Letters to the Editor: Southern bike lane debate rages online

City officials must reconsider their plan to build a bike lane along the Southern Brooklyn coast, according to Bensonhurst civic gurus, who called the city’s current proposal unsafe because it lacks proper protection for cyclists on car-heavy roads. (“Bensonhurst civic leaders push DOT to reconsider bike lane plan” by Aidan Graham, online May 17).

The Department of Transportation unveiled its proposal, calling for a one-and-a-half mile bikeable route along Shore Parkway, at an April 24 Community Board 11 meeting.

The planned route would run from Bay Parkway to Bay 53rd Street, connecting existing lanes on either side to create a continuous bikeable path from Bay Ridge to the Coney Island peninsula. The largest section of the department’s plan calls for a two-way protected bike lane on Shore Parkway, on the side of the road closest to the water.

Ahead of the unanimous rebuff of the proposal on May 9, the board’s Transportation Committee chair blasted department reps for valuing expediency rather than safety.

Readers debated the topic online:

More bike paths are not the answer. Safer riding is. Bicyclists need tough love and not pandering, otherwise the fatalities will increase.James Maggio from Marine Park

More bike lanes are great, but more enforcement against self-entitled motorists is key. Too many reckless drivers on the road. Massive fines, then jail should do the trick.Henry Ford from Bay Ridge

Henry Ford, I will support that if the same will apply to cyclists who tend to flout the traffic laws, which they do very constantly.

Tal Barzilai

from Pleasantville, NY

The NYPD already cracks down on cyclists, even after one is killed by a motorist. So glad to hear you’re on board!Henry Ford from Bay Ridge

I’m glad that DOT is increasingly going ahead with safety projects over the objections of community boards.

Mike from Williamsburg says:

It looks like Bensonhurst might have its first meaningful improvement. I’m not holding my breath that the times are changing, or that the Community Board 11 suddenly changed its thinking and take safety of the residents in consideration.

It seems more of a response to morbid statistics coming from South Brooklyn at large, and gentrification of Bay Ridge, than planned infrastructure improvement for Bensonhurst. Still, we’ll take even those scraps as a sign that not all our taxes are syphoned out to neighborhoods with louder voices.Peter from Dyker Hights

Bikes are unsafe in the streets. That’s it. They shouldn’t be there. Ten bike deaths in 4.5 months. And if the government is going to continue to allow it, bikes at least need to be registered with plates to hold them accountable for the law that none obey today. They are a menace.Bikes Unsafe in the Streets from Brooklyn

Hey, bikes unsafe, get a life. It’s not the bikes that are unsafe, it is the drivers who think they own the road. What ever happened to the 25 MPH speed limit?

I am a driver and bike rider for over 50 years and I think BOTH have a right to share the streets!!!Jeff from Brooklyn

Fur-free NYC

To the Editor,

There is no room for an industry which causes innocent animals to be drowned, electrocuted, stomped on, painfully trapped, and skinned alive in a civilized society in the year 2019. Just because this has been happening for hundreds of years doesn’t make it right (“Op-ed: Banning fur is bad for New York” by Karen Giberson, Mill–Marine Courier, May 17–23). There is no such thing as ethical fur. No sentient being wants to die, and there is no humane way to get fur from an animal. It is their fur, not ours. How would anyone in the fur industry like it if this was done to their dog or cat? All animals feel pain, just as we do.

I applaud Corey Johnson, and those cosponsors of HR 1476, for being on the right side of history. The progressive city of New York will now be seen as a compassionate one, along with San Francisco and Los Angeles, once the Fur Ban is passed. There are plenty of alternatives, and many designers — including Gucci and Burberry — have ditched fur already. Fur is not a fabric! Join us in our chants “No blood for vanity,” and Fur trade=Death trade, as we set foot into a fur-free NYC!

Rochelle Goldman

Brighton Beach

Cuomo’s magic

To the Editor,

Our newly minted civil engineer, Govern-mayor Cuomo, is now pushing for the swift completion of the Kosciusko Bridge. (“Second span to open in September” by Mark Hallum, Mill–Marine Courier, May 10–16).

It seems when he flexes his expansive inexperience in both civil and electrical engineering, things go expensively wrong.

A year ago he pushed for the opening of the Tappan-Zee Bridge. That led to a beautiful opening day and subsequently, months of additional and costly work to fix and make safe the work that was rushed.

Then came his meddling with the MTA and the Second Avenue “Stubway.” Here, too, work was pushed along to meet his imposed opening day. To accomplish this feat, he ordered regular transit workers away from much-needed inspections and repairs. Today, there is an investigation underway as to why overtime costs went through the roof. I guess people forgot his edict to transit after all too many delays and problems, to fix it at all costs.

Anytime our illustrious leader thinks of himself, a Trump, a proven builder, able to build anything, watch out!Robert W. Lobenstein

Sheepshead Bay

Jailhouse knocked

To the Editor,

I do not agree with our mayor’s plan to enlarge jails, although I do agree that the jail on Rikers Island should be closed. However, what our city really needs is not more, nor bigger, jails, but more crime prevention programs. Instead of spending more money on keeping offenders locked up, the money should be spent on improved schools, social services, vocational training programs, and rehabilitation programs and facilities.

I am horrified whenever I see a news story about a child who has been abused or murdered by his parents. Many of these families have been known to social services, but overworked caseworkers have done nothing. The last death that occurred a week or two ago was of a young boy who had been removed from his home because of abuse and later returned to his parents, only to be beaten to death. The parents will spend many years in jail and their other children may have psychological problems that will could cause them to become criminals or addicts because of the trauma they have endured. Increased funding would enable the city to hire more social workers, give them smaller caseloads, and improve their training before more children die.

I also believe that with better social and psychiatric services, as well as improved educational programs in the schools, both public and private, many troubled children who would otherwise end up in prison can be helped to lead healthy, useful lives rather than ending up in gangs or on drugs.

There is also a need for more and better rehabilitation centers for drug addicts rather than just throwing them in jail when their addictions get them into trouble.

Many prisoners in Rikers and other prisons are there awaiting trial, which means they have not yet been proven guilty of a crime. I think that people who have committed minor crimes and can’t afford bail should be given the option of doing community service or going into rehabilitation programs instead of being stuck in jail until their trials. No one, unless he or she is a danger to the community, should spend months in jail without a trial.

I strongly believe that if every potential criminal, whether adult or child, is given the help he or she needs before he or she ends up in jail, there will be no need for more or larger jails. Elaine Kirsch


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