A tight-knit group of bikers peddled down the streets of Hempstead on a foggy morning to raise awareness for energy conservation through car-less transportation.
The advocacy group Car-Less Long Island held its third annual Bike-to-Work Parade on April 28, traveling six and a half miles starting at Hofstra University and going around Eisenhower Park. Participants also decorated their bikes and dressed in flashy costumes for prizes.
Car-Less Long Island was founded in 2015 by Silvia Silberger, a math professor at Hofstra who used to roller blade to its campus from the Mineola Train Station. On moving to Long Island in 1998, Silberger said that she wanted to minimize her car use to protect the environment. “I’ve had some pretty hairy commutes,” she said. “But I’ve gotten used to biking more and more on Long Island.”
Silberger couldn’t find any groups advocating for transportation alternatives or working to make Long Island safer for bikers so, she said, she took matters into her own hands and created Car-Less Long Island.
Silberger enlisted the help of Sharon Stanley, a board member of the American Ethical Union and the Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, of which Silberger is a member, provided her with a platform to launch her program. “Transportation is a fairness issue and I think that overlaps very strongly with the mission of the Ethical Humanist Society,” she said.
“I learned so much from Sylvia,” Stanley added, “Before, I hadn’t paid attention to how much I used my car.”
In addition to the bike parade, Car-Less Long Island is working with the Nassau County Legislature to create safer local biking routes and pedestrian walkways. Currently, bike routes exist by Hofstra and Eisenhower Park, but they don’t connect to major roadways.
Car-Less Long island holds quarterly meetings at the Ethical Humanist Society with its next meeting on June 13.