Letters, Week of May 15, 2013

Dance of the bike-share protest

To The Editor:
Re “Bike-share backlash” (editorial, May 2):

I didn’t even know there was any public art going on in Petrosino Square before two bike racks got put there. But now that the racks are there, strangely, there still is room for this woman to do her 10 days of dancing.
David Dartley

Like a cult — but on wheels

To The Editor:
Re “Bike-share in the Village: What would Jane Jacobs do?” (talking point, by Charles Komanoff, May 9):

As co-founder of the cycling advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives, Charles Komanoff set the tone for the presumption of moral and logistical superiority with which this group operates.

New York City has, on average, the nation’s longest commuting time and the fifth-worst traffic congestion, according to a recent USA Today report. A good part of the reason for all this is the misapplication of bike amenities, such as bike lanes and quiet plazas imported from Europe. New York City has much greater density with narrower streets. Logistics.

Over the last 10 years, fueled by the $10 million funding of Mark Gorton, the LimeWire software developer and high-frequency hedge fund operator, and the appointment of Janette Sadik-Khan as commissioner of the Department of Transportation, Transportation Alternatives has managed to bamboozle the gullible and browbeat politicians. T.A. has assumed a cult-like status by pushing “going green” while supporting an outlaw bike population instead of a responsible bike culture. Neat trick.

When it comes to bike-share, T.A. is rushing to push through everything it can under the free rein of Mayor Bloomberg. Adding an untested layer of bike riders and a squadron of docking stations to an already dangerous, out-of-control traffic situation seems borderline, cult-like madness.

Well, Charlie, it looks like the clamor is mounting and the lawsuits flying. The public isn’t drinking the Kool-Aid.
Jack Brown
Brown is founder, Coalition Against Rogue Riding (CARR)

Let’s get this rolling!

To The Editor:
Re “Anger over bike sites in high gear at C.B. 2 forum” (news article, May 9):

I am a kindergarten teacher. I bike to work. I bike with my family. I am one of the 5,000 people who signed up for bike-share in the first day and a half. There is no conspiracy — just lots of people who are excited about new ways to get around the city. My wife and I have been very excited from the beginning to start using Citi Bike!
Ben Kintisch

My daughter, the biker (not doctor)

To The Editor:
Re “Anger over bike sites in high gear at C.B. 2 forum” (news article, May 9):

While it is true that my daughter (who learned to ride a bike in Greenwich Village) now lives in London and bike-shares to work, she is not, as stated in The Villager, a doctor. She would like New Yorkers to know, however, that it would be very rare in London to see a cyclist riding on the sidewalk, and rare to see anyone going the wrong way on a one-way street. And she also noted that most riders stop for red lights.

With the expected increase in bike use here, it would be nice to think that the mayor, the Police Department and the Department of Transportation are thinking creatively about ensuring better compliance with the law and better enforcement.
Carol Greitzer

We’re not Paris, or even Brussels

To The Editor:
Re “Anger over bike sites in high gear at C.B. 2 forum” (news article, May 9):

The bike-share program and those barricades of bike stations were thrust on the city without the benefit of a smaller-scale trial run to see if the program was actually viable. Communities’ considerations and objections were completely disregarded as these things sprung up overnight like alien spaceships in some sci-fi movie, turning us into something New York City is not.

As with Bloomberg’s bike lanes that cause traffic congestion and are rarely used by bicyclists, this is another brainstorm that will turn into a disaster. Every day, I see cyclists coming toward me from the wrong direction, not heeding the traffic laws, not stopping for lights, barely missing pedestrians as they whiz by. And I’ve yet to see one get a ticket for not obeying the law. But I never see automobiles going against the traffic or not stopping for lights.

Lest I be branded as anti-bicycle, I have a good friend who cycles everywhere, obeys the rules and has never had an accident. And she actually uses the bike lanes. There are, unfortunately, few of her ilk.

This is not Paris, it’s not Brussels or some other European city where cyclists seem to have a long history of blending into the pace of the city. Until then, why foist an untested program on us? Does every idea that Mayor Bloomberg has need to be implemented full-blown? His term is almost over, but it would be nice for our elected officials to remember the job is called “mayor,” not “dictator.”

The general reaction to these bike stations has been negative for a good reason.
Jay Matlick

NID is worth the cost

To The Editor:
I’m a lifelong Villager and I want to tell you why I heartily support the proposed neighborhood improvement district for Hudson River Park, better known as the NID.

The way I see it, the NID is a great deal. You pay some, but you get a lot.

I’m a property owner on the west end of Christopher St., which lies in the proposed NID district. Based on our square footage, we will pay about $250 a year to the NID. That’s less than $1 a day, and for this, we get $10 million worth of benefits per year: $10 million worth of trees, flowers, maintained bikeways, safety officers, all to be spent solely on my park and the streets alongside it.

It is so important to me that Hudson River Park remain beautiful. I still remember the day the park opened. We were living on Washington St. with our two then-small children, and it was as if someone had opened the window to fresh air and sunshine. It was incredible that we could sit on green grass instead of a broken-glass-littered pier.

I joined the board of Friends of Hudson River Park because I cherish this park and the gift it’s given us. I am proud to be a member of this community — a community that believes in community involvement — and I am happy to do my share to help this park thrive. If we don’t do it, who will? Please sign the petition at www.hrpnid.org.
Susanna Aaron
Aaron is a board member, Friends of Hudson River Park

Now I’m really confused!

To The Editor:
Re “‘Clarified’ park rules for artists, buskers still called unclear” (news article, May 9):

Washington Square is loved and visited by people from near and far. It is a center of culture and activity. Why do we need “clarified” rules to limit the locations of the performers who give the square its charm? Instead of limiting them, let us enjoy and appreciate their talents.
George Jochnowitz

The war on slime

To The Editor:
Re “Judge snorts at coke-ring clients” (news article, May 2):

My neighborhood on the Lower East Side is periodically under siege by the slimeballs who peddle their crap drugs, and visited by the equally slimy buyers who come seeking out their connections. Reality tells me that I will never live to see a drug-free L.E.S. or, for that matter, a drug-free U.S.A. But if busting and prosecuting the buyers as well as the sellers puts even a small dent in the drug trade, then I’m all for it. And you should be too unless you’re part of either side of the drug business.
Al Delon

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3 Responses to Letters, Week of May 15, 2013

  1. Downtown Observer

    Villager Readers Please Note:
    The two writers defending BikeShare do not live in the Village, or anywhere close!
    David Dartley lives in StuyTown and Ben Kintish lives in Bed-Stuy.

    On the other hand, the three people expressing opposition to this failed program actually live here: former councilmember Carol Greitzer, bike-store owner Jack Brown and Jay Matlick.
    In other words, the only people defending CitiBank's rental franchise in our neighborhoods are outside zealots with an agenda who care nothing about downtown's quality of life.

    Is it any wonder therefore that these Citibike fanatics are unaware that there have been art exhibits at Petrosino Square for at least the past 25 years?

    But what do Philistines know of art when they are obsessed with defending the bullyboys at DOT and the bottom line of CitiBank's franchise operation?

  2. Why Bike Share Backlash is a Good Thing http://www.onearth.org/blog/overinflated-why-the-

  3. Haha. "Why down-voting my coment is a Good Thing. "

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