Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton Works With Cyclists on Safety

Calls for Bi-partisan / Inter-municipal Effort  

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Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton this week made a major push to work with local cycling advocates on exploring any possible safety measures that could be included in the restoration of West Shore Road in the Mill Neck / Bayville area of Oyster Bay.

First the legislator hosted a meeting with representatives of the Committee for a Safe West Shore Road. She shared some facts with the group. She stated that from day one in office (January of this year) she has made the West Shore Road repair project a priority. The plans were made prior to her term – by Department of Public works under the direction of County Executive Mangano.

The legislator has met with engineers and management from Public Works on numerous occasions to understand the scope of the project and to urge them to move forward with repairs. She was informed that a “bike path” was not possible, which the administration still maintains.

Because the road is in terrible condition, and it is a main artery / disaster / emergency supply route, the legislator explained that she has been pushing for repairs to start urgently.

“I understand that the County Executive’s financial crisis means limited resources are available for the project. So, I have supported the idea that priority one is straight forward repairs for the road, without a bike path. However, as cyclists have brought to my attention, there may be alternatives to a bike path that still create a safer road. This is what I am committed to exploring,” she told reporters after the meeting.

To learn more about bike safety practices, DeRiggi-Whitton has been meeting with New York State Department of Transportation, the governor’s office and the Tri State Transportation Campaign, as well as local advocates, like the Committee for a Safe West Shore Road.

Her immediate goals for a safer cycling environment include:

Reducing the speed limit on West Shore Road, which would be the decision of Town of Oyster Bay officials;

Clearing brush and overgrowth immediately, which would be through Nassau Department of Public Works;

Seeking information from Nassau County Department of Public Works engineers on the possibility of painted “bike lanes” instead of a “bike path”;

“Share the road” type signage for extra safety awareness.

Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton told reporters, “We need to see everyone together on this. Democrat and Republican, town and county, cyclists and homeowners. This is about human lives and safety. People are on this road with bikes everyday – some for work and some for recreation. So I am meeting with cyclists and safety experts to learn what possibilities are out there. We also need the County Executive’s administration and the Town of Oyster Bay to cooperate and help us as we explore options. I commend Mr. Quirk and the other cycling advocates for reaching out with very helpful information.”

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