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Old 02-12-14, 09:05 PM   #1
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No One Should Ever Ride Bikes In Suffolk County

"A teen from Long Island was prompted to contact a local lawmaker and call for the installation of bike lanes, after his mother was injured in an accident. But the boy and his mother were shocked when the legislator responded by declaring that no one should even be riding bikes in Suffolk County."

Read the full story:
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/02/...uffolk-county/
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Old 02-12-14, 09:45 PM   #2
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This has nothing to do with bicycling. It only proves that it doesn't take any brains to get elected county legislator.

I like his statement that 90% of the people he knows who took up bicycling were injured.

BTW- I've ridden many miles in Suffolk County over the last 45 years, including the annual Montauk Co-founded and rode for decades, whose route goes right down Montauk Highway is Islip every May. This is a very rideable road, and we've never had a car accident there (or anywhere else between Jamaica Queens and Montauk point) in all the years I was involved with the ride.

I find Suffolk County to be very good riding country, though apparently some people there don't get it.
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Old 02-12-14, 10:06 PM   #3
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Well, I grew up a few miles from W Islip back in the 1960s. Even then Montauk Highway was a busy road and I never remembered anyone riding bikes on it - too dangerous. And I am sure the traffic density has increased over the past 40+ years. Sorry, gotta side against the mom; very foolish IMO....and yes, I know the driver was at fault but that is usually the case in a bike/auto collision. Just glad she survived but I'll bet she doesn't ride on Montauk Highway again.... Eastern Suffolk County may be "good riding country" but def not in the western part of the county where the accident took place.
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Old 02-12-14, 10:08 PM   #4
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What an idiot. He said that there are 135 road signs along a certain stretch of Montauk HWY that drivers ignore. Perhaps he's just speaking for himself, but if what he says is true, then why isn't he calling for a traffic enforcement crackdown in what he claims is a lawless area???
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Old 02-12-14, 10:30 PM   #5
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Well, I grew up a few miles from W Islip back in the 1960s. Even then Montauk Highway was a busy road and I never remembered anyone riding bikes on it - too dangerous. And I am sure the traffic density has increased over the past 40+ years. Sorry, gotta side against the mom; very foolish IMO....and yes, I know the driver was at fault but that is usually the case in a bike/auto collision. Just glad she survived but I'll bet she doesn't ride on Montauk Highway again.... Eastern Suffolk County may be "good riding country" but def not in the western part of the county where the accident took place.
I don't know what kind of riding you do, or if memory is failing you and you're confusing Montauk Highway (rte 27a) with Sunrise Highway (27), but Montauk highway in Islip is a VERY rideable 2 lane road with relatively light traffic (for a suburban area). It does get more congested where it goes through each town, with shops and parking on both sides, but that's no different than any other 2 lane road entering a town anywhere in the USA. IMO anyone not comfortable riding Montauk Highway, might as well give up and stay on the sidewalk.

I'm not saying it's a bicyclists paradise, but it's no worse than the roads commuters and suburban utility riders use daily all over the country.
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Old 02-13-14, 02:30 AM   #6
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I don't know what kind of riding you do, or if memory is failing you and you're confusing Montauk Highway (rte 27a) with Sunrise Highway (27), but Montauk highway in Islip is a VERY rideable 2 lane road with relatively light traffic (for a suburban area).
Seems godeacs may spend most of his time riding on quiet military base roads. Seems he thinks any highway riding is very dangerous.

Sad he is another cyclist quick to blame cyclists for the roads we choose or need to ride on.
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Old 02-13-14, 08:36 AM   #7
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Though this particular highway is not bad by my standards, but I can see the autocentric attitude trickle down effect, with a 40 mph speed limit in front of a major high school.
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Old 02-13-14, 05:15 PM   #8
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according to the article, the boob said 90% of the people that contacted him about taking up riding have been hit and injured. that's a pretty high percentage. i don't think i would want to contact him if i were contemplating the activity. he's a Jonah.

here's the quote from the Farmdale Patch:

"I cannot tell you how many constituents over the years have told me that they are taking up bicycling for pleasure and exercise," Barraga wrote. "I have told them not to do so but they usually do not listen – 90 percent of those people eventually were hit by an automobile many like your mother with serious physical injuries."

thought: i have to wonder if he is related to my stock broker. exaggerating everything and more often than not completely off the mark!

