Martin Buchman is an avid cyclist and advocate for expanded cycling infrastructure on Long Island. He is also an innkeeper!
Following a long career in teaching, he and his wife opened the Stony Brookside Bed and Bike Inn in the Three Village area of Stony Brook. The concept for their inn came to them in 2010 on a cycle trip to Italy where they stayed at hotels that catered primarily to cycle tourists. Each day started with a guided bicycle adventure followed by an afternoon spent relaxing with their gracious hosts in beautiful and natural surroundings. Upon their return, the idea of a lodging that catered to cyclists on Long Island became their vision and passion. Martin and his wife show guests the vistas and venues of Long Island’s North Shore by bicycle including the beaches, wineries, museums, nature reserves, shops and restaurants of the Three Village area as well as the North Fork or the Hamptons. All within easy access by bicycle from The Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn.
Martin is a board member of New York Bicycling Coalition, an organization whose mission is to facilitate cycling by providing resources, education, and consultation on bicycling in communities throughout New York State. He is also an active member of the USGBC-LI Sustainable Transportation Committee.
Martin is a strong advocate for expanded bike lanes. He has been instrumental in advocating for access to the new Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway to Suffolk County cyclists. He started a change.org petition to NYSDOT to add a bike lane to the Robert Moses Causeway that would connect to the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway, a 13-mile path along some of the best beaches in the world. To date the petition has over 2200 signatures!
You can add your name to the petition here.
Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn: https://thestonybrookside.com/
Vision Long Island and AARP Long Island recently teamed with community influencers and officials to conduct two outdoor walkability audits in the Village of Hempstead and Brentwood. Vision LI and AARP’s have collaborated for several years helping to assess community walkability.
Led by Vision Long Island Placemaking Director Elissa Kyle, the audits help identify scarcity of sidewalks, heavy traffic, multilane roadways that are unsafe to cross, and lack of street and sidewalk maintenance that discourage or outright prevent people from walking. With the help of AARP volunteers, the audits help increase exercise opportunities for our communities and boost social interaction among neighbors.
This AARP Long Island collaboration is part of AARP’s broader Livable/Age-Friendly Communities initiative. “Too many communities, especially on Long Island, are designed exclusively or almost exclusively for automobile travel, with very little consideration given to the needs of pedestrians of all ages,” explained Bernard Macias, AARP NY Associate State Director for Long Island.
Vision Long Island works with communities to assess the walkability of their streets through walk audits and make formal recommendations for improvements. They advocate for funding to help implement improvements to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure at the state, county and local level. In addition, Vision Long Island holds an annual Long Island Complete Streets Summit to bring advocates, engineers, residents, business owners and government together to plan and rebuild Long Island's dangerous roadways.
Vision Long Island and AARP have plans to team on two additional walkability audits in September during LI Mobility Week.
For additional information contact:
Elissa Kyle - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bernard Macias -email@example.com
AARP Livable Communities website: https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/
This one square mile forward thinking community makes sustainability a culture! Located 25 miles east of Manhattan and sitting atop a 120-foot bluff on the North Shore of Long Island, Sea Cliff encourages residents to walk and bike their slice of heaven that includes a beach and 16 neighborhood parks.
For Sea Cliff, getting residents out of their cars is as much about reducing greenhouse gas emissions as it is about building a more healthy and vibrant community. Each year they celebrate Car Free Day LI encouraging residents to get out of their cars and try walking, biking, and other sustainable forms of mobility.
Trustee Dina Epstein says the reason they have been so successful at changing behavior is they start at a very young age. For the 4th year in a row local bike enthusiast Daniel Flanzig has chaired Sea Cliff Elementary School’s Bike to School Day. Students meet at two locations and bike together to the elementary school where they are met by representatives of Cohens Children’s Hospital who give out prizes and bike licenses. Flanzig reports, “With about 60 kids participating each year the bike racks are overflowing!” The Village collaborates with Jillian Savino from Cohens Children’s Hospital and Mark Hoffacker from NY Coalition for Transportation Safety on their Bike to School Day. In the week preceding the event, Cohen’s conducts two days of bike and pedestrian safety classes during PE with grades k-5.
