12/16/14 12:00pm
12/16/2014 12:00 PM
The unfinished bike path at EPCAL. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

The unfinished bike path at EPCAL. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

After town board members appeared to oppose completing a bike and recreational path at the Enterprise Park at Calverton over the summer, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved allocating $200,000 to complete the path on Monday.

Riverhead Town and New York State have already contributed $100,000 each toward the path, though three miles of the 8.9-mile path remain unpaved.

The bike path will get walkers and bikers off the dangerous public road, as it is located inside the fence around EPCAL, officials say.

Initially, it appeared part of the southern portion of the trail would be on the public street on River Road, but that will now be inside the fence as well, according to North Fork county legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who sponsored the funding bill.

“It will be an off-road, non-motorized trail of over eight miles long for use by all county residents,” Mr. Krupski told legislators Tuesday, adding that the county won’t have to pay anything else, since the maintenance will be handled by Riverhead Town.

Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who spoke before the legislature Monday, said the town is planning on holding events on the trail, such as fundraisers for the Wounded Warriors, and a Halloween Walk.

“We just think it’s a great project,” she told legislators.

Ms. Giglio was peppered with a slew of questions from western Suffolk legislators, who asked about things like whether the trail would impede economic development at EPCAL or use of the runway there.

She said the trail is not on part of the property where the town plans to see land for economic development.

“I’m comfortable with it,” said Legislator Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue). “I think bike paths are important.”

“I think it’s a reasonable investment,” said Legislator Tom Barraga (R-West Islip), who said it cost $1.7 million for a pedestrian-friendly trail in his district that only covered 8/10ths of a mile.

Riverhead Town’s alternative transportation advisory committee, to which Ms. Giglio is the liaison, has been championing the bike for the several years.

Supervisor Sean Walter said work on the extension of the bike path can’t commence until the environmental studies of the EPCAL site are completed and the town Planning Board approves the EPCAL subdivision which will show exactly where the bike path will go.

“We’re in the end stages of the study at this point,” Mr. Walter said. He thinks the subdivision could be approved some time in early 2015.

He added that he’s not sure if the $200,000 will be enough to complete the bike path.

12/04/14 9:30am
12/04/2014 9:30 AM

liveblog

Expect the Edgar Allan Poe Festival to return to downtown Riverhead next Halloween. Town Board members welcomed the idea of bringing it back during a discussion with festival creator Sal St. George and BID president Ray Pickersgill at Thursday’s work session.  Mr. St. George said he’d like to do a “War of the Worlds” broadcast next year.  (more…)

10/07/14 2:00pm
10/07/2014 2:00 PM

liveblog

The pros and cons of flyboarding were debated at Tuesday’s Riverhead Town Board during a public hearing on a plan to regulate the up and coming sport, which is being done at Treasure Cove marina.

Jim Bissett IV, who operates Flyboard Long Island  at the marina, said the town’s proposal to push them 500 feet off shore was excessive, while some neighbors said the Flyboarding was noisy.

The board also voted to rezone the Second Street firehouse to DC-1, a mostly commercial zone that’s in place on most of downtown Main Street. The town agreed to change the zone as a condition of a $500,000 sale of the property to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi, but some residents, as well as Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, argued that the town should seek new bids for the property now that it is rezoned to a more business-friendly zone.

The board also agreed, in a 3-2 vote, to authorize the conversion of the Henry Pfeifer Community Center in Calverton into a new town animal shelter.

 

(more…)

07/11/14 7:00am
07/11/2014 7:00 AM
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Riverhead Town's planned bike path would run south from Route 25 along Line Road (above) before reaching an area near River Road.

Line Road (above) at EPCAL became a subject for debate during a bike path discussion at Town Hall. (Credit, Tim Gannon, file)

A discussion at Town Hall last week about a proposed nine-mile bike loop at Enterprise Park at Calverton showed that, at least for the moment, it will remain incomplete. That’s probably a good thing. Here’s why:  (more…)

10/26/13 12:00pm
10/26/2013 12:00 PM

R1024_Bike_TG_C.jpg

They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but I kinda did. At least the gear-shifting part and the keeping air in the tires part.

