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It’s strictly BYOB — bottles of water, that is — on the Shore Road bike path, and the city’s failure to provide working fountains along the popular path leaves cyclists, joggers and pedestrians at risk of heat stroke.
There’s not a single water fountain on the five-mile stretch from the 69th Street pier to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a scenic waterfront path that raises heart rates for its beauty, but parches throats and overheats brains.
“It’s a recipe for disaster,” said bike path user Richie Carrera last week, when the mercury topped 90 for the first time this year. “On a hot, humid day like this, you definitely need water.”
You won’t get it, though. The only hints of hydration are two broken fountains in the baseball fields near Bay Parkway — but they’re just a mirage.
“There currently is not money in our budget” to fix the fountains, said Phil Abramson, a spokesman for the Parks Department, who added that those particular fountains have been out of service for a decade.
As for the Shore Road bike path itself, the only water will be in your own canteen.
“There are no water service lines — and never were — along the Shore Road bike path,” Abramson said.
The city spent $20 million to restore the portion of the bike path between the Verrazano Bridge and the 69th Street Pier just a few years ago, but no one added water lines.
The waterless will have to find water by leaving the path at Shore Road Park, at 79th Street, or at 100th Street and in Bensonhurst Park near Bay Parkway.
Cyclists and strollers thirst for relief, especially given that excessive heat can lead to dehydration and delirium (see sidebar).
“There are not even any stores nearby to get drinks,” said Antoinette Claps, who was Rollerblading on the path.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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