NYSDOT’s Route 347 “Greenway” Making Progress

It has been roughly two years since the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) broke ground on Long Island’s Route 347 “Greenway,” a project that was transformed after years of advocacy into a multi-modal corridor. The modified plan better accommodates Suffolk County Transit riders, pedestrians and cyclists, while also promising a more seamless integration of surrounding land uses. Since the first shovels went into the ground, much progress has been made. One mile — from the 347/454 fork to Route 111 — of the 15 mile corridor project has been completed, and the second mile of the project, from Route 111 to Mount Pleasant Road, is currently out to bid.

During a visit to Long Island for other advocacyMTR visited and took pictures of the first completed mile of the award-winning project showing a raised, landscaped median, pedestrian islands, a multi-use path, and better amenities for transit users. Signage touting the “Parks to Ports Greenway” (which double as bike racks) are also visible at the one mile completion point.

While good progress is underway on some of the design elements, it is unclear what progress NYSDOT is making to forge potential partnerships with local businesses like Smith Haven Mall to create “community centers” and “walkable downtowns” along the corridor. Such partnerships catalyzed initial community and business excitement about the Route 347 Greenway project. NYSDOT can continue to improve the plan to adapt to the changes in Long Island’s transportation priorities. While the first mile of the project widened the road, as does Phase II, NYSDOT should continually review whether future widening aspects of the project should proceed. With new data showing declining vehicle miles traveled throughout the region, particularly among millennials, and the changing housing preferences of Long Islanders, continuing to widen Route 347 will be a waste of limited resources. As transit-oriented development grows in popularity on Long Island, and Baby Boomers are downsizing to downtowns, additional phases of Route 347 should better reflect the demand for varied and affordable housing options that are sought but insufficient on Long Island, and not the exurban development patterns that gave rise to the project initially and are now on the decline.

4 Comments on "NYSDOT’s Route 347 “Greenway” Making Progress"

  1. Nick Klissas | May 8, 2013 at 9:27 am |

    Even better would be the elimination of grade crossings on the route, and the purchase of corner properties at busy intersections. This would promote greater safety for cyclists and the motoring public.

  2. Nick has it right. The biggest problems on this disaster of a road are the grade crossings, and for the most part that is not being touched. What is happening is a fortune is being poured into the sinkhole of huge flower pots that will eventually be forgotten and ignored, instead of making the road safer, and perhaps even pedestrian crossing friendly. It is an example of NIMBYism at its worst. It doesn’t improve traffic, nor does it improve transit. But hey, we did need the lunar surface repaved, though by the time the project is finished, I’m sure that the first parts completed will be full of potholes again. This is one huge, pork filled mess, and no quick infusion of pretty flowers will get rid of the stench.

  3. I disagree with the first two comments. This will be a great project that all Long islanders will be proud off. It offers safe travel for motorists, pedestrians and bikers. It is time to think out of the box and keep an open mind to new ideas. The old way of designing a road to move the most cars as fast as possible has lead us the the mess we are currently in. New times call for new solutions. My only complaint is that the work is taking much too long. We need a dedicated source of funding to move this much needed project along faster.

  4. I disagree with the above statements. What will happen toward the east where private homes are numerous along with condos and other communities is that these communities will be closed in by walls and fences.
    Will that be a beautiful site?
    Look along the LIE and tell me if you would like to reside behind theses walls or have the road noise for (a beautiful L.I.) at your back door.

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