A few months ago, I dropped my car off at an auto repair shop, intending to use my brother’s bike — built sometime in the early 1980s — to get back home. As it turned out, the bike’s tires were flat and I found it didn’t fit in the car’s trunk, so that idea went nowhere.

Instead, I walked home from the repair shop … seven miles. That was enough walking for me. The next day, I bought a bike.

It’s a used bike, with a little switch that enables me to easily take off the front tire so the bike will fit in my car. This way, I can drive the bike to places more conducive to riding than where I live. Now that I had the bike, I figured the Tour de France couldn’t be far off — so long as I could drive there.

For the first week or so, I drove my bike to a lot of different places. Sure, I didn’t get out and actually sit on the bike and pedal, but it was there if I wanted it — or needed it.

Then one day, I decided I would bike over the Brooklyn Bridge, which I’ve been told has a bike lane running across it. So the bike and I went on a ride to Brooklyn, in my car. We took a few wrong turns, but eventually found the bridge (which, I suppose, isn’t that hard to find). Then we went looking for a place to park the car. I looked all over Brooklyn, reluctantly went into a parking garage that had only valet parking, backed into something, panicked and quickly exited the parking lot. I then spent time looking for a roadside parking space with no success. After a while, I just gave up and went home.

But I hadn’t given up entirely on being a biker.

On the last day before my next vacation, in September, I had to write a story on the completion of federally funded $3.2 million bike path from Calverton to Jamesport. As part of the story, I tried to call some local bike enthusiasts for comment. None of the bikers I contacted seemed too excited about this bike path, which basically consists of some widened roads and signage indicating that bikes go on the side of the road and the cars stay in the middle. Duh!

What the bikers were excited about was the bike path that runs around the Enterprise Park at Calverton. The bike enthusiasts see this as a potential major draw to the area, since there aren’t many places on Long Island, apparently, where people can ride around a nine-mile path. I had noticed a lot of people using it one Saturday, so on my next vacation, I packed the bike in the car, drove it to Calverton and tried out the EPCAL bike path.

Turns out, it’s pretty cool. Unlike riding on the road, it’s all inside the fence, so you can’t get hit by a car, unless you have really, really bad luck and get hit by one crossing the entrance road off Route 25. And, you can go as fast as you want, because it’s a relative straight path and has some long, but not steep, hills.

It’s also pretty scenic. You start at the dog park and ballfields area, then you get to ride around the back of the two fighter jets on display at the Grumman Memorial Park and then you go all the way around the Calverton Industries sand mine, which is a lot bigger than it appears from the road. Eventually the path disappears into woods and the paved part of the trail stops. That’s where I turned around and went back. My tally? EPCAL bike path: 1, Brooklyn Bridge bike path: 0.

The Town Board has applied for a grant to finish the EPCAL path so it goes completely around the EPCAL site, but that was a split vote, with three in support and two against. It remains to be seen if the town will get the grant or otherwise finish paving the path.

In the meantime, my bike and I drove to some other places, like the Country Fair, where I parked at Town Hall and rode to the fair, since it was tough finding parking.

That’s technically using the bike to avoid exercise rather than to get exercise, but it’s a start. I now figure I should be in the Tour de France in a year or so.

Tim Gannon is a longtime reporter for the Riverhead News-Review.

He can be reached at (631) 293-3200, ext. 242, or tgannon@timesreview.com.

10/02/13 2:00pm
10/02/2013 2:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new bike path along River Road in Calverton.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new bike path along River Road in Calverton.

From the time Riverhead Town was awarded a $3.15 million grant for a biking and jogging path stretching from Calverton and Northville, it took almost four years to get the project started.

But it took only six months to actually build the path. (Click on the map below.)

The state Department of Transportation finished the job this summer, according to DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters. Construction began in March of this year and, Ms. Peters said this week, was completed by Aug. 1.

The town received $3.15 million in federal stimulus funds in July 2009 for the alternative transportation path, which runs from Pier Avenue in Northville to Wading River-Manor Road in Calverton, while connecting with existing state and county bike routes.

After winning the award, the town spent about three years designing and engineering the project, according to Supervisor Sean Walter, who said all of those costs were covered by the grant.

“In September 2012, the state Department of Transportation offered to do the job, so we turned the remaining grant money over to them,” Mr. Walter said.