This culture of active transportation is also cultivated through a series of free outdoor walkable events over the summer and fall including: Second Sundays when local roadways are closed for shopping, music and vendor fairs, Free music at Clifton Park on Thursday nights, Free music on the beach on Friday evenings, and the Minimarket Street Fair in October that starts on Sea Cliff Avenue and continues to Tappan Beach.
Active transportation is just one of the many environmental initiatives of the village. They also have banned plastic bags, straws, polystyrene, cutlery, and stirrers; are planning an EV charging station for the Village Parking lot on Sea Cliff Avenue, sell bins and educate residents on composting, practice sustainable gardening, and are in the process of replacing aging septic systems to improve water quality.
For more information on the Village of Sea Cliff visit https://www.seacliff-ny.gov/
The NY Coalition for Transportation Safety (NYCTS) is a nonprofit organization focusing on the development of traffic safety programs in Suffolk, Nassau and Queens counties. Programs include speaking engagements, school assembly presentations, bike rodeos, workshops and online lectures. NYCTS also serves as an advocate for pedestrian and bicycle safety. NYCTS works with traffic safety safety boards, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), Safe Kids, local senior centers, churches and many other grassroots organizations.
NYCTS partners will the Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) and Walk Safe Long Island (WSLI) to conduct pedestrian and bike safety programs as well as Walk Safe With a Doc programs across Long Island.
Recently, NYCTS partnered with The Town of North Hempstead and Nassau University Medical Center to host a Bike Rodeo & Helmet Safety event at Manorhaven Beach Park in Port Washington. The fun and educational event provided children with the opportunity to participate in a series of courses to master bicycle safety and agility skills.
Due to the popularity of the event, NYCTS will be training the Port Washington police on how to conduct their own Bike Rodeos. The Bike Rodeo Training event will be held on June 8 at 10:30am at Manorhaven Beach Park in Port Washington. At the event, they will train the police department on how to run a bike rodeo for children 6-9 including drills on balance, scanning and hand signaling. The event will also train how to do safety checks for bikes, helmets and tires. Other groups Interested in hosting their own Bike Rodeos are welcome to attend.
For further information about the various programs offered by NYCTS, contact Cindy Brown. Executive Director.
Walk Safe Long Island website: www.walksafeli.org
With gas prices escalating and vehicles representing a significant portion of the Town’s greenhouse gases, the Town of North Hempstead has embarked on a series of actions to reduce car dependency and promote active transportation, alone or connected to transit.
The Town of North Hempstead occupies 58 square miles, has a population of 222,611 and the average commute to and from New York City is 30 minutes by train. It is bounded on the north by the Long Island Sound, offering a variety of active and passive waterfront trails, parks and recreational facilities. It was ranked #46 out of the top 100 Best Places to Live in America by CNN Money Magazine. To ensure the Town continues to thrive with the changing climate, it is in the process of creating a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Following are five stand out initiatives
1. Car Free Day LI - The Town asked employees to take the Car Free Day LI pledge to drive less, and instead increase use of transit, walking, biking and carpooling. Commissioner of Planning Michael Levine reported taking the train to get to a public meeting in Great Neck, while others attempted to drive. “People were wondering why I arrived so much more quickly, while they navigated rush hour traffic!” Leading by example, earned the Town first place of any Town on Long Island for Car Free Day pledging in 2021.
2. Bike Share - The Town of North Hempstead is the first in Nassau County to introduce bike share. This summer residents will be able to pedal Port Washington’s shores, parks and Main Street for as little as $4 an hour on a rental from PedalShare. “The Town is so excited to be welcoming PedalShare to Port Washington,” said Council Member Dalimonte. “We can’t wait for our residents to utilize the program and discover all that our beautiful Town has to offer as well as the area’s wonderful parks.”
