Letter to the editor, Nov. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

To-do list for next Assemblymember

To the editor:

This is a comment on Marie Ternes’ “Moving onto the next election,” T&V, Nov. 16, and in a way a comment about the campaign of Keith Powers. Ms. Ternes, like Mr. Powers, has been a member of PCVST for years — likely for longer than I, but her idea of issues (issues that were, I hope, known to Mr. Powers, but tactically absent in his campaign literature) provoke my asking “Is that it?!?!” Ms. Ternes says that she wants to “Preserve and support middle and low-income housing.” I wondered, “Doesn’t everyone these days say they want to preserve middle-class everything?” So, having gone that far, I anticipated that I would soon see the complement of “preserve,” namely “affordable.”

Sure ‘nuff, Ms. Ternes wrote: “Albany plays an important role in setting affordable (There it was!) housing requirements for new developments and also in preserving and supporting affordable (as in our politically promoted, six-step, go-back-to-square-one lotteries!) housing already in the district.” Over the years, our local electeds have made it abundantly clear that Albany is dominated by Republicans and Blue-nose Dems. Hence, as they have been ceaselessly telling us, many of our troubles are anchored there, and cannot be cured unless cured there. (Audience: applause.)

For my part, I would like to list some more local matters over which hopefuls and now newly elected might ponder. Picking up from Ms. Ternes: Yes, I too would like to see less congestion here in New York City.

So here is one cure: Let’s revoke the permits of the 60,000 privately owned TL&C new limo arrivals that have evolved from contrived, profit-seeking undertakings to conveniences to downright necessities. Then let’s cut back on the number of traditional cabs. That will ease traffic, cut pollutions, increase the use of our arrogantly incompetently run crumbling transit system, and mind you, slow the pace at which we rationally destroy the civilities into which most of us were born.

Continuing: Yes, by all means… more Citi Bikes, but not one more bike until bicyclists give up the self-assigned rights to run red lights and ride on the sidewalks. Then, only after doing what drivers of autos must do: take a course, pass a test, get a driver’s permit, register the vehicle at the place of purchase, obey traffic regs, and stay off the sidewalks, only then should we cheerfully proceed with a thought-out i.e., enforceable, much needed increase in bicyclists and bike lanes.

Of course there is more. None of the following showed up in Ms. Ternes’ pitch or in soon-to-be Councilman Powers campaign with “good ideas” literature:

  1. Real estate interests have taken over the city: If there is a problem, build a high rise! The horror hovering over the FDR and the Manhattan Bridge is a good example of that, given the marriage of politics and reality, things-are-out-of-hand for us citizens.
  2. Many of our subway platforms can no longer hold our numbers. Therefore?
  3. Many of our trains can no longer accommodate our numbers — the MTA seems to think crowding can be cured by eliminating seats — so more people can stand!
  4. Con Ed has already warned that it may not be able to meet peak demands during summer hours — so we keep building. Concerned folks might suggest that, given the greatest good for the greatest number, we cut back power availability during peak hours — as some would have us do with our personal autos — during peak hours.
  5. Our ability to treat our own wastewater is not an infinite ability — but then, prefaced with expressions of concern, we can always dump our waste into the nearby Atlantic — during peak hours.

One can only marvel at what we might maintain — if only we make smart use of peak hours!

John M. Giannone, ST

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