Letters, Week of Dec. 18, 2013 | chelseanow.com

Letters, Week of Dec. 18, 2013

Cyclists are just part of the problem

To The Editor:
Re “Penn South Pedestrians Want Better Bike Lane Safety” (news, Dec. 3):

In one year (Nov.-12 to Oct.13), there were 290 pedestrians injured along Eighth Avenue, between 23rd and 29th Street (source:  nyc.crashmapper.com). Distracted driving and speeding automobiles provide the greatest risks to pedestrians, not cyclists. Pedestrian safety is an issue, but it requires a holistic approach to design and enforcement, not blaming one road user.
Gary Roth
Adjunct Professor, Urban Planning, Columbia University

Parks on a slippery slope

To The Editor:
On Dec. 5, from earlier in the evening until after 6pm, there was filming in Washington Square Park. Production assistants and police prevented people from entering the park from multiple entrances. A private entertainment company had control of the park, and was enforcing its permit with much aggressive authority.

This is where the Hudson River Park is headed, because economic leverage was just completely turned over to real estate developers under the legislative amendment recently signed by Governor Cuomo. Note that film and TV shoots are now also allowed in Hudson River Park under this same legislation, meaning the shoots will soon be on a constant basis, with constant demand.

This community has made a grave error in allowing the Hudson River Park Act to be altered in this manner, and it will only get worse for Washington Square Park if the new conservancy is allowed to grow in power. Stop it in its tracks, people. No matter how well-intentioned, the park will end up answering to the whims of its “protectors,” not the community that surrounds it. “Slippery slope” is no cliché when public lands are involved.
Patrick Shields

Reader comments, from ChelseaNow.com

Re “Penn South Pedestrians Want Better Bike Lane Safety” (news, Dec. 3):
Glad to hear there will be enforcement. Almost every day I find myself moving out of the way of a bike (I am on foot). On more than one occasion, individuals on bikes also ride between trucks and buses on avenues such as 6th and will continue to move even though the cares are stopped at a red light. This means pedestrians have to watch for bikes even though the cars are stopped! As I recall for Drivers Ed, folks on bikes are supposed to follow the traffic rules.

I ride here every day. I have never seen a pedestrian hit by a cyclist, nor have I ever seen a cop give a ticket to a speeding car — though I see cars speed (and imperil my 8- and 10-year-old children) EVERY DAY.  And worse, drivers never give right of way to pedestrians when making right turns from the avenues onto side streets, though legally they are required to. Twice I’ve grabbed my son as a car blindly skidded around a corner. I’ve never seen a cop giving a ticket for this behavior, a potentially deadly one.
Robert Green

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