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Old 02-13-14, 07:09 PM   #9
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100% of the people I know who decided to start walking early in life got injured.

However, eventually they gained better skills. Most still occasionally get injured while walking though. Stubbed toes, simple lack of attention, etc. Walking is dangerous. I'm not sure anyone should be walking.
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Old 02-13-14, 07:53 PM   #10
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According to County Legislator Barraga, "there are currently 135 signs between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway on Higbie Lane and Udall Road - most of them are ignored by drivers."

Here's a fact check anybody can do using Google Maps and Street View. Look at the signs on these two streets. It's only about 2.5 miles total because Higbie and Udall join together. There may be 135 total signs on these two streets but there is not a single bike related sign. There isn't any bike lane on either of these two streets. This County Legislator has just spouting nonsense that can easily be checked.

The location where Mr. Cutrone's mother was hit is Babylon's traditional shopping area. I'm sure these merchants would like to know that their County Legislator urges his constituents avoid shopping there. He suggests they use cars and the big box stores.

As an advocate I'd want to create as large a coalition as possible. I'm under no illusion that the powerful bike lobby has any power. However, a group of small merchants is tough for local politicians to ignore. The reply they get from their inquiry will not be the County Legislator's version of tough love.
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Old 02-13-14, 07:56 PM   #11
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BikeSnobNYC is, naturally, on the case.


"Yes, 90% of the people who, for some reason, are consulting Barraga with regard to their cycling aspirations are invariably felled by automobiles. From this, I can only conclude one thing, which is that Thomas F. Barraga is an evil warlock who casts a deadly spell over all who would dare straddle the hated velocipede within the county of Suffolk."
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Old 02-13-14, 08:00 PM   #12
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I am originally from LI and this guy is not entirely wrong. There are too many people for the roads and they drive like idiots. The culture down there is that aggressive driving is the norm. I use to cycle there 20 years ago and it was really bad then....it is worse now.

There are many cyclists on LI and kudos to them....but it is very dangerous.
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Old 02-14-14, 03:42 AM   #13
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I grew up in Suffolk County. I suppose I should have just stayed home after school every day, cause I was too young to drive and Mom was at work, and any activity involving more than walking next door was just out of bounds (and I walked to school, cause we live too close to have a school bus; was that wrong too?). And I shouldn't have taken my bike to the beach that summer to take marine biology, cause with no car and no Mom to drive the class clearly wasn't meant for me. I should have sat at home getting fat watching television, cause that's what folks in suburban automobile communities are supposed to do. Apparently, despite my reckless imprudence at age 13, I'm one of the impossibly lucky 10% who was never hit by a car.

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Old 02-14-14, 07:44 AM   #14
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I live in Suffolk county and ride with my two sons, 19 and 22 years of age, all year, with the exception of winter. ( I know, HTFU ). Most of the roads we ride on are heavily travelled, some have bike lanes, but mostly we ride on shoulders, and it's fine. We don't run into many jerks. When I was in my 20's I went to school in Philadelphia. That's where I got into riding road bikes. We road in Center City (downtown Philly) as well as almost daily club rides on he Schuykill Expessway. No bike lanes or shoulders there.

So I learned to be predictable when I rode my bike, and taught my boys the same thing. It's attitudes like that legislator has that is a danger to everyone.

The roads are fine to ride on, etiquette and predictability win the day.

