In the most recent City Cyclist, the "Commuter of the Month" was a
member of the American Stock Exchange. There was yet another American Stork
Exchange member included in Ed Ravin's snapshot of his 'Lost Greenways"
ride. Not bad for an 800-member institution. Once again, the American Stock
Exchange is way ahead of its time!
Great Neck, NY
Your January/February issue contains, as usual, some interesting news you
can't get anywhere else, but also some reports which were not really fair to
the agencies involved. The reclassification of in-line skaters as vehicles is
news which appeared nowhere else. It's a first step toward thinking of skates
as transportation. I know you'll keep an eye on it.
The items on the LIRR and DOT's bridges in "Bike Shorts" were unfair
to the agencies involved.
You can't call the LIRR "the worst provider of bike access in the
region." I used LIRR with my Trek for over 100 rides in 1995; some crews
were nicer than others, but the fact is the bike got on the train every time.
The LIRR allows bikes off peak on every line. Compare that to NJ Transit,
which still bans bikes from its Morris & Essex line. On Amtrak, only one
train a day leaving New York takes unboxed bikes, and only 6 months a year.
It's also not fair to DOT to say that their bridges are impassable to bikes
and pedestrians when there is snow and ice. This is also personal experience;
I walk or bike over the #1 bike & Ped Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, almost
every day. It's true that the roadways get faster and better care, but it's
also true that, after the huge 1993-4 ice storm, DOT Bridges crews were out
chopping ice off the Brooklyn Bridge path inch by inch, and had a single track
open within 48 hours. Then they cleaned the snow out of the single track
within about 24 hours of each of the next 16 storms. Even in the December 1995
storm, the bridge was cleaned and sanded well enough for boots and fat tires
within 24 hours, and clean enough for shoes and road bikes within 48 hours.
It might be more accurate for T.A. to take credit that these agencies do as
well as they do.
Despite the above flames, thanks again for the best and most needed
publication of its kind.
New York, NY
Thanks for your comments, but we have to disagree with your LIRR and Brooklyn
Bridge assessments. The LIRR might have a decent access policy on paper but:
1) you can't get a permit the same day (as you can with NJT and Metro-North),
2) conductors have a reputation for strict and capricious adherence to the
letter of a restrictive access policy (when common sense would dictate other
wise), and 3) compared to other NYC area transit systems, LIRR's efforts seem
perfunctory and tepid.
Our memory of the 17 snowstorms in 1993-94 recalls 30-yard patches of solid
ice on the Brooklyn Bridge lasting for weeks at a time after the various
storms. The City responded to our phone calls and letters by pointing out that
plowing the roads was an overwhelming priority. We do agree they've done a
better plowing job since then, probably thanks to T.A. pressure.
What bothers me even more than cars in Central Park is this business of only
shoveling two lanes of the road: guess which one is missed? I notice the leaf
and mud accumulations in the fall. Riding down the West Side, the left lane is
often full of snow, mixed with patches of ice. Yet the other two lanes were
almost completely clear, just barely damp.
New York, NY
I'm writing with a hopeful suggestion, for a rack somewhere near Houston and
Bleecker on Broadway. Last summer I rode away in frustration because every
lamppost and No Parking sign had bikes strapped to it already.
I love your newsletter, especially since you always provide the names and
addresses of people to complain to.
Michele Disco New York, NY
Thanks for the tip! P/ease see page 7 for info on how to get involved with
City Racks, the DOTS bike rack program.
I am a birdwatcher, walker, and bicycle commuter. The sorry state of affairs
in urban parks illustrates the folly of forcing all kinds of conflicting
recreational modes on to one narrow strip of pavement. Nobody is pleased, and
serious injury is likely.
Let us vent our rage not at the frustrated cyclists and skaters who have
nowhere else to go, but at the so-called "planners" who have
allocated vast acreage within our parks for parking lots and roadways for
cars. This huge expense is not borne by motorists, who rarely pay to store
their mobile furnaces in public parks.
And if we are going to prohibit mountain bikers from the delicate wooded
parklands, which they are quickly destroying, cars should likewise be
restricted, as they gobble public space and foul the air. Without cars, the
parks will seem to increase vastly in size, making plenty of space for the
formerly warring walkers, bikers, and skaters.
What if the City imposed a fine of say, $100, and a point on the license of
any motorist caught failing to signal a turn? The City could use the revenue,
and enforcing "good manners" on the road might promote good manners
off the road as well.
Great idea, Were all for it.