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Construction starts on cycle, walk path

Construction is starting on the second section of a path for pedestrians, bicyclists and other nonmotorized users along Ocean Parkway between Wantagh State Parkway and Captree State Park.

The 3.6-mile stretch will pick up the recently completed Jones Beach access bike path at the southern end of Wantagh Parkway in Parking Field Five and run east to the Tobay Beach parking field, parallel to the northern edge of Ocean Parkway at a cost of $3.8 million, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced.

The project is expected to be open to the public by mid-May. When the project is completed, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel 8.8 miles from Cedar Creek Park, at the beginning of the Wantagh, all the way to Tobay.

Building the pathway as far as Tobay gives New Yorkers and tourists a new way to enjoy the natural beauty of Long Island’s beaches, Cuomo said in a statement. “The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will provide a scenic route for visitors to walk or bike between Wantagh and Tobay Beach, creating an additional asset in our efforts to promote tourism and recreation in Nassau County.”

Originally, a 14-mile greenway path was envisioned to run the entire stretch of Ocean Parkway, east from the Wantagh. A spokesman for the state Transportation Department said capital funding had not yet been identified for the remaining 10-mile stretch, but it remained under consideration.

The new path will be 13 feet wide, will be wheelchair accessible throughout and include a cable guide rail to protect users from Ocean Parkway traffic.

The project includes enhanced landscaping, educational signs, informational kiosks, benches, and storage for 24 bicycles at Tobay Beach.
— Sarah Crichton

Tax incentives apply for green buildings

Babylon Town will grant property-tax exemptions for up to a decade for new and recently constructed commercial green buildings.

The measure, signed into law at last week’s board meeting, applies to $250,000 of the market value of projects valued at $10,000 or more that meet the LEED certification standards of the United States Green Building Council.

“Babylon has always set the standard when it comes to green initiatives,” Supervisor Rich Schaffer said in a statement. “By offering this incentive for commercial buildings, we are hoping that more businesses realize the cost-savings that can be found in building to LEED standards.”

Fifteen buildings in the town now meet at least the most basic of the three LEED certification standards.

The exemptions will apply to improvements begun after last Jan. 1. Depending on the level of certification, the exemptions could last from seven to 10 years.

Basic certification will earn the $250,000 exemption for three years, with decreasing exemptions for the next four years; the highest standard of LEED certification will earn the $250,000 exemption for six years, with decreasing exemptions for the next four years.
— Nicholas Spangler

Signs promote safe speeds near schools

Hempstead officials were set Tuesday to unveil speed safety signs for seven schools in the town.

The signs will be at Saw Mill Road Elementary School in North Bellmore and six other schools, town officials said in a statement.

The town is unveiling the signs now because daylight saving time ends Nov. 3 and children will soon begin leaving schools in darkness, officials said.

“The new signs are being installed at schools along busy roadways,” Hempstead officials said in a statement. “Before-school and after-school programs take place before sunrise and after sunset.”

Teachers and students were to gather to unveil the new signs during a news conference at 11:15 a.m. at Sam Mill Road Elementary School, 2801 Saw Mill Rd. in North Bellmore.
— Patrick Whittle

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