Long Island: Port Jefferson Business Improvement District Finds Motorcyclists an Unsightly Presence

Long Island: Port Jefferson Business Improvement District Finds Motorcyclists an Unsightly Presence

A newsletter recently put out by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District here on Long Island is ruffling a few feathers in the local motorcycle community due to the inflammatory language used in 2 of it’s ‘Food for Thought’ bullet points.

Port Jefferson Business Improvement District Unsightly Motorcyclists Flyer

The plans to make a pedestrian centric area on the main business thoroughfare of the town absolutely have their merits. But, the abrasive language chosen by the author of this newsletter speaks volumes about how some business owners feel about their patrons.

  • No motorcycles
  • No unsightly presence of motorcyclists

Unsightly Presence?

How absurd! Motorcyclists are doctors, lawyers, small business owners and moms and dads just like everyone else. We are a cross section of all types of economic strata, backgrounds and walks of life. These very same unsightly people also come to town in their cars with their families, walk the streets with their children and patronize some of these resentful businesses.

With the whole world reeling from economic hardships it’s good to know that some Port Jefferson businesses don’t need our money. I wish I knew which particular businesses were so outraged. I would make it a point to appease their concerns and never patronize them whether I come to town in my car or on my bike.

The Old Slippery Slope

Unsightly presence is an interesting choice of words. Just what are they saying here? Stop a moment and think about how far you could take that argument.  When they start deeming anyone who isn’t blonde haired and blued eyed unsightly, will people react then?

This newsletter’s motorcycle bullet points read like a shortsighted knee-jerk reaction. Removing all parking from Main Street would not mean that motorcyclists wouldn’t find other places to park and still stroll through town as they do now.  They would park in the Marina lot, side street parking or in the metered lot just as they do now and walk into town and buy ice cream, coffee and eat in restaurants.

If there are issues with noise, with traffic and pollution then the village needs to have its constables address them. From minivans that run stop signs, cars with obnoxiously loud radios, pedestrians who drop their trash and don’t pick it up – these things are a nuisance. The town laws should be enforced; not selectively but across the board.

Motorcyclists – Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy

  • Ride proud, not loud.
  • Pick up your trash, your cigarette butts, your coffee cups.
  • Keep thoroughfares clear for walking.
  • To be respected you have to be respectable.

Port Jefferson Links:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue!

[edit 4/6/2010 10:00am]
Please take a moment to read Mayor Margot Garant’s statement on the official Port Jefferson website regarding the “unsightly” flyer.

“Although this flyer looks like it was endorsed and produced by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District, it was actually posted by one member of the District while the President was on vacation, without seeking approval from the BID as a whole. This flyer represents the views and opinions of one person, not the Village, nor the Business Improvement District, as a whole.”

[edit 4/6/2010 2:00pm]
Port Jefferson Business Improvement District President, Bruce Passarelli weighs in on the offending language with a post on the Port Jefferson website.

“I, and others on the Board, are quite upset about it. I know personally the Merchants of Port Jefferson welcome the motorcyclists. I am considering resigning from the BID’s Board of Directors. Again, I was unaware of this being sent out and it should never have been sent, period.”

[edit 4/7/2010 6:30am]

I attended the Port Jefferson BID meeting on the evening of April 6. Some members of the BID and the Mayor were on hand to answer questions by concerned motorcyclists. Continue Reading…

20 Replies to “Long Island: Port Jefferson Business Improvement District Finds Motorcyclists an Unsightly Presence”

  1. Unfortunately this is something that we face everywhere. No one seems to remember the rider that waves them in at a merge, but complains loudly about the rider who passed them “nearly killing” them.

    Straight-pipe and cut-down exhaust bikes ridden by riders who constantly rev and blip their throttles only make us all seem like inconsiderate hooligans.

    At the same time, I can understand the anger riders feel towards motorists, police and government agencies. We are constantly singled out in legislation and neighborhood ordinances. We are targeted for enforcement more frequently than motorists and every year state legislators try to pass laws targeting riders rather than addressing problems that affect all road users.

