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I am new to the NYC region, and just recently found out that the LIE even has service roads! I was wondering how rideable the service roads are.

I.e. Can you actually get across the various interchanges on a bike? (Clearly if cars are expected to merge back onto the highway to ride across the interchange then that is a problem on a bike. Though I would be willing if the cops don't care...).

As part of this, I am curious how far the service road extends, that it is possible to ride. If there are known areas with issues, are there workarounds known?

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Is his not the same essential question you asked 12 hours ago? And pretty localized too, although I don't mind that so much. – zenbike Jul 29 '11 at 16:15
@zenbike: This is a specific road question, versus the other, which is a complete route question. – geoffc Jul 29 '11 at 19:24
I agree, this is pretty much a subset of the earlier question. What's in this question that's not just a more focused subset of the earlier question? – Neil Fein Jul 29 '11 at 19:25
(The localized element isn't really a problem, since Bicycles.SE specifically allows local questions.) And, to be fair, the LIRR service road is a pretty major bike artery. – Neil Fein Jul 29 '11 at 19:28
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The LIRR service road is extremely rideable. I used it when I ride through Long Island last year, and found it to be extremely low-traffic, well-paved (mostly), and the intersections are easily navigated with basic traffic skills.


The reason the service road is easy to use is that most traffic seems to want to be on the LIE proper, so doesn't stay on the road long.

There are two one-way service roads. If you take the outer lane (away from the LIE exit and entrance ramps) you should be fine. I had no issues getting past the intersections.

I took it from near Hempstead Harbor to most of the way into Queens. (Sorry, I don't remember which roads.) But the Long Island Bike May shows that I-495 (the expressway) bikeable all the way out to Holbrook. Can anyone confirm this?

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I think I will try driving home tonight on the service road and see how that works out. I found out I can leave my car overnight with out getting towed, now to see if I can get into the gym facility to shower for the bike ride inbound, in the morning. (Still need my wifes permission for a 3.5 hour commute, but such is life). – geoffc Aug 1 '11 at 13:57

I would avoid the LIE Service Road At all costs during rush hour.

A couple of friends of mine have actually been issued tickets for riding on the service road. It seems to be illegal according to the New York State Department of Transportation.

Additionally many of the bicycle deaths on Long Island have occurred on the service road. We rode the service roads in a pack during rush hour cars with driving very fast and there is very little no shoulder in most areas.

It can be really treacherous during rush hour which typically starts at 2:30 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m.

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Good Answer. Welcome to Bicycles.SE. – zenbike Apr 2 at 8:07

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