Pedestrians and Cyclists Cheer for Taxi Strike
Walkers and pedallers welcome safer, quieter streets
New York City cyclists and pedestrians are reveling in the taxi strike today, enjoying streets that are almost free of the usually rampant reckless and speeding and aggressive drivers, as well as horn honking and screeching brakes. While few city agencies collect data specifically documenting the frequency of crashes involving taxis, city residents who get around by hoof and pedal power know from experience that cabbies under pressure to earn fares beyond their daily overhead are one of the greatest causes of danger and chaos on city streets.
"Ironically," said Gian-Claudia Sciara, bicycle program coordinator for Transportation Alternatives, "Taxi drivers are striking to protest the measures proposed to make their industry--and city streets--safer." Meanwhile, bicyclists and pedestrians today are enjoying a far more pleasant and safe environment on city streets I the cabs' absence. "People all over town are commenting how calm it is on the road today," said Sciara.
Transportation Alternatives (T.A.), a 4,500 member group that promotes bicycling, walking and public transit as alternatives to driving, applauds the City's plan to demand higher standards for taxi drivers. However, in addition to more rigorous standards, T.A. supports higher fares and compensation for drivers. "You get what you pay for. Sweatshop wages for drivers mean unsafe conditions for the public," added Sciara.
Transportation Alternatives has
long called for improved street safety via