  2. I for one am appalled at this how are we unsightly? I go to port jeff regularly in my car and on my bike and have poored a lot of money into that town. It is amazing how quickly places single out one group of people that in reality is made up of many groups of people. Sure some of us can be hooligans, myself included, but i am not racing through port jeff making a ton of noise.

    I go there to relax and see friends, have a couple of drinks when i’m not riding, grab a good dinner or just walk around and visit the shops. Motorcyclists are made up of many different types as you said i’m sure a lot of them are doctors, surgeons, dentists straight from stony brook which is 10 minutes away. I myself do research at the university to help find cures for diseases and i ride a motorcycle. How does my motorcycle make me a bad person or not worthy of coming into your place of business.

    I would do anything right now to get a mass protest going in that town or at least to find out the people who have posted this bulletin.

  3. O and if something comes out of this such as a flyer, ride or meetup to fight it please keep us updated fuzz! Working at Stony Brook i have a lot of space to put notices up and attract attention!

  4. This can’t possibly go through considering the wording that they’ve used can it? It’s one thing to ban parking altogether, it’s another thing to slanderously call every motorcyclist “unsightly”. I for one happened to be pretty darn cute.

  5. That’s crazy! In addition to being a motorcyclist, I am an author and a young-adult librarian. If businesses around my “neck of the woods” started pulling those sorts of shenanigans, I’d take my business elsewhere. If they’re going to tell me I’m not welcome just because of what mode of transportation I use and what clothes/gear I choose to wear, they don’t deserve my dollar. That’s blatant discrimination!!

    Like another commenter said: it’s one thing to ban parking, it’s another to ban a specific group of people.

  6. Never start thinking if they don’t want us we won’t go. There and spend our money! When this happens you fight back! All who ride be in Port Jefferson at 6pm Maybe next time they will choose their words a little wiser!

    LJ James
    Biker Lowdown Radio Show !

    1. Hi LJ –

      I don’t think not going to town is on the table, but rather not spending any money in the establishments owned by the folks who are leading this charge – that is a given!

      I’ll be in town tonight for sure to see what’s going on.

  7. Mayor Garant has just released the following statement about this terrible flyer:

    The Village of Port Jefferson would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few points about a certain flyer that was distributed around town, which described the motorcyclists as “unsightly”, among the other reasons in an attempt to encourage a No Parking policy on Main Street.

    Although this flyer looks like it was endorsed and produced by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District, it was actually posted by one member of the District while the President was on vacation, without seeking approval from the BID as a whole. This flyer represents the views and opinions of one person, not the Village, nor the Business Improvement District, as a whole.

    At this time, the Village has no plans to change any of the parking regulations on Main Street, or any other Village streets for that matter. Additionally, the Village’s Parking Committee is working on plans to increase parking, and designate specific locations for motorcycle parking, to make the town more accessible to riders. Mayor Garant respectfully requests that all visitors to Port Jefferson abide by the code and remind the motorcyclists that they are permitted to park two per spot and that the 1/2 parking time restraint is being enforced on Main Street to motorist and motorcyclists alike. Parking lots are available around the village for long-term parking. Some of these lots are available free of charge. Brookhaven residents may park free of charge in the Brookhaven Town parking lot, located across from Village Hall.

    Mayor Garant has spoken out against the flyer and plans to attend the BID meeting tomorrow to express her concern with the BID and with what appears to be a direct breakdown in communication between BID members and procedure, resulting in this controversial flyer.

    The Village apologizes for the inconvenience and insult that this unofficial posting has caused.

    1. Stephen-

      Thanks so much for the message. I really appreciate that the town is listening to the little person and that the Mayor is speaking out against a rogue BID member’s agenda. Hopefully all stakeholders can focus on how to make visiting Port Jefferson a positive experience for everyone.

    1. Went to the BID meeting in town tonight. I must say that this whole hubbub pretty much revolves around the personal agenda of one business owner – not the village and not the majority of the business owners in town.

      What’s that saying.. 1 bad apple…?

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