Summer 2000, p.26

Dear T.A.,
Your March/ April 2000 issue features an article titled "Making the Grade 1999." In it you give Transit two B's, and continue to speak of the great strides made in obtaining increased bike access on NYC subways and even PATH trains. No mention, however, was made of Staten Island Railroad trains and their standing policy not to allow bikes on trains for massive and unpredictable swaths of time surrounding the morning and evening rush hours, regardless of whether or not the trains are empty or full. Just earlier today (5:19 pm), I watched a cyclist attempting to board a relatively empty (as in seats still available) Grant City-bound train be denied admission to the train by the conductor.

I am glad such great strides have been made in obtaining and securing access for bikes on mass transit. I just wish Staten Islanders wishing to commute by bike and train would be able to get further than the Staten Island Ferry on their way home.

David Rodriguez
Staten Island, NY

Dear T.A.,
In one of his imaginary letters to the NY Times (March/April TA), Charles Komanoff points out that half the children killed in "car crashes" are not passengers, but pedestrians. State Senator Dean Skelos recently introduced S7415, a bill that would require all children under the age of nine to use child or booster seats when riding in cars or trucks. Current law requires child seats for passengers under the age of four.
While Senator Skelos' motives are no doubt honorable, this law could be problematic for families in New York City who use taxis or occasionally get rides from friends. Will families with children under nine have to carry a booster seat with them every time they leave home? The law will likely not be strictly enforced in taxis, but the potential for problems (service refusal, litigation) clearly exists. A better way to save lives would be to promote less driving, safer driving and the use of seatbelts.

Alan Treffeisen
New York, NY

Dear T.A.,

After riding on Amtrak this past weekend, I discovered that they offer AAA members a discount for ridership. I wrote them a letter suggesting that they be commended for encouraging car owners to ride the train, but that they should also reward those of us who don't own a car and probably ride Amtrak more often than AAA members. In the letter I mentioned T.A. members as a group that deserves such merit.

Esther Regelson
New York, NY

Dear T.A.,
The under-construction bike/walk path along the Hudson River sounds good, but it might be a disaster unless we act now. The City is allowing a FedEx terminal and a private parking garage to do business west of the walkway. This means that when the project is completed, pedestrians and cyclists will have to contend with motor vehicles crossing our right-of-way. What kind of garbage is this?

Chicago has a 40 mile long bike path along Lake Michigan with NO vehicles allowed. NYC finally follows them and then screws it up. We must stop this before cars and trucks run down walkers and bikers lulled by a seemingly peaceful, car-free vista, only to be interrupted by motor vehicles cutting us off.

Elliot Markson
Brooklyn, NY

(Ed.) We agree. The path is projected to be the busiest in the U.S. and T.A. fought hard to reduce car crossing to ensure that it's wide and well designed. Unfortunately, some well connected businesses are squeezing the path and making less safe and pleasant.

Dear T.A.,
We just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate your recognizing the efforts of Community Board 2, Manhattan's Traffic & Transportation Committee and Traffic Strategies Subcommittee in your May/June 2000 issue. We're also like to clarify a few points: CB2's Traffic Strategies Subcommittee (TSS) was set up to address the issues that come before the regular Traffic & Transportation Committee that need to be studied in further detail, and as such, is a subcommittee of Traffic and Transportation Committee. TSS's work is proactive - one or two items at the most are thoroughly discussed in a workshop format, and participants are encouraged to contribute their own analyses and ideas for improvement. Once a plan of action is worked out, it is presented to the T&T Committee, which votes on it and sets up a process to urge the recommended changes.

We would highly recommend this type of committee/subcommittee partnership to other community boards as an effective way to develop a feasible program of improvements and promote it. Thanks again for highlighting our efforts.

Charle-John Cafiero
Chair, CB2 Traffic & Transportation Committee
Shirley Secunda
Chair, Traffic Stratetgies Subcommittee

Dear T.A.,
Thank you for sending copies of your magazine to the University of New England's free bicycle breakfast! People were reading them between bites of their bagels. Keep the wheels turning!

Kris Gallegher
University of New England