East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. announced Monday the village board’s adoption of a bicycle policy that aims to create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians. This followed the board’s vote to adopt the “General Principles for Introducing Bike Lanes in East Hampton Village” at its fiscal year-ending meeting of July 31.
The mayor’s statement described the policy as a template in which “the village commits to do the utmost in working with the cycling community” to ensure safe roadways.
Paul Fiondella and Howard Lebwith, who attended the July 31 meeting, had previously appealed to the board for changes to village roadways that, they said, are hazardous to cyclists and pedestrians. Their argument was tragically underscored by a traffic accident on June 15 in which Anna Lytton, a 14-year-old from Springs, was killed on Pantigo Road in the village.
The policy, according to the statement, will include “the indoctrination and education of both disciplines to ensure the safety of everyone using our scenic roadways.” Village officials will make an effort to meld “a more cohesive utilization” of roads by cyclists and motorists.
“This is a first step for the village,” the mayor, addressing Mr. Fiondella and Mr. Lebwith, said at the meeting.
He also issued an appeal to cyclists. “Please obey the rules of the road,” he said. “That’s not happening over the recent week or so here in the Village of East Hampton. I think a lot of these cyclists are transient, but, by golly, if you see them, look out, because they’re not going to get out of the way. . . . There has to be a partnership here.”
Mr. Fiondella told The Star on Tuesday that he was “very pleased” with the outcome. “It shows the leadership of the village, that it’s willing to tackle the problems that need to be solved in the community instead of sweeping them under the rug, or postponing them for five years, or forgetting about them. The village wants to solve this problem and solve it in the best way possible.”
The East Hampton Town Bicycle Committee and the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee, Mr. Fiondella said, have also endorsed the principles. “It’s a great step forward,” he said. “Hopefully, the next step will be for the town to endorse them.”