Bicycle events, marathons relegated to the off-season

Cyclists ride along Main Road in Southold. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)
Cyclists riding along Main Road in Southold. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro, file)

The Southold Town Board has officially banned bicycle races, marathons and charity runs during the area’s busy seasons.

Applications that were already approved for this year will still be honored. Future events will not be allowed between June 1 and Nov. 1 under the new policy, which the Town Board approved Tuesday.

Supervisor Scott Russell said the policy change wasn’t meant to discourage the events from coming to town.

“You’re welcome, but we really need to move you to a time of year that’s manageable,” he said, adding he believes cyclists and runners only makes the roads more dangerous during tourist seasons.

Councilman Bill Ruland said he believes there’s a balance between having “a resource that people love to come and visit versus how many people we can accommodate.”

The policy originally banned the events from May to October, but the dates were changed at the request of Police Chief Martin Flatley, Mr. Russell said.

“Frankly, [allowing events in May] gives people a month with fairly reasonable weather,” he said.

The town also decided to have the running and bicycle race organizers make a $1,500 deposit for cleanup.

While Councilwoman Jill Doherty said she believes the deposit fee will also let organizers know the town is “serious” about caring for roadways, Councilman James Dinizio said he’s more interested in seeing the town spend more time enforcing its existing policies and addressing current safety concerns.

Under the new policy, the deposit could be used to pay highway crews to dispose of waste and repair roads. For example, town officials said an organizer from a previous bicycle race had arrows painted on town roads and didn’t remove them after the event was over.

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