The first was about Union Square being made into a "pedestrian paradise." At first, this sounds like a great idea. As a frequent shopper of the greenmarket who walks by there every day on my way to work, I feel strongly about the presence of pedestrians and the greenmarket. However, since the MTA narrowed the street west of Union Square to make room for both the greenmarket and free untaxed parking for the police, the traffic going south from above the park is a mess. Most of it is diverted around the park to the east, while a few buses and private cars travel down the small section to the west. I feel that by further clogging up this area and closing it off to buses, which I take faithfully when the weather is too cold to walk, this would put greenmarket shoppers and others at risk of more pollution from traffic jams. Please consider all the factors when campaigning for this new area.
Secondly, you mention the use
of traffic circles in Seattle and how this has reduced collisions by 91
percent. You advocate their introduction to New York City. I offer another
opinion. I have never been to Seattle so I don't know how the traffic is
there, but you did mention "neighborhoods." Perhaps this is the
distinction. Outside of Chicago there is a famous traffic circle that is in my
experience ten times more dangerous than a regular intersection. It's known
simply as "Suicide Circle."
As for traffic circles: the word "neighborhood" is indeed key. The circles we're talking about are small and used on local streets (only one lane of traffic and a sharp radius), not the behemoth traffic movers most people are familiar with. -Eds.
I joined T.A. because a
car-free Central Park is my passion, but what you've been doing in the area of
traffic calming in neighborhoods is of great interest to me. Every time I
cross Amsterdam and Broadway between 73rd and 75th Streets I see huge freight
trucks barreling through the lights, disregarding the speed limit. Cars are
big offenders as well, but I've never seen a police car pull over any vehicle
for speeding. Is there a Neighborhood Streets Network established in this part
of the Upper West Side? Are traffic-calming efforts underway?
The following letter was sent to new NYC DOT Commissioner Christopher Lynn, who spoke recently on the benefits of efficiency.
Dear Commissioner Lynn:
Despite all the impediments
New York City puts forth, I ride my bicycle to work every day because it is
the fastest commute available. Likewise, I think you and the Mayor should set
examples of efficiency and ride bicycles. You should also get your employees
out of those inefficient cars and into environmentally sound, cost-efficient