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Letters: Bicycling on LI requires caution

The letter writer who said bicyclists are freeloaders is either delusional or jealous ["Drivers pay lots while cyclists freeload," Letters, Sept. 18]. Many more car drivers break traffic laws than cyclists. Cycling is a valid alternative transportation, and not just selfish, as the letter writer claimed.

Cyclists don't pollute the air and they're getting exercise, which for this obese generation is a good thing.

Tara Valot, Freeport

Unfortunately, there are some irresponsible bicycle riders, but most of us are law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. We also usually have valid driver's licenses and registered cars. We pay our share to the state coffers.

Granted, in New York City there are people who bike to and from work as their only means of transportation. But do we really want more government control of this means of transportation?

Michael Halderman, Holbrook

Now that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has made the relatively empty gesture of bicycling to his bus stop for one day, I hope he will take notice of the danger and difficulty Suffolk County roads present cyclists ["Bellone bikes to work for LI's Car Free Day," News, Sept. 23].

It should come as no surprise to any resident who has been atop a bicycle that Bicycling magazine recently named Suffolk County America's "Worst City for Cyclists." This designation comes despite our open spaces and despite not being a city at all!

Perhaps Bellone and the county legislature will take notice and begin a program to make it feasible for residents to actually bicycle to work daily, enjoy a weekend ride with the children or leave the car in the driveway when on errands.

Paul Pepper, Huntington

Steve Bellone set a great example when he biked to work in support of the second annual Car Free Day Long Island. This movement to celebrate more sustainable forms of transportation was time well spent.

As chief executive of H2M, one of Long Island's largest architecture and engineering firms, and a lifelong Long Islander, I'm proud that my firm chose to expand our company headquarters on Route 110 in Melville. However, we know full well the challenges of growing a business in an area with no mass transit. Like so many other firms on Long Island, we are in a constant struggle to attract young talent looking for easy commuting options that we can't offer.

I stand ready to support Bellone's vision to develop bus rapid transit along Route 110.

Rich Humann, Melville

Dune plan halt may condemn homes

A federal judge recently halted the planned dune replenishment slated for Fire Island between Smith Point County Park and Lighthouse Beach ["Fire Island: Suspension of dune project rapped," News, Sept. 18].

This stop-work order was the result of a lawsuit by the Audubon Society. The judge said she considered the impact on the piping plover, an endangered species. This part of Fire Island is across from the Village of Mastic Beach, which had severe damage during the Irene and Sandy storms. By halting the dune replenishment, the judge has essentially declared the people of Mastic Beach to be an endangered species.

My Mastic Beach home faces Fire Island. My grandfather built this home in 1932, and my wife and I have strong roots in the community. We don't want to leave. However, if a hurricane or a nor'easter should hit hard, we and our neighbors could lose our homes.

If this should happen, the Audubon Society should be held liable for any damage to Mastic Beach.

In Europe, there are many projects completed or underway to prepare for rising sea levels. London has floodgates on the Thames. Venice and St. Petersburg are building massive flood-control structures. The Netherlands has survived being below sea level.

So, will we also prepare or all just move to the North Shore?

Frederick Schaefer, Mastic Beach

Tree removal poorly considered

I drove along South Oyster Bay Road in Plainview and saw workers cutting down trees south of the Northern State Parkway.

I was shocked and dismayed and immediately called the Town of Oyster Bay, which said it was a county project. I called Nassau County, and the Department of Public Works told me it was part of a "beautification" program. How can the loss of so many trees in a suburban area be beautification?

Do government officials ever ask why so many people are leaving Long Island?

I can live with the high taxes, I can live with the political infighting, and with the embarrassment I feel for our government officials. And I can live with much more. But I can't live without trees.

It's only a matter of time before "beautification" turns our little towns into Manhattan, Forest Hills or some other city landscape!

Patricia Cohen, East Norwich

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