Car-Free Park Comes First
Dear T.A. and AAA,
As a driver and bicyclist, I am a member of both AAA and T.A. I read both
periodicals, and sometimes feel pulled in two directions. But not now.
I live near Prospect Park and am a mother of two young children who love to
ride their tricycles, bicycles, and scooters in the park after school. I love
my kids to get fresh air and the natural release of exercise. But when cars
are in the park Mommy won't let them, because my heart jumps every time a pack
of cars whiz around the bend, even at "only 30 mph." It is hard to
explain to a 3 or 7 year old that suddenly the park roads have become a
highway, and are no longer safe for children. "Why did they let all the
cars in, Mommy?" Beats me.
Since the park is successfully car-free during off-peak times from Apr. to
Oct. without negative traffic impacts, the DOT could easily extend car-free
Cameras A Good Thing
Dear Mr. Peter Vallone,
As you probably know, legislation has been introduced in Albany to pilot 20
"speed cameras" in NYC to catch speeders. NYC is plagued with road
hogs who think the streets are their own private speedways. They recklessly
place children, the elderly and others at risk of being mowed down. These
cameras will help put a stop to the carnage. Accordingly, I urge you to pass a
"home rule message" that will allow Albany to enact the legislation
and get the speed cameras installed as soon as possible.
Dear Officer Farrell:
On Feb. 24, near the George Washington Bridge you stopped me when I executed
what I believe to be a legal, safe maneuver for a cyclist in traffic: turning
left from the inside lane. You said that since bikes are not a part of the
traffic flow, I was to stay to the far right side of the road and cross the
lanes all at once. You said my aim should be: "not to be seen, but to
stay out of the way." If cyclists are subject to the rules of the road,
and are part of traffic, is this not what I should have done? Turning left
from the far right side of the road onto the bridge is not the safest
alternative. Perhaps you should ride a bike on the road sometime. It would be
an enlightening experience.
Here are some highlights from a longer letter:
"...P.O. Farrell has seen the results of collisions occurring between
bicyclists and vehicles. Bicyclists, rarely win the confrontation. His
non-issuance of a summons for his observance of what he believed to be an
unsafe act is evidence of his concern."
"While training prospective motorcycle officers I always include a
comment. You must drive even more defensively than the law allows. The other
drivers with whom you are sharing the road do not perceive you as a physical
threat. The way motorists drive shows what they think of sharing the
"In other words, you could become what we accident re-constructionists
refer to as 'dead right.'"
Officer Kevin Mahon
I bike a lot in NYC, to work and everywhere else. I appreciate the work you do
in order to make NYC more bike-friendly. Thanks.
Ed. note: Bill, thanks for your generous donation.