Bike path in Fresh Meadows with a historic past is getting a much-needed improvement

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Steve Nowotarski

A Fresh Meadows bike path that was once a part of the first major roadways for automobiles in New York State soon get some much-needed work done thanks to newly acquired funds.

Councilman Barry S. Grodenchik has recently secured $1.25 million of the city budget to begin resurfacing the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway.

“I am pleased to have secured funding for repaving of this historic urban promenade,” said Grodenchik. “The Vanderbilt Motor Parkway is a Queens gem that must be preserved. I wish to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the City Council’s Queens delegation for their strong support, which made this allocation possible.”

Also known as the Long Island Motor Parkway, the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway originally opened in 1908 as a racecourse and later transitioned to a toll road. The parkway became the nation’s first highway to use bridges and overpasses and was taken over by New York State in 1938, to be re-purposed as an urban promenade.

The parkway is now a public parkland that runs south along Francis Lewis Boulevard, connecting Cunningham Park to Alley Pond Park. The parkway was last paved almost 20 years ago and many of the trails are in poor condition.

Grodenchik told DNAinfo that it is not known at this time when the work will begin on the parkway, but they will be starting on the most damaged section at the eastern end, near Union Turnpike and Winchester Boulevard.

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