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No Help For Cyclists In Suffolk County, New York

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On: Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 5:10PM | By: Karen Cook

No Help For Cyclists In Suffolk County, New York

We’ve been promised over and over again that gas prices will come down. So far the promises have been empty. Other than a drop of a few cents here and there, gas has been over the $3 mark for years and there are no signs that a significant reduction is anywhere on the horizon. In an effort to battle this expense, and the damage gas engines do to the environment, many people ride more fuel-efficient motorcycles or bicycles. All costs associated with motorcycles, from insurance to repairs, are cheaper, and a bicycle benefits not only the owner’s pocketbook, but his health as well.

There is a county legislator in New York, however, who disagrees. It started when 17-year-old Matthew Cutrone’s mother was knocked off her bicycle by the driver of a vehicle who was not watching for drivers on two wheels. In an effort to make the roadways safer for all cyclists, Matthew wrote a letter to Thomas F Barraga, 70, who is the legislator for Suffolk County where the incident occurred. He asked for bike lanes or warning signs to be installed. The answer he received was less than satisfying.

It is the opinion of Mr. Barraga that “no one who lives in Suffolk County should ride a bicycle” because “drivers expect to see other drivers on the road, not bicyclists and motorcyclists.” Apparently people who are in a situation where they cannot afford a car, who choose not to pollute the environment unnecessarily, or possibly require such exercise should not be guaranteed a safe driving experience by the laws of their community. It is obviously too much trouble for the people you voted into office to add bike lanes .

I’ve never liked bike lanes. They seem to criss-cross the automobile lanes in a rather unsafe fashion. But I’m not a bike rider and I don’t use them, so maybe I’m not a good judge. I do, however, support the choice of people who do use them, and I watch out for those on two wheels or, for that matter, two legs. Drivers should be paying attention to everything sharing the roadway, from ducks to dogs. Maybe Thomas F Barraga is getting too old to perform his duties. He just sounds crotchety to me.


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