Oakland Lake Park path to be remodeled next year

Victoria Tabone helps out during It's My Park! Day at Oakland Lake by pulling weeds. The path inside the park will be renovated this summer to manage flooding. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Almost one year after the completion of a $2.5 million city Department of Environmental Protection project to improve stormwater runoff at Oakland Lake Park, the city Parks Department announced final plans to retool the area’s pathway for pedestrians.

“It’s a win-win scenario for everyone and I’m very proud of all of it,” said Jerry Iannece, the Community Board 11 chairman. “It was a collaborative effort from the ground up.”

Iannece said nearly 20 years of work culminated in the final plans to improve the pathway around the park after the DEP helped transform the vegetation surrounding the lake into a lively park. But despite the new terrain, the pedestrian pathway still became muddy and difficult to walk through after rainfall.

“The pathway was the only part that wasn’t fully addressed in the plans,” Iannece said. “It was always covered with mud and was not conducive to walking around.”

A new $1.6 million Parks Department plan was unveiled at CB 11’s May meeting, which included raising and sloping the pathway and inserting drainage pipes underneath so the storm runoff could travel around the perimeter to access the lake, Parks said. A boardwalk will also be installed so pedestrians can get closer to the waterfront.

The project, still in its design stage, should start around spring 2013, pending review from the DEP, Parks said. If started on time, the pathway should be complete by the following fall.

Michael Feiner, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, said he was glad to see further steps taken to enhance the area, referring to Oakland Lake Park as one of the most beautiful spots in Bayside.

Iannece, who helped push the project forward since his tenure as BHCA president in 1996, said he was delighted to see results after so many had devoted time to the project from the local level to the state.

“It’s a real success story,” Iannece said. “This is a textbook scenario of how a civic association can identify a problem and spend time helping to get the project done from beginning to end.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 11:10 pm, May 23, 2012
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Reader feedback

lou from Bayside says:
Project has been a total failure. Nothing more than a financial "boondoggle" for "Connected" construction firms and local politicos who were probally on the take. Ask homeowners in the area, flooding is worse than its ever been. Great job Jerry!
May 24, 2012, 7:16 am
Michael Feiner from Bayside Hills says:
Haven't had a flood in years . This is tremendous!
May 24, 2012, 4:31 pm
Carole Papadatos from Bayside Hills says:
My basement used to flood. Water would pour up through the pipes, over the sink, through the basement window, as the sump-pump completed the useless cycle. I lost a car in front of my home. The engine flooded. I witnessed rescues of people from their partially submerged cars. Witnessed a car being thrown into a tree as a bus passed, making a wave.
Haven't seen anything like it since the renovation. Been here off and on for 50 years. Not a lot of time compared to 18,000 year old Oakland Lake. Jerry and everyone else involved - great job and thank you from all affected by the flooding and concerned for the survival of the lake.
May 24, 2012, 6:33 pm
bob from bayside says:
Michael Feiner has an agenda ! Does Jerry get you preferential treatment in getting your tree pruned or your street paved? Not being completely honest here Michael
May 24, 2012, 7:13 pm
Dave from Bayside Hills says:
I'm quite surprised by Lou's comments about the work that Jerry Iannece has been doing in our area for many years, both as a Civic Association President and as the leader of CB11. Perhaps Lou is new to our area - he certainly does not seen to be familiar with the facts.

First, let me say that Jerry is not a Civil Engineer - any deficiencies in the work done at Oakland Lake are the responsibility of the engineers who work for City of New York 's massive bureaucracy.

Jerry's role has always been to get the bureaucracy to get off their bottoms and try to solve the problems in our area. His efforts in this regard have been tireless, which is why he is so highly thought of by those who actually know him.

I will point out that in CB7's area, an effort has been made for years to get a comfort station built at Little Bay Park (near Fort Totten). This had nothing to do with CB11, but the same pattern of poor performance on the part of the bureaucracy has yielded zero results. Jerry actually got something done at Oakland lake, which in NYC is a major triumph. He is still trying to get the bureaucracy to complete the last phase of the project.

Lou's charge of corruption is nonsensical slander. Any organization that was on the take would do things much, much faster that the D.E.P. - crooks always want to get the money as fast as possible!

Everyone I know is supporting Jerry. Lou would do well to go to Hollywood and get a job as a writer of fiction.
May 24, 2012, 8:32 pm
Dave from Bayside Hills says:

Michael Feiner doesn't have a tree that is big enough to require pruning. But if he did, asking Jerry for help in getting the City to take care of it would be totally appropriate. Why? Because Jerry would do the same for any of us. When you take care of an entire community, that's good, not bad.

Lyndon Johnson once said, "Any Jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a smart man to build one". So Bob, why don't you tell us who the candidate you are supporting is and what it is that you like about him/her?
May 24, 2012, 9:34 pm
Michael Feiner from Bayside Hills says:
The damaging floods have ceased. I would've long moved out of Bayside Hills if they continued. As an original complainant, so many years ago I was involved with petitions, meetings,(suffered through a couple of more floods) that all led us to this project. Actually, the necessity do something about those horrific floods was the reason I joined the Bayside Hills Civic Association in the first place. Thank you Jerry, and the other fine folks who helped us!
May 25, 2012, 7:49 am
Armando from Bayside Hills says:

It is amazing how there are just some people who just don't get it.
Bob and Lou... Talk about agenda. Wow! I question who you really are, where you really live, or better yet what your real motive is.
You attack a guy who has done nothing but break his ass for the Bayside community. If you were even paying a slight bit of attention, you would know that Jerry Iannecce has been a CIVIC leader serving his community for decades. Oh yeah, by the way...being a civic association president and a community board chair means you get paid a whopping $0 for all your hard work and headaches.
What exactly have you done for your community???
If all you can do is complain about a non-paid volunteer who has spent half of his life advocating for whats right just because he cares, then it just becomes more obvious to everyone that you just don't get it.
P.S. I was a homeowner whose house used to flood. I was also the one who did the car rescue mentioned above in waist high water on Springfield Blvd. Thanks to Jerry, my basement is dry and my swimming trunks have been retired.
May 25, 2012, 3:10 pm

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