Don’t punish bikers for sins of bad drivers

To the editor,

Regarding the recent pedestrian deaths in Park Slope, Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives ought to be ashamed of himself for using this tragedy to further his agenda of installing protected bike lanes. Now he wants them on Ninth Street. Two lanes of traffic were already eliminated to install bike lanes. Making them protected would have not prevented this tragedy.

The Department of Transportation should be ashamed for caving into his demands. The driver mowed down pedestrians after coming to a complete stop due to a claimed medical condition. The media is also wrong by referring to any intersection as “dangerous” and calling for a roadway redesign every time there is a pedestrian fatality regardless of the cause.

The real problem is the Department of Motor Vehicles who automatically renews drivers’ licenses upon expiration with an eye test being the only requirement. Doctors are also not required to report to DMV those who they deem are unfit to drive. Charges should be brought against the driver unless she truly had a medical condition that could not have been predicted. Previous camera violations are irrelevant since it offers no proof regarding who was driving the vehicle.

DeBlasio’s proposal to increase the number of cameras and penalties for repeat offenders will do little to prevent future tragedies since the vehicle owner would be punished for camera violations, when in fact another member of the household could have been driving; it’s legality is also questionable. It is just another way of raising revenue disguised as a safety measure.

Where is the study which shows the traffic and air pollution impacts of the proposed DOT changes? A protected bicycle lane will cause all traffic to come to a halt every time a car needs to park or pull out of a parking space. Isn’t our bus service slow enough? If DOT is so concerned about safety as they claim, why does it take them three years to renew totally worn out pavement markings and replace defective lights along highways?Allan Rosen

Sheepshead Bay

Put safety first!

To the editor,

Re: “Tragedy in Slope, Driver not charged after hitting and killing two kids in ghastly Park Slope collision,” While the driver [Dorothy Bruns] is not being charged but has suffered seizures, I believe she and other drivers who suffer from conditions like [Ms. Bruns] should surrender their licenses and avoid or at least alleviate the possibility of future accidents from happening. The state Legislature should enact legislation that anyone who operates a motor vehicle should be required to take a neurological examination every two years to check if they have Alzheimer’s disease, stroke epilepsy, sleep apnea or any other condition that might endanger pedestrians. In Trinidad, for example, citizens have to surrender their licenses at 60 ytears of age regardless of whether they are physically and mentally capable. While I personally do not believe America should be that harsh, pedestrian safety must take top priority.

I am not unaware that many truck drivers are hassled by their supervisors to exceed the speed limit, but that problem should be addressed by Teamsters union delegates that they are endangering their members as well as the public safety. In addition, many Teamsters suffer from sleep apnea. [For people who have] certain positions like truck drivers, cab drivers motormen, etc. a physical exam will determine certain conditions that may or may not be corrected, but pedestrian safety must come first.

Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

So long, NYCHA?

To the editor,

Looks like our two feckless New York leaders, Gov. Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber, are at each other’s throats once again. This time, pointing fingers at the crumbling facilities of the New York City Housing Authority.

It is well known that the NYCHA projects, with the best intentions, were set up as cheap warehouses for low income and welfare recipients. Over the past 50 years, other than constructing the buildings, heavy maintenance and repairs have gone by the wayside. Friends, working in the Authority, tell of horror stories in each building they work at and reveal that the waste of taxpayer’s money in manpower and materials across the board, abounds.

Maybe our “govern-ayor” — who wants to be both Governor and Mayor — maybe he should start by disbanding NYCHA, razing these disgraceful buildings citywide, and constructing affordable” housing, and not apartments, throughout the boroughs. It has been done in several cities in America and has given a new start to neighborhoods destroyed by these complexes.Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Gunning for change

To the editor,

Save Our Students. No Help, No Vote!

Both Democrats and Republicans have been unsuccessful in stopping school shootings because they refuse to negotiate — and the hell with our kids. How about the hell with you and your party?

The Second Amendment, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” was adapted in 1791. It is a derivative of a 1689 British law adapted as a right of the people to defend themselves from harm and from oppression.

The first American “military” was established in 1512 as an armed militia to defend against Native Americans and European aggressors who came to the “new world.” Each colony formed its own militia and men, women and children owned firearms.

Samuel Adams argued that Congress must not prevent peaceful Americans from keeping firearms for the defense of the United States. However, today’s American civilians do not defend the United States from their homes; they do so as trained members of our military under one central command. The Second Amendment does not apply today, but in an increasingly volatile and lawless United States, it may apply in the future as it did in the past.

Anyway, the Second Amendment is not the problem. The problem is our current political climate, including the NRA that is resolute (and wrong) in its thinking and misinterprets the Second Amendment for self-serving purposes.

I am against total gun control, but not against common-sense gun control as supported by the facts on the ground. I believe that the citizenry should be allowed to own firearms, but not for purposes of defense, but for purposes of hunting, target practice and gun enthusiasm.

Having made that controversial statement, let me immediately state that firearms owners must be mature, sane and qualified to own and fire a weapon – not only by hitting a target at a range, but also by completing a two-week bivouac course, complete with “enemies” and blank ammunition — knowing very well that “blank ammunition” can wound (possibly kill) at a short distance. A firearms owner subjected only to target practice is not properly trained.

There have been too many incidences where improperly trained firearms owners accidentally or wrongly killed (George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin), or left their weapon unsecured (Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy) which resulted in death (mentally ill Adam killed 28 — including school children, staff, his mother and himself).

Proper procedure for owning a firearm is to keep the firearm secure in one place and the rounds secure in another place, which makes the idea of protection moot since to protect one’s family, one would need to have the firearm “locked-and-loaded” and at the ready. Generally, the normal citizenry will not defend itself against common criminals, Islamic terrorists and armed mentally ill individuals, with a firearm. We must vote irresponsible lawmakers out of office and hope that the responsible ones (if there is such an animal) will protect us both legislatively and physically.

(1) There must be an age limit of 25 (the year we mature, according to British research) in order to purchase firearms and (2) individuals on a National Mentally Ill Registry, must not be allowed to purchase, own and discharge firearms.

I am a member of the NRA, but I may not renew my membership, unless the NRA reaches a level of maturity consistent with the reality on the ground. As far as politicians are concerned…I discounted them more than a half century ago when I realized that the goal of many is to continue loitering on the public dole. As Mark Twain said “Politicians are like diapers; they must be changed often…and for the same reason.”

Elio Valenti


Let Hizzoner travel

To the editor,

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio is no different from many predecessors who racked up frequent flier mileage traveling around the nation. The late Republican-Liberal Mayor John Lindsay, who served from 1966 to 1973, did the same, promoting an urban agenda for increased federal aid to cities. Any good CEO of a major company delegates authority to get things done. DeBlasio has several hundred City Hall staff, hundreds more commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners for various city agencies to represent his interests. The 320,000 municipal employees ably led by several thousand managers are quite capable of continuing to deliver the critical services which millions of New Yorkers count on while DeBlasio periodically travels around the nation promoting his “progressive agenda” and perhaps 2020 Presidential ambitions.

Life in the Big Apple will go on day after day regardless of DeBlasio’s physical location.

Larry Penner

Great Neck