3. Bike Safety - On April 27 North Hempstead Council Member Mariann Dalimonte, in partnership with the Town Board, Nassau University Medical Center and the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety, proudly organized a Bike Rodeo & Helmet Safety event at Manorhaven Beach Park. The fun and educational event provided children with the opportunity to participate in a series of courses to master bicycle safety and agility skills.
4. Transportation Innovation Series -Between February and April, the Town hosted three free programs to help residents discover greener ways to get around Town focused on transit, active transportation, and electric vehicles. “Our environment is our most precious resource, and I urge residents to do their part to cut down on harmful emissions created by our vehicles,” Supervisor Jennifer DeSena said. The first workshop facilitated by Transit Solutions, “Don’t ‘drive’ yourself crazy BINGO” highlighted the Town’s local train, bus, shuttles and paratransit through a fun game of BINGO. The second workshop facilitated by Let’s Move Long Island in collaboration with local Chambers of Commerce and BIDs, “Walk or Bike North Hempstead!” educated residents about the many health, environmental, social, and economic benefits of walking and biking as well as North Hempstead’s shop and stroll opportunities, trails, and routes for all levels of walking and biking. The third workshop facilitated by Drive Electric LI, “Electric Vehicles 101” provided information about EV features, benefits, and financial incentives as well as a show and tell of different electric vehicles.
5. Looking to the future - The Town has plans to grow active transportation, including a Blue Way Trail that will offer continuous paddling along it’s shoreline connecting Manhasset Bay, Hempstead Harbor, and Little Neck Bay. It also plans to extend Bay Walk connecting the Town Dock in Port Washington with the Village of Baxter Estates, Port North, and Manorhaven. Also, very exciting are vision plans to turn North Hempstead Beach Park into a world class walkable, bikeable and sustainable waterfront park.
For more information go to www.northhempsteadny.gov/climateaction
Founded in 2019 and funded by the Ferguson Foundation, the Brookhaven Bike Co-op (BBC) is a nonprofit community bike organization. Their all-volunteer staff collects and refurbishes unwanted bicycles that are donated by individuals or institutions; then provides them to people who need transportation or have limited accessibility to a healthy activity. To date, BBC has refurbished and donated over 1,000 bikes, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, providing a needed transportation solution, promoting health and well-being, and supporting their community.
BBC has two locations in Suffolk County in St. James and Manorville. The co-op provides space for unwanted bikes to be refurbished and then given to those in need. The co-op also provides the public access to tools and spare parts to fix their own bikes and provides a community space for gatherings and meetings both bike and non-bike related, according to founder Greg Ferguson.
Ferguson builds relationships with local organizations whose missions align with that of the co-op. Stony Brook University has donated bicycles left behind by students and Trek Bicycle Corp donates overstock and trade-ins to the co-op. BBC sees local bike shops as their partners and not competitors as the co-op fills an alternative need and serves a different clientele than most bike shops do. BBC also partners with food pantries and social workers that serve as a direct link to those in need, including kids and adults in need of transportation.
An estimated 15 volunteers put in hours at their two locations – St. James and Manorville – as well as fixing bikes at home. Ferguson has found they have little problem getting bikes or giving them away. The biggest challenge he and volunteers face is getting the bikes ready for those who need them. To meet this challenge, the co-op offers prospective volunteers free bicycle repair classes.
How to Get Involved
Brookhaven Bike Co-op accepts donations of bicycles of all sizes and any condition at their St. James location in Flowerfield, or their Manorville location at 515 Eastport-Manor Road.
Brookhaven Bike Coop is now seeking to expand their successful bike coop program into Nassau County and is looking for a municipal partner that could provide unused commercial space, ideally, 2000-2500 sq ft. for the storage and refurbishing of the bikes. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hal Tarry is an avid cyclist and advocate for safer cycling infrastructure on Long Island. During his 36 year career as an engineer with the state Department of Transportation (DOT), Hal advocated for shared use paths and wider shoulders to enhance bicycle safety. Since his retirement in 2013, Hal has continued to be a vocal advocate for expanding Long Island bike paths.
