Bicyclists and pedestrians headed to Playland Amusement Park may soon be able to travel there on a path directly from the Rye train station while learning tidbits about the area's history.

A design to expand the Rye Playland Parkway Pathway was submitted this month to the state Department of Transportation, according to Westchester County Planning Commissioner Ed Buroughs. The 2.65 mile route will feature "Share the Roadway" signs and a new bridge over Blind Brook.

The $1.5 million project is being paid for by a federal grant, according to Buroughs. Work is expected to begin sometime this year and be completed by the end of 2013.

"It's creating a safe path through the city," Buroughs said.

He said he expects the trail to be used extensively by local residents, and it may appeal to some Metro-North riders as well.

The existing path, which is deteriorating and runs along the east side of Playland Parkway, is 1.2 miles long and isn't clearly marked, according to Buroughs. It will be repaved and widened as part of the project.

The new path will run from the station, southeast through the business district to Theodore Fremd Avenue and North Street. It will continue to Old Post Road, across the bridge over Playland Parkway, connect to the northern side of the parkway and then to the park.

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Plaques describing the history and ecology of Blind Brook will greet people along the way, according to the design plans.

At Playland, new bicycle racks will be installed, along with signs highlighting aspects of the park's history.

Steve Cadenhead, co-chair of the Rye Shared Roadways Committee, a city-appointed group charged with identifying ways to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, said the path is in one of the most scenic areas of Rye.

"I am totally convinced that if it becomes more cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly, that it would be one of the most heavily trafficked recreational routes in Rye," Cadenhead said.