Motorists driving eastbound on Route 347 in the Smithtown-Hauppauge area may notice there's an additional lane on the road.
After expanding Route 347/Nesconset Highway into three vehicular travel lanes in each direction, New York State Department of Transportation has started installing a separate bike-and-pedestrian lane on the roadway's south side.
The bike-and-pedestrian lane is part of the Route 347 greenway initiative designed to promote more eco-friendly modes of transportation such as walking or biking. It is separated from the main roadway by roughly three-feet paved median. No guardrail or wall has been installed to provide physical barrier between the pedestrians and traffic.
Dotting the bike-and-pedestrian lane, residents can see new bus shelters designed to be used by those riding Suffolk County lines. The shelters have been equipped with solar panels and solar-powered lighting, designed to cut electricity and maintenance costs.
The current bike-and-pedestrian lane will start west of the Hauppauge Shopping Center and allows travel as far east as the Hauppauge Palace Diner. When construction is complete on all 15-miles of Route 347, in hopes of allowing residents to travel safely as far as Port Jefferson.
The construction is associated with the Route 347 greenway project. The New York State Department of Transportation began work on the road more than a year ago to transform the North Shore artery into the Long Island's first greenway, a roadway conceived with pedestrians and the environment in mind. The area outside the diner is only part of phase one. When that segment is finished, the workers will move down the road.
Tell us, do you anticipate using the shared-use, pedestrian-bike lane along Route 347 in the future?