By Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael B. Specht
Seven Lakes Drive starts in the Village of Sloatsburg and extends 18 miles through Harriman State Park to Bear Mountain State Park. Countless hikers and cyclists enjoy traveling this beautiful scenic route. Currently, it is impossible to safely and legally travel the entire length by bike or on foot, as the Palisades Interstate Parkway bisects Seven Lakes Drive at the Route 6 Circle.
New York State’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in conjunction with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission has petitioned the State Department of Transportation for creation of a bicycle connector path that would permit hikers and bikers to bypass this dangerous and illegal crossing and continue on to the entire length of Seven Lakes Drive.
A bypass would encourage cyclists, hikers and runners to safely enjoy the beauty of Seven Lakes Drive from Bear Mountain to Sloatsburg, and it would be an added attraction to Harriman State Park.
Sloatsburg has been transformed and revitalized recently, as shown by new local business startups and the New York State’s Complete Streets initiative. This area is now recognized as a premier tourist destination in its own right, hosting vibrant new shops, restaurants, inns and recreational facilities. These businesses benefit from and accommodate the increased visitors who will take advantage of the nearby outstanding hiking cycling and other outdoor opportunities that the proposed pathway would bring.
I believe that the bypass will greatly benefit our residents, businesses and visitors, and will enhance western Ramapo’s role as the gateway to the regional parks of the Hudson Valley.
A Town resident, Ian Diamond, has created a petition to advance this project. Please lend your support to this proposal.