to begin repairs.

The bike path was destroyed by Hurricane Ida in 2009, pulling 300 feet of asphalt into the sea, washing away a portion of Plumb Beach, and making the Belt Parkway vulnerable to future storms. In 2010, the city finally prepped the path for reconstruction, clearing away broken asphalt and laying down gravel – but declared the project complete before laying new pavement for bikers.

This makes it the third summer in a row in which bicyclists are forced to either dismount and walk 300 feet across the gravel, or, as many do, take their bikes around the guardrail and ride on the eastbound Belt Parkway’s right lane.

But even with a total of approximately $9 million going to repairs around the bike path – including the Army Corps beach replenishment project and a brand new city park at the bike path’s entrance on Brigham Street – it’s not clear if any funding has been set aside for the bike path itself.

When Councilman Lew Fidler announced that he had secured nearly $4 million in funding for the development of Brigham Street Park, he said he had made clear to Parks officials that he wanted a portion of the funds to cover the bike path repair.

“When I went out to the site with Parks Department a few months ago, I told them that I wanted the path reconstructed within the project, that it made no sense to leave it undone,” Fidler told Sheepshead Bites yesterday. “We have since gotten an additional sum of money from Assemblyman Alan Maisel [for Brigham Park] that would likely cover it.”

However, while Parks gobbled up the new funds, the agency seems to have missed the message. In a statement to Sheepshead Bites, they wrote, “Bike path reconstruction is not included in the project scope for Brigham park.”

During last night’s Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting, Parks Chief of Staff Maher took public input on the Brigham Park project, and noted that Fidler did indeed make clear that the bike path would be reconstructed – but not from the park’s budget.

That means that before work can be done on the bike path, residents and cyclists will not only have to wait for for the Army Corps to wrap up sand replenishment, but also for the city to allocate funds for the project.

All in all, Maher is still confident the path will be repaired soon.

“It’s not an impossible thing. One way or the other, it’s going to get done,” Maher told Sheepshead Bites. “The Army Corps needs to finish up, and then we’ll figure it out.”

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    Abhorrent. Once again, the boroughs greenest and most progressive transportation users get screwed. I’m emailing this to TIMES UP and we’ll see if we can speed this along.

    • Guest

       Have you seen the belt parkway? EVERYONE is getting screwed!

  • Lostinservice

    2 Months ago:

    “For your information, at my insistence, the repair of the bike lane will be included in this project.
    Lew from Brooklyn”

    -Lew Fidler

    I know he’s been in the hospital recently, and I can appreciate the jurisdictional clusterfuck that the restoration of Plumb Beach was and is, but this is a slap in the face of every constituent that makes use of that greenspace by the parks dept. Why hasn’t Fidler pressed on the parks dept to make sure that the repair was included instead of just saying he did.

    My suggestion to Lew: stop campaigning by pandering to orthodox voters by promising them tax breaks and vouchers on private schools and realize that the ENTIRE district responds positively to greenspaces like Marine Park (and not letting a pipeline endanger it), building Brigham Park, and fixing the bike path so that cyclists can safely make use of that space. You’re in a campaign, and with 13 days to go you do not want to look ineffective. Get on this and make sure this is completed, or a temporary solution is in place, by this summer

    • nolastname

      From your mouth……Good luck.

  • Rideordie

    Mr. Fidler’s email: [email protected]. Go ahead, send him your regards cyclists and concerned citizens.

    • Ned Berke

      Shouldn’t you be e-mailing Parks, who happily took the money but is not doing with it what our elected representative who got that money asked them to do with it? You can contact Parks here: 

      • Lostinservice

        For the record, I have sent a letter via your link to the parks dept about this misappropriation of funds. Fidler might be in a position of authority to deal with the parks dept, but his constituents being vocal will reinforce his insistence that the funds be allocated to the bike path repair and the repairs should be done in a timely manner.

  • Anonymous

    It may be that rebuilding Plum beach after storms is a losing battle. Unless the feds, build some kind of seawall,to protect the park,and paths,they will get eroded away,every few years by storms.

    • Ned Berke

      The plan is to create two jetties and a breakwater. The breakwater will soften the impact of the waves, and the jetty’s will hold sand in. It’s tough to battle Mother Nature, but this plan will slow down the waters’ advance. My understanding is that it will still require someone to come in every 10 years or so take the sand that gathers around the jetties and move it back to the center of the beach – but that’s better than having the sand fill in the mouth of the Bay as it’s currently doing.

