Citing concerns over safety and traffic, East Hampton Town and East Hampton
Village have denied permits for a popular bicycle ride from Manhattan
to Montauk less than a week before the event.
The Ride to Montauk, which has drawn as many as 3,000 bicyclists in recent
years, is scheduled to start at Penn Station at 5 a.m. tomorrow, when
some bicyclists will begin a 150-mile journey to Montauk. Other riders
are set to join at Babylon, Shirley and East Hampton.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said the town denied the permit
because the organizers, Bicycle Shows U.S., did not have insurance, did
not get police approval and failed to meet other requirements.
Company officials said they met last week with East Hampton Town Police
to discuss logistics and are also insured. Attorneys for the town and
the organizer met yesterday in Riverhead before State Supreme Court Justice
Elizabeth Hazlitt Emerson but did not settle the issue. They are scheduled
to return today.
"I feel pretty confident there is going to be a ride on Saturday,"
said Glen Goldstein, the owner of Bicycle Shows U.S. "I just don't
know what it's going to look like yet."
Goldstein said Cantwell informed him of the denial Tuesday. At a special
meeting Wednesday, the East Hampton Town Board directed the town's
attorneys to seek a court order stopping the ride.
East Hampton Village denied organizers a permit Thursday morning due to
"concerns because of the late submission of the application and the
proposed size of the event," said village administrator Rebecca Molinaro.
She said the organizers applied about a week ago.
Stephen Grossman, the Sag Harbor attorney representing Bicycle Shows U.S.,
said the notice denying the ride was too late.
"They can't do this two days before an event, when many, many
people are coming from different places," Grossman said. "That's
Goldstein said about 2,000 riders are signed up. Southampton Town initially
denied Bicycle Shows U.S. a permit to allow about 3,000 riders, but after
negotiations said it would allow 1,500 riders, said Southampton Town Police
Sgt. Todd Bennett.
"It's a great event and everything, but it's gotten too big
for the area," he said.
Goldstein said he organized a 70-mile loop within East Hampton for some
riders in order to comply with Southampton's limit.
The Ride to Montauk has gone on in some form for 49 years, Goldstein said.
He said he has organized it for the past 16 years, during which time there
have been no deaths or serious accidents.
"We just want to ride bikes," said Goldstein, of upstate Narrowsburg.