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Bike Overcrowding At the Preserve

More volunteer work by local Boy Scouts

As reported in a recent issue of The Massapequan Observer, the Friends of Massapequa Preserve held a successful 11th anniversary meeting last Nov. 16. Discussed at the meeting were such issues as the status of the Stream Enhancement Project, which Friends President Richard Schary said should be completed by the spring of 2012.

Schary reiterated that Preserve members are “only volunteers” who should stay clear of duties that civil service employees are paid to do. Also at the meeting, Schary was asked about bikeway conditions, especially the problems of overcrowding and speeding bikes.

Schary said that some improvements have been made, including a yellow line down the middle of the road, one designed to enhance safety on the path by keeping bicyclists on the right-hand side of the road.

“The bikeway is in reality a ‘shared used path’, which welcomes everyone – bikers, hikers, joggers, baby strollers, rollerbladesr, bird-watchers, and photographers,” he said. “This passive use recreational path, starting at Merrick Road and ending at Bethpage State Park has made Massapequa Preserve the second most popular park in Nassau County. Bikers have to share the path with other users, and they have to share it with the bikers.”

Schary reminded Preserve members that the two major goals of the organization remain to “join our 400-plus members in being the eyes and ears of the Preserve” and to “call, write, or email the Nassau County Parks Commissioner when you see something wrong in the Preserve that’s not an emergency and send a copy to the County Executive and to the Friends of Massapequa Preserve.”

Also at the meeting, Schary praised the volunteer work of numerous Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. Among them is Andrew Blaniarz of Troop 656, Wantagh who recently completed his Eagle Scout project, one jointly sponsored by the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference and the Friends of Massapequa Preserve.

According to Schary, Blaniarz built and installed six 10-foot sections of raised wooden walkway along a portion of the Greenbelt Hiking Trail in the Preserve. Prior to Andrew’s project, Schary said, the area, due to heavy rainstorm, had become muddy and impossible to hike through.