East Hampton School Board Adopts Bike Policy, May Change Graduation Date

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In his latest push for safer roads, Paul Fiondella of the East Hampton Town Bicycle Committee gained the approval of the East Hampton School Board for his group’s bike policy, which outlines what a bike-friendly town would look like. Meant to serve as a template, the policy aims to keep bicyclists and motorists separate and at the same time create bike lanes that are consistent with other, more general goals of the village and the town.

Even though the board approved the guidelines at its regular meeting on September 3, Mr. Fiondella wants the district to form a safety committee that would work to make students’ safety on the street a priority.

“You can expect other concerns to occupy the town and the village, but none of them are going to be specifically concerned whether children can get between one school and another, or the beach and their home,” he said. “There has to be someone there who says this is a priority and as parents we don’t want this to be done two or five years from now, we want it done as a priority now.”

The bike policy says that bike lanes should be placed on the paved shoulder of the roads and not in the vehicle travel lanes, and that where bike lanes are not feasible on the roads, the village should consider expanding paved shoulders to a minimum of three feet, for example. Mr. Fiondella said that his group doesn’t expect every road in town to have a bike lane, but that the goal is to create a north-south-east-west route that connects beaches, principal institutions, namely schools and libraries, and downtown centers.

The bicyclists’ policy comes after the recent death of 14-year-old Anna Lytton, who was struck by an SUV as she was riding her bike near the CVS on Pantigo Road on June 15. The policy has gained approval from the East Hampton village and town boards, and the group plans to make presentations to other schools in East Hampton Town for a more unified effort.

East Hampton School Board member Jackie Lowey said she is supportive of a safety committee that would oversee bike and pedestrian safety for the district.

“The school certainly should have a role in this,” she said. “I think it needn’t be just board members, but parents, and PTA members. I think we all share an interest in the subject. It’s an important one.”

Commencement Date Could Change

East Hampton High School Principal Adam Fine suggested at last Tuesday’s meeting moving the date of the graduation ceremony this year to Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m. as opposed to the typical Saturday after the last day of classes, June 28, at 10 a.m.

He said moving it up a day to Friday evening would be more comfortable and more beautiful.

“The tent would be dramatically cooler, and stunning with the light coming over the tent,” he said. “It would make it more of a dramatic ceremony.”

Mr. Fine said the event would wrap up before sunset.

Board members seemed amenable to the idea, but said they wanted to get feedback from the school community before agreeing to it.

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