Traveling from Red Creek Park to Good Ground Park is going to get a lot easier and a lot greener.
Thanks to $756,000 in state funding, Southampton Town will soon be able to build a new bike lane and multi-use path that will connect the two parks, and link them to downtown Hampton Bays.
“This grant is another piece of the puzzle that creates connectivity between the hamlet center, Good Ground Park, and Red Creek Park, which is critical to our shared goals with the community to make this hamlet center user-friendly and accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists,” said assistant town Planning Director Janice Scherer.
The new bikeway will run from Red Creek Park through the woods parallel to Jackson Avenue to Old Riverhead Road before it will turn south on Squiretown Road and follow a proposed bike route to a multi-purpose path leading to Good Ground Park. The route was chosen by members of the community, bike enthusiasts, and town planners.
With a focus on kick-starting the revitalization of the hamlet center, the town board has been investing funds and using grant money for the initial phases of work in Good Ground Park. The town also funded a planning guide for the development process, and it will create a new zoning district that lays out a form-based code to guide how future development will be approved. A road with a bikeway will also be built south of Good Ground Park, connecting it to the downtown hamlet center on Montauk Highway.
“Members of the community, biking advocates, and town planning staff worked together to identify this opportunity to connect important recreational locations in Hampton Bays with the main street area,” said town Transportation and Traffic Safety Director Tom Neely. “This biking connection has both a recreational and functional purpose.”
The state funding is part of a $144.6-million investment to improve bike and pedestrian travel and Americans with Disabilities Act accessible sidewalks. The money is made available through the Federal Highway Administration and administered directly by the New York State Department of Transportation.
“These investments in bike and pedestrian enhancements across the state will help revitalize communities, reduce our carbon footprint, and demonstrate once again New York is building for the future,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press release.
As part of the agreement, the town will provide 20 percent of the cost of the project, or almost $189,000. The bikeway is expected to be completed by the fall of 2020.
According to Assemblyman Fred Thiele, these projects will spur additional investment of more than $215 million in public and private support statewide in local enhancements that will revitalize communities, promote tourism, and enhance regional economic competitiveness. The Long Island projects, which received $5.6 million total, were selected through a competitive solicitation process, he said. Awardees presented plans that will increase options for non-vehicular transportation, reduce vehicle emissions or traffic congestion, or both.