Suffolk County Legislator tell bicyclists to stay home…and NYBC responds

In September 2013 West Islip resident Sandy Cutrone was struck and seriously injured by a careless driver while riding her bike on Montauk Highway.   A few months later her son Matthew wrote a letter to Suffolk County Legislator Thomas Barraga, expressing concern about the safety of roadways in the county for bicyclists and suggesting a number of solutions to address the problem.

This 2012 crash in West Islip injured a 15 year-old cyclist.  Source: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/bicyclist-15-critically-injured-in-crash-1.3994338

This 2012 crash in West Islip injured a 15 year-old cyclist. Source: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/bicyclist-15-critically-injured-in-crash-1.3994338

In a January 29 letter to Matthew Cutrone, Thomas Barraga responded by saying “no one who lives in our hamlet or for that matter Suffolk County should ever ride a bicycle…”

In the letter he goes on to essentially blame the victim – Sandy Cutrone – and makes excuses for careless  motorists who he says routinely ignore traffic laws and other users of the road.
The story has fueled an intense backlash from bicyclists around the state and country.
NYBC sent this letter to Thomas Barraga on February 10, and we are coordinating with Long Island bike groups and local advocates to further respond to the situation.

Comments are closed.