Tom
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Old 02-14-14, 01:37 PM   #15
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An "unauthorized" text of the inital letter from the 17 year old boy, and Mr. Barraga's reply was recently posted on the Northeast Regional Discussion Forum.
and there is a thread on the the Fifty-Plus Forum, but the thread on Living Car Free is closed.
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Old 02-14-14, 02:42 PM   #16
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Another area of the country where I will not visit or spend any money....
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Old 02-14-14, 02:48 PM   #17
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Another area of the country where I will not visit or spend any money....
Gee, if you let the presence of a single ignorant county legislator determine where you visit or how you spend your money, you'll soon find yourself homebound.
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Old 02-14-14, 03:06 PM   #18
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Another area of the country where I will not visit or spend any money....

First, that's a bit of an overreaction to one jerk. Second, let's be honest, you weren't going there anyway.
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Old 02-14-14, 03:14 PM   #19
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Gee, if you let the presence of a single ignorant county legislator determine where you visit or how you spend your money, you'll soon find yourself homebound.
Then you'll find yourself looking for a new place to live.
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Old 02-14-14, 03:50 PM   #20
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"A teen from Long Island was prompted to contact a local lawmaker and call for the installation of bike lanes, after his mother was injured in an accident. But the boy and his mother were shocked when the legislator responded by declaring that no one should even be riding bikes in Suffolk County."

Read the full story:
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/02/...uffolk-county/


to be fair you should use the whole quote ------------------------------- "no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter in Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle or motorcycle,”

I am sure rollerblades and razor scooters and even skateboards are lumped into his thinking

http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.co...-to-my-son.pdf
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Old 02-14-14, 06:28 PM   #21
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No One Should Ever Ride Bikes In Suffolk County

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I am originally from LI and this guy is not entirely wrong. There are too many people for the roads and they drive like idiots. The culture down there is that aggressive driving is the norm. I use to cycle there 20 years ago and it was really bad then....it is worse now.

There are many cyclists on LI and kudos to them....but it is very dangerous.
I have a very safe commute (in Suffolk County, Massachusetts), and I posted to another thread on the northeast Regional Discussion Forum:

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I have the advantage of riding my year-round 14-mile one-way commute early in the AM though residential Boston and Dedham, in the outbound, reverse commuter direction from Kenmore Square….In any case, I was still hit by a careless driver on a wide, lightly-traveled section last year, losing three months of work. So I am reluctant to encourage anyone to cycle-commute (or even ride a bike in traffic ) though I heartily support even the most adventuresome, yet careful cyclist. [I am still cycle-commuting myself though.]
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Old 02-14-14, 07:46 PM   #22
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Too bad nobody thinks that if in a particular area lots of cars are hitting lots of bikes, maybe the solution is to reduce the number and speed of cars.

http://orange20bikes.com/index.php/c...al-danger.html
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Old 02-14-14, 08:28 PM   #23
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Too bad nobody thinks that if in a particular area lots of cars are hitting lots of bikes, maybe the solution is to reduce the number and speed of cars.

http://orange20bikes.com/index.php/c...al-danger.html

yes but when a cyclist runs into a car the cars occupant usually does not get hurt
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Old 02-14-14, 09:09 PM   #24
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Tom Barraga is a friend of mine. He is also the kind of guy who says what's on his mind. I have contacted the NY Bicycling Coalition and Suffolk Bike Riders Assoc. and offered to set up a meeting with him. The Long Island Bicycling groups are meeting monday and this will be on the agenda. I think a reasonable sit down with advocates and the letter writer would be a good approach.

BTW I used to work for a state Senator who said we should ride against traffic. I didn't hate him for it I just told him how he was wrong.

PS I ride and I have been hit. Drivers don't see us; the roads are dangerous; montauk hwy in Babylon is always congested and I avoid it.
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Old 02-15-14, 02:54 PM   #25
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Tom Barraga is a friend of mine....
PS I ride and I have been hit.
Ah, so you're a 90 percenter, then.
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