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  1. #1
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    Tobay bike path opps

    It seems the restrictive gates the Town of Oyster Bay installed at the Tobay end of the bike path have finally attracted the attention of a wheelchair bound patron.

    As per Newsday today:

    "A disabled man on Long Island says hes upset that hes not able to get to the restrooms and concession stands like most people at Tobay Beach.

    Peter Hawkins is paralyzed from the waist down, WCBS 880s Sophia Hall reported. He said he sits in front of the turnstile at Tobay Beach and gets upset that he cannot get to the concession stands and restrooms without calling for help.

    Its just so obnoxious, said Hawkins. You can walk through anytime you want. But you cant go through with a wheelchair.

    The Town of Oyster Bay said it installed the turnstiles and gate near the bike trail to prevent people from causing a safety hazard and taking their bicycles on the beach.
    But in doing so, those who have walkers, handicapped bikes or wheelchairs cannot get past them unless they call a number and wait a few minutes for security to come and let them inside.
    Hawkins said its unfair.

    Theres only one group of people that are set apart. You cant go through like everybody else, he said.

    A town spokesperson said the measure was determined to be the best solution and helps ensure the safety of all its residents.


    Maybe now they'll re-think this, before a bunch of lawsuits get filed.

  2. #2
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I don't know that area, but how hazardous were cyclists before implementing the turnstile? I seem to often see municipalities take knee jerk reactions because someone sees a possible risk.

    I know that here, in Wilkes-Barre PA, where it is illegal to ride bicycles on the sidewalk in a business district, the BMXers zip around the sidewalks pretty regularly in the downtown area, plus the few people riding other types of bikes tend to be on the sidewalks as well, very rarely do I see a bike on the streets where they belong. A year or two back, the decision was made to crack down on cyclists (briefly) but I suspect that the only people that were caught and paid a fine were those who were riding relatively sensibly... the people they were trying to catch zip through too fast to be susceptible to being caught.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    I don't know that area, but how hazardous were cyclists before implementing the turnstile? I seem to often see municipalities take knee jerk reactions because someone sees a possible risk.

    I know that here, in Wilkes-Barre PA, where it is illegal to ride bicycles on the sidewalk in a business district, the BMXers zip around the sidewalks pretty regularly in the downtown area, plus the few people riding other types of bikes tend to be on the sidewalks as well, very rarely do I see a bike on the streets where they belong. A year or two back, the decision was made to crack down on cyclists (briefly) but I suspect that the only people that were caught and paid a fine were those who were riding relatively sensibly... the people they were trying to catch zip through too fast to be susceptible to being caught.
    This a case of the state building a 3.3 mile bike path on state property, along a state parkway, with the bike path ending at the town owned beach property line. The town that runs this section of beach does not want folks cycling to the beach, nor wants bikes on the beach or in the adjacent town parking lot.

    Thus they erected a fence with turnstile gate that allows pedestrian access but no bike or wheelchair access. The town is adamant about not wanting bikes on their property, claiming it's a safety issue.

    Part of the issue is that in past decades, the town beach has been open to town residents only, who's only access was via car. Thus you had to have a town supplied access pass to use the beach, which kept out the riff-raff from the adjacent state beaches, which has municipal bus access. If you catch my drift.

    Now with the bike path, not only does the town lose income from the hoards of cyclists (and pedestrians willing to schlep the extra 3 miles, in the hot sun) descending on the town beach, but the "we don't like your kind" mentality comes thru load and clear.

    What's unclear is the state is intent on extending the path eastward another 10 miles to the east end end of the Jones Beach barrier island, allowing access to other town beaches as well as secluded private communities. Some residents - including a retired judge, have sued the state to stop construction of the extension, which is slated for 2021 or so. Eventually the towns are going to have to allow access to bikes, as there will be no practical or cheap method to keep them out. This town (Town of Oyster Bay) has yet to face reality, so it's a case of the haves wanting to deny access to state owned property to the have not's.
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  4. #4
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Ah... The old "class warfare" type of thing.

    I think someone should petition the state to provide racks and lockers for about 100 bikes on the state side of the turnstile so the riders have a safe place to park their bikes while using the town beach. That still wouldn't provide handicapped access directly, but it could eventually get the town to remove the turnstile, because it isn't keeping the undesirables out... just their bikes.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

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  5. #5
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    The fence extends about 30 feet to the left which i've seen a number of cyclists walk around with their bikes. So it's not stopping any "able bodied" person from entering. But it does stop those that have any physical challenge.

    The gate is STUPID.

    BTW... someone should put a trash can there. That will reduce the amount of empty water bottles, gel packs and trash at the end of the path. (I carry mine out with me).


    "Now with the bike path, not only does the town lose income from the hoards of cyclists (and pedestrians willing to schlep the extra 3 miles, in the hot sun) descending on the town beach, but the "we don't like your kind" mentality comes thru load and clear."

    I know you're tongue and cheek.

    These "hoards" have to either pay to park at Jones Beach or park at Cedar Creek where you have to be a Nassau County resident or pay to park or park north of Merrick road.

    Then they have to ride past beautiful Jones Beach with it's easy bike access and dedicated bike parking lot. Their miles of pristine beach, food vendors and restrooms.


    I'm a resident of TOB and think the gate is stupid and insulting.

  6. #6
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    Eh, as far as the town gov't is concerned, I don't think it's so much the "class-warfare" fear of the "hoards" (actually, it's "hordes") so much as the lawyer and lawsuit-driven culture of liability* we have allowed to take over our lives here in this corner of the country. Clearly they are looking west to the shocking carnival of blood that has taken place since the Jones Beach path was extended.....

    Oh, wait a minute............








    *apologies to any attorneys present
    joebike

  7. #7
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    Well, mostly tongue-in-cheek oldnslow and thanks for the hordes correction Joe.

    I am just super pissed at TOBAY for the attitude the gate and signage represents. We should be ENCOURAGING cycling, not throwing up obnoxious signs and ADA non-compliant gates.

    It took DECADES to get the State to finally get bikes down to the boardwalk at JB plus years of hard volunteer work to get the TOBAY extension built. It will take much additional work and money to get the path to Captree and crap like this from the town just makes it all the more exasperating.

    I mean, JB doesn't seemingly have a huge problem with cyclists riding in the JB lots currently, I assume, so how come TOB just throws down the "Oh it's unsafe" BS.

    And in in many respects, the towns have hidden behind a class system established by Robert Moses when he opted out of allowing easy mass transit access to JB when it was built. He was specific in only wanting people who owned cars. That certainly establishes a class system for access. Certainly TOBAY and Babylon could allow and encourage bus access for its residents that don't own cars, as Nassau does for JB, but they never have and never will.

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