Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is pleased that we could help bring bike racks to downtown Riverhead as part of our Family Health and Wellness Program's Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play in Suffolk County. Read more about this initiative in this June 2012 article from RiverheadLocal.com
June 12--Riverhead is working at becoming a more bicycle-friendly place.
The town has begun to install 20 new bike racks at locations from Jamesport to Wading River. The racks were funded by a Creating Healthy Places grant from Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Three bike racks have been installed so far: one in South Jamesport at the town's new Miamogue Park, one at Iron Pier Beach and, yesterday, one on West Main Street, in front of the River and Roots Community Garden. The bike rack in front of the garden is one of two decorative racks purchased by the town with the grant. The other decorative rack will be placed near the East End Arts property on East Main Street.
"We're inviting people to get on their bikes and ride around Riverhead, to take advantage of the many wonderful things our town has to offer," said Councilwoman Jodi Giglio of the town's alternative transportation committee.
"We want to make it easier for people to use their bicycles to get around Riverhead, because it's really great exercise," she said.
Bike racks will be installed at town parks and facilities in Riverhead, Wading River and Calverton. Click on map thumbnail for larger image (opens in new window.)
Meanwhile, Riverhead highway crews have begun widening Sound Avenue by a couple of feet, so the road can be re-striped to provide for bike lanes, highway superintendent Gio Woodson said. Crews started at Roanoke Avenue last week cutting out a foot-wide swath along the shoulder of the north side of the road, he said. They will work their way west to Wading River then come back and do the same on the south side, Woodson said.
Once the new sections of roadway are filled with asphalt, the road will be re-striped to reduce the width of vehicular travel lanes to 10 feet from the present 12 to 14 feet and to add bike lanes in both directions, Woodson said. In addition to making room for bike lanes, shrinking the width of travel lanes is considered a traffic-calming measure that encourages slower speeds, the highway superintendent said.
The benefits of bicycling include improved cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and weight loss, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Getting more exercise and eating healthier diets are the focus of the Creating Healthy Places in Suffolk project of Cornell Cooperative Extension. The objective is to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes by making it easier to access healthier food choices and increase physical activity in the target communities of Riverhead, Southampton and Babylon "where physical activity and healthy food is not commonplace or easy to access," according to the CCE website. With funding from the state health department, CCE's Creating Healthy Places program has supported the establishment of the River and Roots Community Garden, the Flanders farmers market and donated the 20 bike racks to Riverhead.