Gov. Cuomo vetoes study to explore expanding Long Island Motor Parkway in Queens

Motor Parkway
Photo via Google Maps/Motor Parkway

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would commission a study aimed at expanding the the Long Island Motor Parkway eastward to the Little Neck Parkway on Monday, Nov. 25.

The path, currently used by city parkgoers and bicyclists, currently runs from 210th Street to Winchester Boulevard in the Oakland Garden section of Bayside. The extension would connect the Queens portion of the trail to a portion of the Motor Parkway in Nassau County, which is in the process of being redeveloped. 

The project is the result of an effort to connect the surviving portions of the parkway with new trails and form a trail that would extend to western Long Island.

The bill proposed by state Senator John Liu, which passed both the Senate and Assembly, would authorize the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) commissioner to conduct a study on the Queens portion of the trail expansion. 

According to a letter on the veto, which was first obtained by Patch, Gov. Cuomo claimed that there was not funding for such a project.

“In effect, the bill would call for an environmental impact statement for a project that is not currently contemplated by the [Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation] and for which there are no funds,” he wrote.

Cuomo added that he supports the “laudable intent” of the bill and will urge its sponsors to push for the project in state budget negotiations. 

“To be quite frank, I’m disappointed. At the same time, I’m hopeful because what [Cuomo] wrote was that he thought it was a good idea. But it is a setback,” said Joby Jacob, co-founder of the Motor Parkway East coalition, which had advocated for the trail. Jacob added that he will continue to advocate for the project by generating community support.