Volume 77 / Number 33 Jan. 16 - 22, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

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Jonathan Schachter, 60, committed transit activist; Wife chaired C.B. 6

By Albert Amateau

Jonathan Schachter, the husband of former Community Board 6 Chairperson Carol Schachter and a public transportation activist, died Dec. 22 of pancreatitis at Bellevue Hospital. He was 60.

A longtime public member of Community Boards 5 and 6, he was most noted for his work with the Committee for Better Transit, which he joined in 1973 and on which he served as chairman of the committee’s New York Task Force.

“Jon will be missed for his unwavering commitment to the community that he served and for his goodness as a human being,” said Lyle Frank, chairperson of Community Board 6.

As a vigilant transit activist and consultant to M.T.A. New York City Transit (formerly the Transit Authority), Jon Schachter helped design the subway map and had more than 200 trains removed from service because of widespread mechanical shortcomings. He brought other shortcomings and waste in the subway system to the attention of N.Y.C. Transit.

“I’ve known Jon for many years because he was one of the activist members of the Committee for Better Transit, a group that was enormously helpful to me when I chaired the City Council’s Transit Committee,” recalled former City Councilmember Carol Greitzer. 

“The C.B.T members were committed transit buffs, some of whom had secret sources that provided useful inside information about M.T.A./T.A. operations,” said Greitzer. “I worked again with Jon a few years ago at a Board 5 Traffic Committee meeting on Union Square traffic problems. We both spoke in favor of a Barnes dance traffic light solution [where traffic is halted in all directions, allowing pedestrians to cross diagonally, if desired, named after former city Department of Transportation Commissioner Henry Barnes] at Broadway and 17th St. After first saying no, the department implemented this idea, making that intersection a little safer for pedestrians,” Greitzer said. 

Jon Schachter was also vice president of the 13th Precinct Community Council and a member of the 17th Precinct Community Council. Active in the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association, he was elected to the association’s board of directors. He was chairperson of the planning committee of the Midtown East-Stuyvesant Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, and was deputy chief of the team, which plans and administers local disaster relief. He was also a member of the Bellevue Hospital Community Advisory Board.

For the past 20 years he was in the business of brokering upholstery leather and upholstery manufacture.

Raised in Queens, he graduated from Bayside High School, earned a B.S. degree in accounting from New York Institute of Technology and did post-graduate studies at St. John’s University.

In addition to his wife, his mother Miriam, his sister Jill and niece Jodie also survive. A February memorial service will be announced later. Donations may be made in his memory to the Midtown East-Stuyvesant CERT.

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