Letter to the Editor: LIE service roads need cyclist safety upgrades

The Long Island Expressway service road outside Roslyn Heights. // Photo via Wikimedia Commons

To the Editor:

I’m an avid road bike cyclist. I use the Long Island Expressway service road frequently, but only on weekend mornings. There are no bicycle lanes, except for 100 yards on South Service Road in front of the Ritz Carlton from New Hyde Park Road to the Ritz. There are shoulder areas, but not enough. If Nassau County is unwilling to designate bicycle lanes on the LIE service road, at the very least, it should have signs posted that say, “Share the Road.”

Suffolk County does this. The signs would at least educate drivers to the possibility that cyclists might be present on the road and that cyclists are allowed to ride on this street. Many drivers are ignorant to the fact that bicyclists are permitted to ride on the service roads. They also can be belligerent, and they often try to teach you a lesson by seeing how close they can get to you. Some drivers also have no problem overtaking you and making a righthand turn directly in front of you. 

Such drivers need to be educated that cyclists are taxpayers also and have the right to ride a bicycle on the road. I believe the New York State Department of Transportation and Nassau County are responsible for protecting bicyclists on the LIE service road.

I personally am very concerned about a westbound stretch on the North Service Road between Shelter Rock Road and Community Drive because there is no shoulder, just a guardrail and overgrown brush with no escape route in the right lane, where cyclists must ride.

Finally, a motorist  in the right lane either speeding or distracted could cause a fatal accident. A cyclist was killed on the service road on Sunday, March 17, 2019, near Great Neck South High School. This rider, David Schlichting, had helped organize the Five Boro Bike Tour. It was a hit-and-run. The driver had committed vehicular homicide and was never caught.

I never see police enforcement on the service road, but I do see many speeding vehicles.


Great Neck

Editor’s note: Only the writer’s initials were used at his request to protect his identity.

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