10/02/13 2:00pm
10/02/2013 2:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new bike path along River Road in Calverton.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new bike path along River Road in Calverton.

From the time Riverhead Town was awarded a $3.15 million grant for a biking and jogging path stretching from Calverton and Northville, it took almost four years to get the project started.

But it took only six months to actually build the path. (Click on the map below.)

The state Department of Transportation finished the job this summer, according to DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters. Construction began in March of this year and, Ms. Peters said this week, was completed by Aug. 1.

The town received $3.15 million in federal stimulus funds in July 2009 for the alternative transportation path, which runs from Pier Avenue in Northville to Wading River-Manor Road in Calverton, while connecting with existing state and county bike routes.

After winning the award, the town spent about three years designing and engineering the project, according to Supervisor Sean Walter, who said all of those costs were covered by the grant.

“In September 2012, the state Department of Transportation offered to do the job, so we turned the remaining grant money over to them,” Mr. Walter said.

At that time, the town had been planning to seek bids on the project.

“I think the project is great,” said Nick Attisano, owner of Twin Forks Bicycles in downtown Riverhead. “Anything they can do to make it safer for cyclists and families to ride on the road is an improvement.”

Mr. Attisano said he thinks the path needs to be better publicized so that more people will use it.

The town’s alternative transpiration committee recently published a brochure showing the various bike paths in Riverhead.

tgannon@timesreview.com

46 Transporatation Map 2-9-19-2011

09/09/13 10:00am
09/09/2013 10:00 AM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTOS | Bicyclists would be wise to remember a few basic rules, one reader suggests.

GRANT PARPAN FILE PHOTO | Bicyclists would be wise to remember a few basic rules.

To the Editor:

I am not a serious bicycle rider, but I do occasionally mix it up out there with our summer traffic. I am a motor vehicle driver, however, and over the past couple of weeks I’ve witnessed three categories of bicycle/motor vehicle incidents that I believe are worth mentioning. Hopefully, it’s not too late in the season to save an injury.

First, while driving on a shady, country lane, I encountered a bicycle coming straight at me in the shoulder of my lane. New York state law requires bicycles to ride in the right-hand lane in the direction of other vehicle traffic. The reason behind this is that the distance between bike and car closes so fast when riding “head to head” that things can happen more quickly than either vehicle can safely anticipate. Another reason is that at intersections, right-turning drivers don’t normally expect any vehicles coming at them from the right.

The second instance involves bicycles riding single-file. Again, this is required by state law, but it is so frequently ignored, especially on our back country roads. It is exactly on these more narrow roads where passing widths are reduced, which makes this requirement so important.

Finally, wear your bicycle helmet! Many bicyclists believe helmets are for when they hit another vehicle, and they reason (maybe correctly) that their helmet won’t do them much good, so why wear one? But the main reason for wearing bike helmets is to protect your head when you fall for whatever reason. Think about it: your unprotected head is six feet or more above the pavement, and your hands are holding onto the handlebars for dear life during a fall. That leaves your head completely unprotected.

This was brought home to us recently when we were invited to a friend’s home for dinner. When we arrived, everyone seemed pretty gloomy and our hosts were not in sight. Turns out their daughter had just been in a bike accident and they were waiting for more news. Fortunately, their daughter was wearing a helmet, and except for some temporary cosmetic issues, she’ll be fine. If she had not been wearing her helmet, the story would have had a much sadder ending.

With school about to begin, there will be many more kids on the road heading off to school on their bikes. So, bicyclers and drivers alike, please consider each other when out there “sharing the road.”

Jim Baker, New Suffolk