March/April 1996, p.7

Bike Shorts

DOT and Bike Racks: Is the Wait Over?
YOU Decide Where They Go

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Armed with a list of 200 sites provided by Transportation Alternatives volunteers, the City DOT is poised to install public bike racks (called CityRacks) throughout the five boroughs; they've promised to put 1 50 rocks in the ground by Earth Week, April 22, 1996.

A simple equation applies: the more sites the City gets from the public, the more racks they'll install. Send your sites to:

DOT CityRacks
40 Worth Street, Room 1002
New York, NY 10013.

You can also speed the process by becoming a volunteer rack inspector. All it takes is a short training session with TA. and you can decide where the racks go. The next training clinic is Tuesday, March 12, 6: 30 pm, at the T.A office.


Anti-Bicycling Sentiment Grows

Despite the far graver danger posed by automobiles, cyclists are often vilified as the greatest threat to NYC pedestrians. This sentiment boiled over recently as the City Council unanimously passed a bill allowing police to confiscate bikes ridden on sidewalks. And Manhattan's Community Board 6 (East Side) resolved in December that the community didn't want bike lanes on any street or avenue in the district, despite being home to the Queensboro Bridge, First Avenue, and Second Avenue- - three of the city's busiest bike routes.

Unfortunately, reality doesn't jibe with the notion of bikes as Public Enemy Number One. Every day, 35 NYC pedestrians are struck and hospitalized by motor vehicles - 20 times the rate of bicycle-pedestrian accidents. A NYC pedestrian is killed by a car every 36 hours. None of this excuses illegal, dangerous, or even discourteous cycling. Riding on sidewalks is simply unacceptable. As for 'buzzing" a pedestrian--even one who is jaywalking--you risk harming another person and apply more grime to cycling's increasingly tarnished image.

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Can-Do Spirit

Special thanks to DOT Assistant Commissioner of Bridges Henry Perahia, who has infused a stodgy bureaucracy with a can-do spirit. Commissioner Perahia's staff installed bright lights on the Williamsburg Bridge. They plowed the Brooklyn Bridge bicycle/pedestrian path the morning after several February snowstorms as well. Good work, Commissioner!


T.A. Speaks Out on Brooklyn Bridge Entrance Plan

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Last issue, T. A. reported that the DOT is looking to redesign the Brooklyn Bridge's Manhattan entrance. Deputy Mayor Fran Reiter received over 800 post cards from T.A. readers supporting "Alternative #6." a plan to close Center Street to south bound car traffic and turn a pedestrian- and bicycle-hostile design in to a world-class public space. Deputy Mayor Reiter has asked the DOT for a full report on the plan.

If you haven't voiced your support for this worthy and visionary plan, it's not too late.

Write To:
Deputy Mayor Fran Reiter
One Centre Street
Room 2358 South
New York, NY 10007.

A new look for the Brooklyn Bridge Entrance