Your Letters: Week of March 9, 2017
The Struggle to Save Chelsea Continues
To The Editor:
Re: “Save Chelsea Chosen as One of ‘Six to Celebrate’ ” (news, Feb. 23):
Save Chelsea had its beginning with Jane Woods’ Chelsea Coalition on Housing (see Jane Woods Way atop the street lamp at 19th St. & Eighth Ave.). She fought to save affordable housing, fought landlords who were trying to evict tenants by whatever means possible, and helped keep Chelsea a rich, diverse neighborhood.
There was Ed Kirkland of Community Board 4 who single-handedly drew up a zoning plan for Chelsea. He knew each brick and block of stone in all of Chelsea, and he wanted to save every one of them. Many of us walked the streets to assist him in this endeavor.
Then there was the High Line and the land speculation that ensued as part of the deal. Air rights over the river, air rights over any of the one- and two-story garages, restaurants, etc. — all were sold to make those high-priced, high-rise buildings we now see even higher. As these buildings were sprouting up all over west Chelsea, many of us in Save Chelsea were fighting for mandatory 30 percent affordable housing in each and every new building, but to no avail.
So the struggle to Save Chelsea continues!
Glib and insulting
To The Editor:
Re “The Suspicious Samaritan as Model Citizen” (Lenore Skenazy, Feb. 16):
I was there that day, 9/11. I wish someone had said something. Your glib remarks are an insult to the people who died in the buildings and the pits. Shame on you.
FEEDBACK FROM FACEBOOK
Re: “Tap Into the Unique Energy of Chelsea’s Small Businesses (news, posted to chelseanow.com March 1):
I am a small restaurant owner in the West Village and I can tell you that we have seen a drop of 25 percent drop in business this first quarter. Stores are closing more than ever. Along Hudson Street and Bleecker Street, storefronts are remaining empty. High rents and very little foot traffic. I reached out to small business solutions [NYC Business Solutions], [Councilmember] Corey Johnson’s office, the Comptroller’s office, and Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce with questions on how we can improve business and how to stop landlord harassment. I have been up and down William Street and John Street, with no results. All the governmental offices’ lack of help to small business concerns is all very sad.
Nicolas Bustamante, Bespoke Kitchen
Re: “Adieu, Alan’s Alley: Video Shop’s Closing Credits Scrolling Soon” (posted to chelseanow.com March 1):
I love and hate this. Every time we pass by a place that we think would be good fit we say, “Ahh we have to call Alan.” I hope to run into you soon, Alan!!!
Jennifer Lynne Dreussi Hansen
Re: West Side Workshop Troubleshoots L Train Shutdown (posted to chelseanow.com March 1):
It strikes me as preposterous that community members who organize themselves around safe and efficient transportation are cast as some nefarious lobbying group. Transportation Alternatives does great, life-saving work across the five boroughs, and they’re an excellent resource for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who support their mission. They rightly contend that the only way to save the residents and businesses along 14th St. during the L train closure is by prioritizing high capacity modes of transport that are proven to work, rather than bending over backwards to accommodate the every whim of the few people who choose to drive single-occupant vehicles in the densest city in the country.
William Jacob Farrell
I too found this article unbalanced. Full disclosure, I support the PeopleWay, as a viable alternative to moving buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists across 14th Street as efficiently as possible. I live on 14th Street, and can tell you from bitter experience that as things stand now, it is pretty impossible to get across at certain times of the day without using the L train. When the L train isn’t there to be used, the situation may well become untenable. PeopleWay presents an alternative, but only if MTA/DOT commits to doing it right, which would mean finding a way around the endless construction that plagues 14th Street at almost every block, which will not be completed before 2019. That already makes my commuting life hard, even as a pedestrian. MTA/DOT also has to find a way to mitigate traffic on the surrounding streets. I’m sure they have experts that can figure that out, if there is the will to do so. I will continue to attend workshops and will continue to support PeopleWay. Done right, PeopleWay could enhance the quality of life for 14th Street residents, and once folks become used to it, will mitigate traffic on the surrounding streets as well (for example: if drivers will leave their cars at home for short trips).
Julia R. Alberino
I am a member of the 14th Street community who will be directly affected by the L Train shutdown. I attended the West Side workshop. My biggest concern is that our already congested neighborhood will be inundated with vehicle traffic. I feel we need to do whatever we can as a community to encourage people to use mass transit/walk/bike. NOBODY is happy about the shut down of the L train. It will be hard for EVERYONE. We will ALL have to make changes. BUT — let’s work for changes that will improve the community and make life better for more people. If it is cheaper and more convenient to use mass transit/walk/bike that is what people will do. Let’s work toward that.
This article should be praising Transportation Alternatives for the work they do. TA acknowledged the impact of this crisis before anyone else and started mobilizing immediately. They do a great job of connecting community members and encouraging citizens to speak out on issues where they are directly affected. As a proud TA member who lives on 14th Street, I am upset by the tilt of this article.
The Transit Alternative [Transportation Alternatives] is using the shutdown of the L to push their radical causes. Who is behind this lobbying group? The shutdown of the L will affect each borough differently and should be addressed as so. Getting our largest community of workers and students into Manhattan with as little added stress to the already stressful daily commute via other alternatives is the main objective. The longer part of the journey is from the outer boroughs to Manhattan; I didn’t hear a lot about that. Thankfully we are a city with many alternatives, especially in Manhattan — let’s use them effectively and not take this shutdown as the catalyst to push other agendas. Let’s keep the playing field as objective as possible.
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