Thanks to the hundreds of
concerned readers who wrote to us about fences on bridges, bicycling on
sidewalks and curb cuts on the Upper West Side!
Unfair to Target
Although I agree that bicycling on sidewalks is dangerous, it is certainly
less so than operating a car on sidewalks, which under your proposal would be
punished far less severely. It's time to end this double standard between
motorists and cyclists. If there must be a double standard, it actually should
tilt toward leniency for cyclists since cycling is one way ordinary citizens
can directly improve the overall quality of life in this city. Encouraging,
rather than discouraging, bike use will reduce traffic congestion and the
accompanying pollution and noise, and therefore your proposal would in its
shortsightedness actually invite all the negative factors which go along with
increased car traffic. We need to get more people on their bikes. If you're
concerned about the small segment of the cycling population who rides on
sidewalks, try enforcing the existing laws.
Thank you for you attention.
No to Offensive Bridge
I read with alarm the article in the Spring 2002 issue of "Transportation
Alternatives" magazine about the caging (with chain link fence) of the
East River bridges. I am particularly alarmed by the prospect of the addition
of chain link fences to the Brooklyn Bridge, and have alerted my fellow
Trustees of this matter. It may be on the agenda for our upcoming meeting, and
I would like to see us issue letters in opposition to our elected officials,
the LPC, etc.
Park Slope Civic Council
I am writing to express my
dissatisfaction with the chain link fence on the Manhattan bridge bike path.
Absent a demonstrated need for such an obstruction, it is unjustified given
the interference and sense of oppression it causes. People who ride their
bikes are good for the city-they don't pollute, they take up less street space
and they put themselves at risk, rather than others (assuming they stay off
sidewalks which they should). Take down the fence and by doing so give bikers
the tribute they deserve, or at least provide a reasonable justification for
the fence's presence.
Dear Ms. Burden (Chairperson DCP),
Please protect pedestrian safety on our sidewalks by not granting special
permits or zoning variances for the construction of new parking garages and/or
lots in districts that currently do not allow them.
The driveway access required
by parking garages and lots erode the functional capacity of our already
overburdened sidewalks and allow for the hostile intrusion of potentially
dangerous motor vehicles onto what should be considered a sanctuary for
pedestrians. Wide, safe attractive sidewalks on which to walk and gather are
one of our most precious public resource and are already in short supply,
please help protect them. There are other innovative ways to get people who
enter Manhattan in cars to the venues they seek without allowing them to drive
right to the very heart of the Island. You have many of the answers right in
your own Transportation Division.
Noisy Night Trucks on
I've become increasingly concerned about the volume of late night/early
morning trucks roaring up First Avenue in Manhattan. Specifically, trucks
toting empty shipping containers, which are not secured to the truck frames in
the same manner as standard truck trailers, make loud banging noises when they
hit even the smallest of bumps. Each bang is about a loud as a moderate speed
head-on car accident. Are there any rules covering the sound damping and
fastening of these containers? Can anything be done to reduce the volume of
late night trucks?
All my best,
Policy in NYC
Dear Councilmember Liu,
For 56 years I have lived in the Manhattan Beach section of Brooklyn. That
area, like most neighborhoods in our city, has seen tremendous increases in
auto traffic over the years. The congestion, which brings attendant noise,
fumes and reckless driving, is dangerous to the health, safety, well-being and
lives of New York City residents.
That's why I'm concerned that your committee is not giving proper attention to
this matter and to the very serious conditions that pedestrians and bicyclists
face every day on the dangerous streets of our communities.
Mr. Liu, I hope you will take
the opportunity to change course now and put your committee at the forefront
of the movement to drastically remake transportation policy in our city. We
must move away from obsolete ideas of enhancing traffic for the benefit of
cars and toward policies that put as a priority the safety, well being and
comfort of pedestrians and bicyclists. Our city and its citizens will thank
you for that progressive approach which will immeasurably enhance the lives of
all New Yorkers.
Please don't quit now! Please keep leading the fight for sanity.
Patrick M. Donovan