      • nolastname

        Elevate, why can’t they elevate the highway? With the sea wall they pounded in that covers most of the weak areas to at least Pennsylvania Ave. cant they work with that? I been saying this for at least 2 years. Can an engineer please explain that to me or do I have to ask Howard from The Big Bang?
        It’s almost like all this stupid shit is just a smoke screen.

        • Lostinservice

          Because the highway would still be either in the ground, or on the ground, and in either situation at risk of erosion to the point of structural instability. It doesn’t matter on what the highway rests, but rather whatever it rests on isn’t being weathered away. The plan seems solid enough as it stands and accounts for environmental impacts as well as it’s immediate goal of defending the highway.

          • nolastname

            I think both issues need to be addressed into one plan. In a perfect world from Knapp street to Erskine Street would be the perfect start for an elevated highway.
            The restoration and jetties would still be needed.

          • nolastname

            Sounds exuberant but that’s about the sound of it. Yes, build up C.I. and do what it takes to support the traffic coming into the hotels and shit of the future, 
            BloomSHIT will be gone and his dreams will need lots of help to prosper.
            I firmly believe C.I. is a death trap. Nature is a Bitch.
            I have spoken to people that tell me most of the waterfront in NYC is wasted property. Unlike other waterfront states who have a district that brings in revenue. I do not feel Sheepshead Bay is on anyones to do list. And that my elected official needs attention.

          • Lostinservice

            I don’t think they should be addressed in one plan. Better to accomplish one, than stall on both, especially when dealing with the gov’t.

            Plus, increased capacity won’t decrease congestion. It’s been shown time and time again over the last 50 years. It’s called induced demand:

            Obviously this is off topic, but an elevated rapid transit system running over the belt parkway, touching southern Brooklyn areas undeserved by mass transit would decrease congestion on the Belt by giving people a convenient way to get to/from JFK/Jamaica/LIRR. I mean we’re all rational, no one wants to take the Q to the A to another A that goes to JFK over the course of 2 hours when a 25 minute drive is easier. I think we’d gladly take an Airtrain like system from SHB Rd station to JFK if it cost 5 bucks and got us to JFK in 20 minutes, right?

          • nolastname


          • nolastname

            That’s the problem. All things need to be taken into consideration. Even you on your bike.  
            Screw the Wiki link…they do not predict the future.
            I don’t know where you are coming from with the lost air train and it’s waste of money but saving the Belt Parkway would have been a better investment ….penny for penny.

          • Bruce B

            It’s gonna stop at the racetrack? Then ya got my vote!

          • nolastname

            PS…What about the underground erosion?

          • Lostinservice

            What underground erosion? NYC is on top of incredibly dense rock. It’s why our train system was initially above ground, because technology hadn’t made it feasible to go deep underground yet. Take a look at the 2nd ave subway drill for an idea of how difficult it is to carve through the stone, which if I recall correctly is limestone. We also have about 50 miles of continental shelf before drop-off occurs so the greatest risk is coastal erosion such as that occurring at plumb beach. If you mean soil erosion inland, I think building codes account for it.

          • nolastname

            The surfaces in and around Sheepshead Bay show all the signs of an infrastructure   that is not secure.  I still have no faith in the 2nd ave project.  We are about ready to slip off our continental shelf. Not in your life time but not everything is written in (lime) stone. And also, building codes need long over due updates.

          • nolastname

            PS..key word was engineer. As in Army Corps of…

        • nolastname

          Like I said NI51965 and have ben saying, retain and elevate. TYVM

      • Anonymous

        So they spend a lot of money,and still have to replenish the sand? A waste.A seawall is the only answer.

  • Bruce B

    This is disgraceful. It’s  the beginning of what could be a wonderful biking/walking/jogging path…. Hey cyclists, why don’t you get that woman on the case, the one that is so successful in imposing bike lanes in neighborhoods? Here’s where we REALLY need her, and the cars wouldn’t even complain!

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    I’ve emailed both Fidler & park dept. I realize the greater discussion is the structure issue, however, I imagine since there is already money set aside for this project, there may actually be a way of getting this done. Readers,  please email them both and anyone else who has an interest in green spaces. 

  • Laura V.

    Received this ahem, very helpful email from Fidler’s people:

    Thank you for taking the time to email me regarding bike lanes. For our records, please provide your last name, address and phone number. Thank you. 

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