November/December 1996, p.20-21
Dear T.A.: I just read the
Sept/Oct issue of City Cyclist and thought it was excellent. I even faxed the
DOT to try to get the path along the Hudson widened (as you suggested).
Anyhow, my boyfriend commutes to work/school everyday, and he wants to become
a member of T.A but you didn't have any information in the magazine about
joining (or maybe I missed it). Let me know how to join. P.S. I really liked
the Commuter of the Month!
Judy: In every issue of Transportation Alternatives and City Cyclist is a postage-paid envelope that serves as a membership application. If you can't find it, just call the office at 212-629-8080, and we'll gladly sign you up. -Ed.
Dear T.A.: If you change the
t-shirt from "one less car" to "one less stinker" I'll go
for a $50 membership.
Sam: We agree with your sympathies, but someone might think you've just changed your eating habits rather than your commuting habits. - Ed.
Dear T.A.: It is with great
disappointment to myself and to the world at large that I've had to succumb to
society's pressures and reapply for my driver's license. I don't own a car and
never drive. I rely on buses, subways, trains, my feet and bicycle to get
around our fair city. I haven't had a driver's license for almost a year.
That's quite a different lifestyle for one who grew up in suburbia and has had
a license for 3/4 of my life. At first I thought not having a driver's license
was a statement about how I view transportation and how our society should
function. Now, not having a driver's license has just become a pain in the
butt. So, I'm sorry to all my T.A. friends, but DMV here I come!!!
Caren: We have some good news and some bad: You don't need to have a driver's license to have a valid l.D. The state offers non-driver identifications for people like you who don't want to be identified as motorists. The bad news is, you still have to go to the DMV to get it! - Ed.
Dear TA: I am a member of T.A.
because I support your vision of a city where cycling is usual, not radical.
We'll get the support necessary to realize that vision when the public sees
cyclists as people like themselves. So I'm disheartened when you celebrate the
"Best commuting story" of your "Commuter of the Month"
(Sept/Oct '96) in which two cyclists pound on the hood of an occupied car,
then grab the car keys and throw them in the sewer! Guerrilla tactics won't
rid our city of cars. But demonstrating disregard for law and property will
perpetuate the popular image of the biker as an outlaw. T.A.
cannot bring cycling into the mainstream by congratulating the reckless
behavior of cyclists.
Dear T.A: I
was dismayed to read that in Joyride #13 ("To Hal and Back,"
July/Aug '96) the author directs the cyclist to ride against traffic (not once
but twice), to cut through a gas station, and to avoid a bike path (Ocean
Parkway) in favor of a busy avenue (Coney Island Avenue). I bike to work most
days and realize that it is not always easy to obey all the rules, but we
should try. Cyclists who ride against traffic and cut through gas stations put
themselves and others at risk. T.A. should be at the forefront of encouraging
riders to bike safely, follow traffic rules and set an example. Joyrides
should be for fun and not worry about "cutting corners" for the sake
of a marginally quicker ride.
Robert: Your points are
well taken. T.A. certainly does not condone breaking the law for the sake of
efficiency. We do feel that there are occasions
when cyclists can use their sleek and unobtrusive selves to their advantage
while wending through tricky spots in the city (such as cutting through gas
stations, with caution, of course).
Dear Taxi and Limousine
Commissioner McGrath-McKechnie: I read about your recent decision to add
another recorded announcement to NYC taxis concerning passengers buckling seat
belts. This is a good idea, as the way some drivers operate their vehicle,
seat belts are advised. However, may I suggest that this not be the only
addition to these announcements? It should not be all that difficult to wire
the steering wheel so that a recording comes on to advise: "SIGNAL ALL
TURNS" whenever a turn is made without the turn indicator lever being
activated. As far as I remember, signaling is not optional in NYC.
Similarly, a recording, attached to the speedometer, could come on whenever 30
mph is exceeded stating, "THE SPEED LIMIT IN NYC IS 30 MPH, AND 45 ON
HIGHWAYS." After a while, of course, the drivers and passengers would
spend the entire time listening to "advisories." Isn't it about time
NY instituted some real training courses in safety, courtesy, geography, et
cetera? I think about London, England as a model. You are not afraid of taxi
owners, are you? Your leadership on these issues is vital. I await your reply.
Dear Councilmember DiBrienza:
I am writing to urge you to extend summer hours in Prospect Park, and to close
the park to cars overnight and during the early morning. As
an avid walker, jogger and cyclist, I can't tell you how valuable it is to
have a Park in Brooklyn that is an oasis from the ubiquitous, unrelenting
automobile. I have used the Park during nearly every hour of the day, and
there are always people skating, jogging and cycling on the Park road. I'm
sure they feel the same way. The Park ought to be kept as free of cars for as
much of the day as possible. I jog early in the morning, as well, before work.
A lot of people do. Unfortunately, this is the most traffic-clogged time of
the day. Please also support keeping cars out until later in the morning (if
they have to be there at all). Thank you for your attention to this matter.
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127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
New York, NY 10001