Thanks to all of you who signed our petition on Change.org (http://chn.ge/2dqCkSE)! As a testament to Gaby O’Shea’s indomitable spirit, we far surpassed our goal of 500 signatures. More than 2,100 people are demanding safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians on Route 299 West in New Paltz and Gardiner so that none of us will have to hear about— or experience — the type of trauma and injuries that Gaby has suffered.
And our collective efforts have clearly paid off! Although Ulster County turned down our demand for buffered bicycle lanes (securing the right-of-way for six-foot-wide bicycle lanes would be a long and costly process), they did pave shoulders from the Carmine Liberta Bridge up to Butterville Road — and they did this in just two days! We have been asking for this work to be done for more than ten years, and after a strong public outcry, the paving was completed in less than 48 hours. Incredible!
But the work is not done and neither are our efforts. Ulster County still needs to pave shoulders the whole way up to Route 44/55 – a section of which includes the stretch where Gaby was hit. County officials have said that this work will be completed in 2017, and we need to hold them accountable for their promise. So if you have not done so already, please call, e-mail or write to Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and: (1) thank him for moving so quickly to pave the shoulders up to Butterville Road; and (2) tell him how important it is that the shoulder work be finished in 2017, as promised. Here’s Ulster County Executive Mike Hein’s contact information: (845) 340-3800; firstname.lastname@example.org; 6th Floor County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, NY 12401.
Want to get more involved in this effort? Please join us at Water Street Market in downtown New Paltz on Sunday, October 23 from noon until 4 p.m. for Bicycle Awareness Day! We will be promoting greater respect between motorists and cyclists/pedestrians, and we will have letter-writing tables set up to respectfully demand the completion of the shoulders on Route 299 West. All proceeds from Bicycle Awareness Day will go to defray Gaby O’Shea’s astronomical medical expenses.
Thank you, once again, for honoring Gaby by getting involved in this important campaign to make our roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Please continue to stay informed and involved.
Chair, New Paltz Bicycle Pedestrian Committee