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Southold considers joining county-wide bike sharing program

06/20/2017 3:26 PM |

The Southold Town Board discussed Tuesday a new bike-sharing plan that would allow municipalities across Suffolk County to join the alternative transportation program.

Nick Palumbo, executive director of sustainability for Suffolk County Community College, proposed the idea during the Town Board’s work session and outlined the health, traffic and economic benefits of bike riding.

“We think the time is right for Long Island to get on board with this and hope the Town of Southold will participate,” Mr. Palumbo said.

Unlike the Citi Bike system in New York City, the county plans to use a dockless bike system that uses an app to track bikes, he added.

Mr. Palumbo said biking stations for Southold Town would be located at public spaces, including libraries, hamlet centers, beaches, schools and health care centers.

The program would be paid for mostly through sponsorships, grants and membership fees, he said.

Costs include about $1,600 per bike and $450 per docking site, among other expenses.

The county plans to enter into an agreement with a third-party vendor to collect revenue and maintain the equipment, Mr. Palumbo said, adding the town would weigh-in on locations for bike stations.

Councilman Jim Dinizio expressed concern about the lack of bike lanes on the North Fork and questioned how that would impact the county’s program. Mr. Palumbo said more bike lanes will be created if municipalities are in favor of the bike-sharing program.

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Photo: Nick Palumbo, executive director of sustainability for Suffolk County Community College, at Tuesday’s Southold Town Board meeting. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)

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