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Town to host forum on making Southold more bicycle friendly

The Southold Town Board and Southold Transportation Commission will be holding a bicycling discussion Wednesday in hopes of making the town more bike friendly.

The goal of the event is to open conversation between community members and town officials about how to make Southold more accessible for cyclists. Town officials want to hear opinions and comments from a broad range of people to decide how to move forward with this endeavor.

“We want members of the community to come out,” Town Board member Sarah Nappa said. “People that are avid bicyclists or people that just like to ride to the beach or whatever the case may be.”

According to Ms. Nappa, various pedal share companies have approached the town with requests to install pedal share stations through Southold. Until recently, the board didn’t think it was appropriate due to insurance coverage and other logistical reasons. 

However, since other towns in Suffolk County such as Hampton Bays and Southampton have begun successfully adopting pedal share programs, the town board is now exploring ways to bring it to Southold. According to Ms. Nappa the pedal share company will present at the next town work session on Nov. 16.

“It’s a really good fit for the North Fork,” said Ms. Nappa, who is also the transportation commission liaison. “It should be a community where people go around on bikes … Our hamlets are relatively close together and there’s a lot of things to do within biking distance, so I think it’s a good opportunity for Southold to be looking at right now.”

Town officials are hoping to get as many perspectives as possible including local businesses. A concern and priority that will also be discussed at the meeting is making roads safer for bicyclists as well as how to ease up traffic.

If the event goes well, the transportation commission plans to organize similar discussions in the future to continue to map out how to address the needs and concerns of the community before committing to the project.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity.” Ms. Nappa said. “It’s a good time for it with rising gas prices and people looking for alternative modes of transportation. I’m hopeful that we can expand that in Southold Town.”

The discussion will be held at the Southold Town Recreation Center at 970 Peconic Lane on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.