During his career at the DOT, where he biked to the office from his Smithtown home, Hal was responsible for the shared use path through the Oakdale Merge, the Bethpage State Parkway Bikeway extension and the early design phases of the Ocean Pkwy Greenway. He continually pushed for the consideration of bicycle accommodations in the projects he oversaw to improve safety for motorist, bicyclists and pedestrians. For example, on the bridge over the LIE on Patchogue/Holbrook Road (CR 19), he recommended a protected 5’ walkway on each side of the bridge. Hal was also instrumental in facilitating an agreement between LIPA, Suffolk County and the Federal Highway Administration to enable building paths on LIPA right-of ways with federal aid funds. This allowed the North Shore Rail Trail, 10-mile hike and bike trail from Port Jefferson Station to Wading River, to move ahead.
Since his retirement in 2013, Hal has maintained his license and focuses his continuing education on bicycle/pedestrian issues through his membership in the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. He has been trying to persuade the Smithtown’s town board and planning department staff to adopt a bicycle master plan to improve infrastructure for active transportation. Hal has also been active in promoting the development of the Robert Moses Causeway bikeway to provide bike access to the newly open Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway to Suffolk County residents. He helped create a petition for the project that currently has over 2151 signatures (https: //www.change.org/BikeToTheBeach).
Working with the Trust for Public Land and other advocates, Hal has also been promoting the extension of the Empire Trail System across Long Island to Montauk. Preliminary design has begun of the first 20 mile segment of the LI Empire Trail Extension between the Meadowbrook Parkway and Sunken Meadow Parkway.
Aside from bike advocacy, Hal still rides for transportation and to keep in shape for his annual bicycle tours. His most recent tour was a 10-day, 400 mile bike trip on the new Empire State Trail from the Canadian border to Battery Park. While he noted some shortcomings including lack of accommodations, some safety issues, ongoing maintenance and signage, he was impressed that the state had got it all done so quickly. Upcoming bicycle tours on the horizon are the Adventure Cycling Association’s (ACA’s) Southern Tier (San Diego to St. Augustine) and their Underground Railroad route (Mobile, AL to Canada).
Ride on, Hal!
Hal Tarry on his 400 bike tour on the Empire State Trail, from the Canadian border to Battery Park.
GPI is the largest planning and engineering firm headquartered on Long Island. Founded in 1966 in the Village of Babylon, GPI has grown to be ranked within the top 100 national design firms. Today, GPI is an employee-owned company with dedicated professional staff of more than 250 people in its Babylon headquarters and more than 1,600 nationwide.
GPI strives for a balanced development of all transportation modes and provides planning, people-focused urban design, and engineering solutions that facilitate sustainable transportation in the form of public transit, cycling, and walking. As such, GPI is a strong promoter of active transportation and has supported ‘Let’s Move Long Island’ from the onset of the initiative, led by Director of Sustainability Frank Wefering. The company has also been instrumental in supporting Vision Long Island’s Complete Streets and Smart Growth Summits, and each year its employees support and participate in Long Island Mobility Week and Car Free Day Long Island.
Pursuing the company mission – ‘together, we create the infrastructure people need most’ – GPI has provided planning and engineering expertise for important active transportation, downtown revitalization, and roadway safety improvement endeavors across Long Island. GPI’s Downtown Walkability Improvement project for the Village of Lindenhurst has received multiple awards for its excellence in planning as well as its value to society. GPI also recently carried out walk audits and developed recommendations and design suggestions to revitalize Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon between Strathmore Drive and Sunrise Highway.
GPI is providing planning, design, and engineering services in support of the statewide Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP) for the NYSDOT Hudson Valley and Long Island regions. GPI is responsible for developing safety countermeasures to enhance pedestrian safety. To date, GPI has designed pedestrian safety improvements at approximately 300 intersections. The improvements include crosswalks, pedestrian signals, new traffic signal, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), and raised medians.
For more information on GPI’s work towards creating sustainable transportation infrastructure on Long Island and beyond, please visit www.gpinet.com/livablecommunitiesor contact GPIsustainability@gpinet.com.
GPI Walk Audit - Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon
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