Volume 20, Number 47 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 17 - 23, 2010
Letters to the Editor
To the Editor,
Bicycles are becoming more a part of New York City’s transportation system. This is a good thing for the City and its residents — less traffic, less pollution, less noise. I welcome an increase in bicycle use.
However, I pull in the welcome mat when it comes to the riding habits of the vast majority of bicycle riders.
We all know the hazards created by food delivery people and bike messengers — riding on sidewalks, running red lights, aggressive riding. These are real safety hazards! In honesty, though, the food delivery and messenger riders — while a serious problem in its own right — are a fraction of the bicycle riders in the City. The larger — and growing — population of riders poses a potentially greater safety problem.
I am not the only one who has been run off the sidewalk or nearly knocked down by bicycle riders. While there are some riders that obey traffic laws, are courteous and ride responsibly, the bulk of riders have complete disregard for pedestrians, traffic laws or common courtesy. Until the city enforces or enacts traffic laws regulating riders, our streets and sidewalks will become even more hazardous as bike ridership increases.
Bike lanes make a lot of sense — if only bike riders would use them in the way they were intended. Bike lanes are not a free pass to run red lights and stop signs or go the wrong way on one-way streets. The lanes are there to make the streets safer for everyone — pedestrians, riders, and drivers.
Bike riders breeze through traffic signals as if signals were meant for someone other than themselves. They ignore the basic rules of the road (i.e., yielding to pedestrians in cross walks). Additionally, parked bicycles are chained to every conceivable item along sidewalks and walkways — further restricting our already crowded streets. The common spaces of our streets and buildings are not the private domains of bicycle owners to use as their personal parking spaces.
The city needs to enforce basic traffic laws on bike riders in order to keep our streets and parks safe for everyone. Requiring license tags for bikes would provide revenue to support bike lane improvements, provide additional bike racks on sidewalks and enforcement of traffic laws. And, traffic fines for riding violations would be a tremendous source of revenue!
David Vanden-Eynden, FSEGD
Calori & Vanden-Eynden / Design Consultants
Hospital trip is longer
To the Editor,
Re “C.B. 2 chairperson forcefully answers hospital haranguers” (news article, Oct. 28):
A needs assessment should be made of Quinn, Bloomberg and the community board to see how many of them live close to a real hospital and have health problems themselves that might need emergency care. I suspect most of them don’t worry about this issue, thus, they don’t care about it from personal need.
I now work in the Middle East, which has excellent public healthcare. I came home for a vacation and had a medical emergency, but had to wait until I returned to Jordan to get to a hospital since St. Vincent’s was closed; and I heard from my neighbors many horror stories about the other hospitals that are now overcrowded, taking St. Vincent’s patients.
Jacqui Taylor Basker