Fall 2000, p.22


Slower Speeds on Cypress Ave.
Dear Councilman Nelson:
Last Friday I ran from my home in Midwood to Union Field cemetery in Cypress Hills to visit a neighbor's grave. I found Cypress Avenue, the road leading to the cemetery, lacking a sidewalk, and the dirt shoulder was littered with debris. Since the road serves as an exit road from the Jackie Robinson Parkway, cars were traveling at a speed that was excessive, given that pedestrians had to share the road.
Traffic calming measures at this location are necessary to avoid a tragedy; at 48 years of age, I would rather not be struck down by a speeding car-even in front of a Jewish cemetery! By traffic calming in this case I mean a speed limit of no more than 15 miles per hour, signs to that effect, and speed bumps to make that limit self-enforcing.

Zev Stern

Ed: Zev, thanks for your letter- this is a perfect example of how citizens can make a difference in government. Transportation Alternatives has sent a letter to Councilmember Nelson supporting your calls for slower speeds and increased pedestrian friendliness along this stretch of the road. If readers have dangerous or pedestrian unfriendly stretches of road in your neighborhood, write your council member and copy T.A.

Central Park Cyclists Go Counter-Clockwise
Dear T.A.,

I live near the north entrance of Central Park. I'm there every day riding my bike either for transportation or for sport. I feel quite lucky to have such a lovely park that I can both relax in and use as a safe, serene alternative to traversing the city on dangerous, overcrowded streets. Occasionally I have business that takes me to the east side so I ride my bike clockwise around the park's drive. When I choose to ride clockwise, I exercise extra care in being visible to other riders by staying on the outer rim of turns. The other day a sport cyclist berated me for going in the opposite direction.

Putting aside any of my utopian dreams that all of the city's cyclists could support each other since we have made the more heroic choice not to use cars, I would have to say that some cyclists have a bad attitude. Unless I am wrong, and I would invite anyone to correct me on this, there is no rule forbidding clockwise travel except for vehicles. This is a park and as such, it is for people to enjoy themselves, not a place where we must be hounded to follow fascistic rules of one-way riding. Not all bicyclists ride to race. Some of us are messengers, others are just trying to get where we are going safely and with as much joy as possible.


Ed: Your joy of cycling and living is an inspiration. Perhaps the loop drive could also be designed two-way for cyclists. Until then, the rules of the road call for cyclists and skaters to always travel counter-clockwise around the loop drive. (See A Guide to Sharing Central Park, NYC Parks Dept.) This rule works to prevent head-on collisions. Please try to use Central Park West and 5th Avenue rather than go against the flow.

Bus Blues
Dear Adirondack Trailways,
i am going to new paltz this friday from New York, and would like to take my bike. Your company's policy requires that I put the bike in a box or other container. This won't work for me, however, since I will need to come back to NYC and won't be able to store a box or container while I am cycling.
This is to request that you change your bike policy, to follow the Hampton Jitney and Peter Pan lines, where I can store my bike (tied with a bungee) into the luggage bay, without a box, perhaps as follows: "If the cyclist provides a damage waiver for his/her bicycle, then at the bus driver's discretion, a bicycle may be stowed directly in the luggage bays without a bicycle box, bag, or other container."
By the way, because I cannot take my bike to New Paltz with your company, I will take Metro North to Poughkeepsie and cycle to New Paltz from there. That's a $33 round-trip fare that you would otherwise have gotten!
Gregory F.W. Todd