Your March/ April 2000 issue features an article titled "Making the Grade
1999." In it you give Transit two B's, and continue to speak of the great
strides made in obtaining increased bike access on NYC subways and even PATH
trains. No mention, however, was made of Staten Island Railroad trains and
their standing policy not to allow bikes on trains for massive and
unpredictable swaths of time surrounding the morning and evening rush hours,
regardless of whether or not the trains are empty or full. Just earlier today
(5:19 pm), I watched a cyclist attempting to board a relatively empty (as in
seats still available) Grant City-bound train be denied admission to the train
by the conductor.
I am glad such great strides
have been made in obtaining and securing access for bikes on mass transit. I
just wish Staten Islanders wishing to commute by bike and train would be able
to get further than the Staten Island Ferry on their way home.
Staten Island, NY
In one of his imaginary letters to the NY Times (March/April TA), Charles
Komanoff points out that half the children killed in "car crashes"
are not passengers, but pedestrians. State Senator Dean Skelos recently
introduced S7415, a bill that would require all children under the age of nine
to use child or booster seats when riding in cars or trucks. Current law
requires child seats for passengers under the age of four.
While Senator Skelos' motives are no doubt honorable, this law could be
problematic for families in New York City who use taxis or occasionally get
rides from friends. Will families with children under nine have to carry a
booster seat with them every time they leave home? The law will likely not be
strictly enforced in taxis, but the potential for problems (service refusal,
litigation) clearly exists. A better way to save lives would be to promote
less driving, safer driving and the use of seatbelts.
New York, NY
After riding on Amtrak this
past weekend, I discovered that they offer AAA members a discount for
ridership. I wrote them a letter suggesting that they be commended for
encouraging car owners to ride the train, but that they should also reward
those of us who don't own a car and probably ride Amtrak more often than AAA
members. In the letter I mentioned T.A. members as a group that deserves such
New York, NY
The under-construction bike/walk path along the Hudson River sounds good, but
it might be a disaster unless we act now. The City is allowing a FedEx
terminal and a private parking garage to do business west of the walkway. This
means that when the project is completed, pedestrians and cyclists will have
to contend with motor vehicles crossing our right-of-way. What kind of garbage
Chicago has a 40 mile long
bike path along Lake Michigan with NO vehicles allowed. NYC finally follows
them and then screws it up. We must stop this before cars and trucks run down
walkers and bikers lulled by a seemingly peaceful, car-free vista, only to be
interrupted by motor vehicles cutting us off.
(Ed.) We agree. The path
is projected to be the busiest in the U.S. and T.A. fought hard to reduce car
crossing to ensure that it's wide and well designed. Unfortunately, some well
connected businesses are squeezing the path and making less safe and pleasant.
We just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate your recognizing the efforts
of Community Board 2, Manhattan's Traffic & Transportation Committee and
Traffic Strategies Subcommittee in your May/June 2000 issue. We're also like
to clarify a few points: CB2's Traffic Strategies Subcommittee (TSS) was set
up to address the issues that come before the regular Traffic &
Transportation Committee that need to be studied in further detail, and as
such, is a subcommittee of Traffic and Transportation Committee. TSS's work is
proactive - one or two items at the most are thoroughly discussed in a
workshop format, and participants are encouraged to contribute their own
analyses and ideas for improvement. Once a plan of action is worked out, it is
presented to the T&T Committee, which votes on it and sets up a process to
urge the recommended changes.
We would highly recommend
this type of committee/subcommittee partnership to other community boards as
an effective way to develop a feasible program of improvements and promote it.
Thanks again for highlighting our efforts.
Chair, CB2 Traffic & Transportation Committee
Chair, Traffic Stratetgies Subcommittee
Thank you for sending copies of your magazine to the University of New
England's free bicycle breakfast! People were reading them between bites of
their bagels. Keep the wheels turning!
University of New England