Going back and Fourth on a bike lane

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To the editor,

“Two steps forward, but one step back,” came to mind when I read last week’s story about the Fourth Avenue bike lane through Sunset Park (“Lane closure: Sunset Park Fourth Ave. bike path will skip a block for police parking,” by Julianne McShane, online March 30). We learned that after all this time and effort to create a truly protected bike lane down Fourth Avenue, the Department of Transportation did an about face and nixed the protected lane at 29th and 30th Streets, thus requiring bikers to temporarily merge into car traffic. The reason for the switch is to accommodate street parking for the local Police precinct, some of it for precinct staff’s personal vehicles.

You don’t need to be a biking advocate to understand that protected bike lanes only work if they are continuous lanes, rather than a hodgepodge that increases dangerous conditions for everyone. Now, rather than a relaxing ride with your children (or a safe morning commute to work) you’ll once again need to worry about imminent death by car on a stretch known for extreme traffic conditions.

How did this come to be? The bike lane proposal was studied exhaustively for years, approved by all the relevant authorities and Community boards, and publicly announced. And then, after all of that, the rug was pulled out with no explanation to accommodate needless head-out parking for police and personal vehicles already blocking the sidewalk? Yes, police vehicles need a place to park, but the snap decision, without public comment or explanation, to maintain the status quo speaks to someone at DOT simply taking the unimaginative easy way out. Why can’t these vehicles park in newly-reserved parking on the street next to the bike lane? Or on the side streets just 10 to 30 feet away? No one knows. And it’s not hard to imagine that no one thought to ask.

I hope this decision is not permanent, that cooler heads will prevail at DOT, and the lane can be protected once more. And while those cooler heads are thinking, they should get to work extending that Fourth Avenue lane all the way through Bay Ridge (dare to dream!)

Darren Schmidt

Bay Ridge

Works there, not here

To the editor,

I’m not so sure that “being ahead of the curve” means that our children must be given a free rein to possibly place their well-being in peril — and spare us the statistics and the law. I’ve worked with statistics my whole adult life, taught it and lectured it, and surprise, surprise! statistics can be manipulated and misinterpreted. As far as modern laws are concerned, they are enacted to appease and many are whimsical in nature. Did you know that in some California communities it is illegal “for anyone to try and stop a child from playfully jumping over puddles of water?” I’m sure Lenore Skenazy likes that law.

Basically, Ms. Skenazy describes my upbringing to a tee, but times are not the same.

I grew up in Bensonhurst. I went to the park alone and came back safe and sound. My little league games ended at about 7:30 pm and I survived dusk. I even went to Yankee Stadium and Ebbets Field by subway — and yes… I came home unscathed and alive. But that was then. Today with liberal politicians and activist judges siding with criminals, with wall-to-wall homeless and illegals, with the mentally ill released from mental institutions prematurely (or refusing to take their meds), we should be afraid to let our children out alone.

I’m curious…When Ms. Skenazy let her 9-year old son ride the New York City subways alone, wasn’t she afraid that something adverse might happen to him? That he might be kidnapped? Or robbed? Or get lost? Or be bullied? She is certainly not a child abuser as some have alleged, but why did she take a chance? To prove a point? Using her kid?

Utah is a wonderful state; I’ve been there a few times and fell in love with the people and their way of life; I usually stay at the Marriott — where else? In Utah kids probably can be left alone, but in New York? Fugheddaboudit! And yes, I’m referring to New York City, which New York State revolves around.

During an early business dinner in Salt Lake City, I realized that my parking meter had expired, so I excused myself and went out to insert more money in the meter. A traffic agent was about to issue a ticket, but noticed I was walking toward the car…and waited…

“Is this your car?”

“Sorry, I lost track of time.”

“You mean you came here to put more change in the meter?”


“Well, that’s different. Have a nice evening” and walked away without writing a ticket. Would this scenario ever happen in New York? It’s a different life in my back yard. Utah may have a little sleaze, but not so in New York – we have lots of sleaze.

As engineers, we design systems for the “unlikely event” when matters of extreme importance are at stake — and as parents, we must design our parenting for the “unlikely event” when matters of extreme importance are at stake — and our kids are matters of extreme importance. What can be more important?

I’m afraid a law similar to Utah’s in New York would be an invitation for the scum of the Earth to prey on our kids. Still, as nice as the people of Utah are, I don’t agree with its law. Something awful only needs to happen once — to one kid… what if that kid is mine? What if that kid is yours, Ms. Skenazy?Elio Valenti

Bay Ridge

Limit ‘em!

To the editor,

I am sick and tired of the same voices and biased ideas by “boys club” politicians who delay, investigate and distract while they provide cover for each other as they steal our tax dollars.

Elected positions were never meant to be — and should not be — life-long careers. The very fact that they are is reason why and how easily “we the people” are being duped, because career folks know how to play the systems they define, create and manipulate via their “management” schemes to benefit themselves and their ilk alone.

This country has more than enough wealth to provide all (tax-paying) citizens with far more than is needed to meet subsistence; shelter, food and health care for those in especially dire straits; and excellent health care for all. Our infrastructure (roads, bridges, and airports, to name three) should be well cared for, top shelf.

Instead, we keep reading about career politicians retiring with fixed benefit pensions and lifetime healthcare in hand, along with kickbacks from the wealth/corporate ghouls they have represented and lucrative jobs awaiting their arrival. Some of those politicians were instrumental in increasing our deficit by a trillion dollars while giving huge tax breaks to billionaires.

Term limits, new blood every two terms should be mandatory. I believe this is our only opportunity to curb their ways and thus have our needs and concerns addressed.

This, along with limiting their opportunity to become money-driven lobbyists, or to completely eliminate that practice, will help to put an end to the continued nepotism, obstruction and outright theft of our tax money, and government.

Please vote with your considered minds and hearts come Nov. 6, 2018.

Barry Brothers


‘Double’ trouble

To the editor,

City traffic is a headache and motorists who observe bike lanes when double parking for alternate side regulations only make matters worse. Indeed in some instances trucks and large vans have had “fender benders” with these double parked cars while trying to navigate through these streets, especially when there are one or two cars still parked at the curb.

I’m familiar with the usual arguments that double parking is not allowed anywhere — but long standing practice has modified that regulation. However now, with the introduction of bike lanes throughout the neighborhood (a move I heartily support) motorists have been forced to leave the lane free thus parking well into the middle of the street. It seems to me that cyclists would not be greatly endangered by lack of access to the bike lanes for 90 minutes once a week.

Of course motorists using common sense and double parking within bike lane get ticketed. The Traffic Department seems only too content with disregarding good judgement and writing hefty fees instead. Community boards should engage local police precincts and talk sense.

Neil Sullivan

Park Slope

Better slow than no

To the editor,

The B82 Limited makies no stops in the 10 blocks between Nostrand and Ocean Avenues. Anyone wanting to get on or off in those 10 blocks must take the regular B82.

Hence, overcrowding on the regular B82 and half-empty Limited buses. Does anyone know what the average passenger county is on a Limited busas compared to a regular bus? One passenger to five? One to 10?

Yes, the trip is slow. Kings Highway is a busy commercial strip and delivery trucks (and cars) are double parked. Will express buses eliminate this? Slow travel is preferable to eliminating bus stops.

And how does this plan serve the elderly and disabled?

Dorothy R. Goldberg


Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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