At that time, the town had been planning to seek bids on the project.

“I think the project is great,” said Nick Attisano, owner of Twin Forks Bicycles in downtown Riverhead. “Anything they can do to make it safer for cyclists and families to ride on the road is an improvement.”

Mr. Attisano said he thinks the path needs to be better publicized so that more people will use it.

The town’s alternative transpiration committee recently published a brochure showing the various bike paths in Riverhead.

tgannon@timesreview.com

46 Transporatation Map 2-9-19-2011

05/16/13 3:30pm
05/16/2013 3:30 PM

liveblog

A plan by Urban Zip Lines for a 70-foot high, 817-foot long zip line along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead would only be possible by late summer at the earliest, Riverhead Town officials said at Thursday’s Town Board work session.

The project would have to be subjected to a public hearing before it can be approved.

John Finnegan, the Westchester man who is proposing the venture, said after the meeting that he still intends to try and get the zip line up this year, but he’s not optimistic, following Thursday’s discussion. He said 2014 is more likely.

Mr. Finnegan said he doesn’t want to put the facility at another location, and feels downtown is the best spot for it, and he thinks it will help bring visitors downtown.

The project was met with opposition Thursday from Summerwind Square owner Ray Dickhoff, Dark Horse Restaurant owner Dee Muma, and downtown resident Anthony Coates. Vic Prusinowski of Cody’s BBQ said he has an open mind on the issue.

To read the recap of our live blog of the work session, click below:

 

May_16,_2013_-_Agenda by rnews_review

05/09/13 5:00pm
05/09/2013 5:00 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Contractors for the Department of Transportation caused about $10,000 in damage to this irrigation system in Calverton, the development manager said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Contractors for the Department of Transportation caused thousands of dollars in damage to this irrigation system in Calverton, the development manager said.

John Peck is glad the state Department of Transportation is installing a bike path along the Calverton mobile home park he manages.

“I think it’s fantastic,” he said.

But the $8,000 to $10,000 worth of damage state contractors caused to Lakewood’s irrigation system has him upset, he said.

“I do not respect the fact that they didn’t get a hold of me and let me know that we needed to move the system and get it shut off,” Mr. Peck said. “It’s very unfair what they’ve done.”

Town officials say residents in Jamesport have also complained about state crews pulling up irrigation lines and trimming trees since work on the $3.2 million bike path stretching from Calverton to Northville began in March.

Eileen Peters, a representative for the state Department of Transportation, told a reporter Thursday she had not heard any reports of damage along River Road near the Lakewood development.

“Generally speaking, you’re not allowed to encroach on state property,” she said.

But, she added, River Road is not a state road.

“We really need to examine this situation,” she said, adding the department would be look into the matter.

The bike path is being constructed through a grant by the state DOT as part of a federal stimulus bill.

Meanwhile, the Lakewood development’s attorney is preparing to bring legal action against the DOT to pay for repairs to the irrigation system’s plumbing, which was damaged during path construction about three weeks ago, Mr. Peck said.

State crews removed several feet of the park’s lawn and replaced it with concrete, Mr. Peck said, adding the crews ripped up the 1-1/2-inch rubber pipe along the road, which fed the entire complex. It could not immediately be determined if the plumbing was in a government right-of-way.

“They actually did it from one end of the park to the other,” he said,

The irrigation system is now broken and must be replaced. In the meantime, employees for the development are having to use hoses to water the landscaping, he said.

“Now everything’s dying on me and I’m upset about it,” Mr. Peck said.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said complaints have been coming to the town since work began in March, and he believes the DOT should pay to repair the irrigation systems at Lakewood.

“The bottom line is you’ve destroyed somebody’s private property, you should repair it,” Mr. Walter said. “It’s incumbent on the DOT to replace that property.”

In the meantime, Mr. Peck said he is frustrated he wasn’t given a warning his lines would be removed. Had he gotten a heads-up, he could have taken the lines away from the roadwork area in under 24 hours, he said.

“This is going to be a headache for us,” Mr. Peck said. “Now it’s going to cost us a fortune.”

psquire@timesreview.com

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this report indicated the mobile home park’s irrigation  system was in the state’s right-of-way.

That has yet to be determined.