With most people confined to their homes by the coronavirus pandemic and itching to get out into open space, it becomes abundantly clear that Nassau County is lacking when it comes to bike trails.
The county has fewer than 50 miles of bike trails, compared with New York City, which has 450, and Suffolk County, which has 370. So Nassau residents have long had a hard time finding a place to ride freely, unconcerned about the presence of cars. Now, as the weather (finally) warms, and with people unable to work out at their gyms, many are turning to cycling for exercise.
But too many are forced to ride on streets, unprotected from the vehicles around them. True, there are fewer cars on the roads, but it’s still much safer to ride on trails, away from traffic. It’s also better for motorists. Many drivers now find themselves navigating among pedestrians, runners, cyclists, inline skaters and skateboarders.
What cyclists need are safe places to ride, removed from suburban streets.
Historically, Nassau lawmakers have not seen the importance of bike trails, as those in New York City and Suffolk County have. The thinking has been, people drive, so why bother with bike trails?