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COVID-19: Social Distancing Was Not Practiced At Bicycle Sunday, Town Supervisor Warns

There was not proper social distancing in Westchester as "Bicycle Sundays" returned during the COVID-19 crisis. Photo Credit: Contributed/Paul Feiner
There was not proper social distancing in Westchester as "Bicycle Sundays" returned during the COVID-19 crisis. Photo Credit: Contributed/Paul Feiner
There was not proper social distancing in Westchester as "Bicycle Sundays" returned during the COVID-19 crisis. Photo Credit: Contributed/Paul Feiner

Bicycle Sundays made its grand return to Westchester this weekend, but participants didn’t practice proper social distancing, according to the official who conceptualized the event nearly five decades ago.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who has been advocating for a postponement of the start of Bicycle Sundays, is cautioning that cyclists weren’t being safe amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to Feiner, there were “significant incidents of failure to socially distance, and I estimated that 15 percent to 20 percent of the cyclists did not wear masks.”

Feiner noted that on Main Street in White Plains, County Police required bicyclists to periodically stop to allow cars to drive into the city, with some of the bicyclists not wearing masks as they bunched up.

“If a bicyclist was forced to stop, social distancing is impossible,” he said. “All the bicycle riders were much less than six feet away from each other while waiting to cross the street.”

Feiner also pointed out an outdoor snack stop on the Main Street Parkway, and the hill near Fisher Avenue in White Plains as spots bicyclists congregated and did not practice social distancing.

“When cyclists stop for a few minutes waiting to cross the parkway, the bicyclists can’t social distance,” he said. “I worry (because) if even a small segment of cyclists infect others when participating he Bicycle Sundays, there is a great risk that some people can get sick or even die.

“That’s why we close schools, businesses, restaurants, cancel proms, work from home. Bicycle Sunday is a fun activity,” he continued. “Was it premature to hold it?  

“I love Bicycle Sundays, and came up with the idea over 46 years ago,” Feiner added. “I think holding this event during a pandemic sends mixed messages to the community that the pandemic is over. Most people who participated in Bicycle Sunday had a fantastic time. I hope some don’t get sick.” 

Latimer said that he and Feiner are in “complete disagreement” over the topic, and he plans to continue running Bicycle Sundays unless riders and joggers blatantly disregard Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s social distancing orders.

“I think the information and photos that were shared do not give an accurate picture of what has happened,” Latimer said. “I was out there, I went up and down the route and saw what I saw.

“There were examples of individuals without masks, and there are examples of people who did cluster, but it was not permanent clustering, and it was not a permanent reality throughout most of the route.”

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