Letters to the editor, Dec. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

More bike regs would go a long way

To the editor,

Thank you for researching and publishing (in your Nov. 29 issue) data that’s been collected re: bike/pedestrian accidents in New York City (“Stats on bicycle/pedestrian crashes”).

I frequently cross at 23rd Street and Second Avenue. As at other major cross streets bicycles have their own traffic light which is rather adorable (red, yellow and green icon of a bicycle). Many, perhaps half, of the bicyclists ignore it, if they see it at all. It’s particularly evident when there is a left turn signal for downtown traffic to turn to go East on 23rd to the FDR. That includes many trucks and at least one bus route.

I’ve seen vehicles having to deal with a bicycle weaving about in front of them as they turn. More frequently the bikes zip outside their lane to continue straight down Second in the middle of the street.

I appreciate that it would be an expensive use of police time to ticket scofflaws but wonder if enforcing obeying at the major cross streets might encourage compliance among many cyclists. As it is now, I understand the crossing guards, if they are present, are helpless as the bikes are too fast and too indistinct from one another.

 That brings up another point, i.e. electrified bikes and scooters. If they are to be approved, they must be licensed so that we who are on foot have a bit of a chance of identifying with whom we are sharing the sidewalks and streets. Would it be too much for delivery bikes to have signs with the name of the restaurant attached? However awkward, it would be advertising as well as identifying.

Many of us who are older walk with a certain amount of fear as it is and it should be remembered many who are younger also have limited eye sight and other disabilities.

I’ve always heard pedestrians have the right of way but it doesn’t feel like that anymore.

Thank You.

Joyce Kent, Gramercy Park

Local pols wrong about Trump

Re: “Local synagogues packed after Pittsburgh massacre,” T&V, Nov. 22

Dear Ms. Mollot:

I understand the desire of Democrats such as Harvey Epstein to bash Republicans like Donald Trump; however, it is stooping very low to accuse him of responsibility for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting massacre. Donald Trump has been the best friend Israel has ever had. He has supported Israel in its efforts to prevent a nuclear Iran. He has moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and announced support for Israel’s right to maintain control of the strategically vital Golan Heights from which Syrians used to shoot the Israeli farmers below. No American administration has ever done that.  His son-in-law, Mr. Kushner, is Jewish; his daughter Ivanka is a convert to Judaism; and his grandchildren are Jewish, as are many of his advisers.

Mr. Epstein’s attack on Israel’s best friend in the White House is not only outrageous but hypocritical as well. Recently-elected Democratic leaders such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Deb Haaland and Ayanna Pressley have all spoken out against Israel. In addition, the Pew polling organization determined in 2016 that the majority of Democrats under the age of 30 said their sympathies aligned with the Palestinians and not with Israel. This despite the hundreds of rockets Palestinians have shot at Israeli civilians.  It’s time to start putting ethics above politics.


Gamaliel Isaac, ST

9 thoughts on “Letters to the editor, Dec. 6

  1. As usual, we get a couple hundred words talking about the evil of bikes & the need to “crack down” (apparently the author is not aware of existing bike regulations & how they are pinned to the fines/punishments of motorists, nor are they aware of the constant police activity & communication about bicycle enforcement in the 13th Precinct) but what troubles me the most is that there are 0 words about the dangers that automobile drivers present, particularly at that cursed intersection at 23/2nd where turning vehicles from 23rd Street routinely bully/menace crossing pedestrians.

    There is no sense in pursuing a policy that is disinterested in motorist enforcement while pursuing a “zero tolerance” policy for any/all bicycle violations.

    In fact, the author cites one bicycle maneuver that is, in fact, completely legal & not a problem to anyone. In another sentence, the author proposes a regulation that is already in the law.

    Pointing that out doesn’t excuse the things that cyclists do that unnecessarily endanger or startle pedestrians, but anyone who demands the power of the police & courts be wielded against any class of people in the public realm has the duty to be responsible to understand the topic area better than as a casual observer. Time and time again, people feel entitled to complain about “the bikes” as annoyed casual observers and not as anyone who has any real background on the topic. I would like to see this publication include background information and suggestions from people who have studied traffic and vehicle law. And I would like to see readers take that information seriously instead of continuing to harbor the politics of resentment against the public.

      • I am an avid cyclist and also a data collector for bike advocacy groups. For you to come on here and deflect away from the fact that cyclists are menaces on the road defeats what we are trying to do.

        Yes, cars are the worst offenders and pose a much bigger threat to both pedestrians and cyclists than a cyclist would.

        But I ask you this, and I have the stats to back this up – when is the last time you saw a car flying downtown on first avenue? How about the last time you encountered a car swerving in and out of foot traffic on the sidewalk on 23rd street?

        Last week I was on 23rd and 1st for five-1 hour periods to collect data. Here’s what I got:

        1,358 cyclists who blew through the red light going north on First.

        618 cyclists traveling southbound on First.

        812 cyclists riding on various sidewalks in the 4 corners of 23rd.

        I could not even personally count the overall number of riders who were not in the bike lanes, but swerving in and out of traffic at wreckless paces.

        So yes, cyclists have become a menace to our roads, and as someone who watches cyclists very closely, my goal is to bring an end to this ugly tens of cyclists who think they are above the law.

        If you run a red light, you deserve a ticket. If you go southbound on First Avenue, you deserve a ticket. If you ride on sidewalks or ride rogue on the streets, you deserve a ticket.

        And if you are a car or truck that blocks the bike lanes, you should be towed immediately and given a very big ticket in order to prevent the action from happening again.

        • Oh, and I would also like to make note.

          A lot of the city is getting fed up with white guys, like yourself, feeling like you are above the law of the roads while riding your bike. I’m not calling you out specifically, but the general consensus (with data driven numbers) is that white men are the biggest offenders when it comes to cycling laws, and people are pissed.

          Oh, and I’m a white guy as well, so I know what I’m talking about. Keep an eye out for me on 23rd and first… never know when I will be there.

        • Steve, first of all thank you for chiming in and declaring your credentials without any specifics or names. Never has someone on the Internet overstated their position by claiming things that were unverifiable, so I guess you are an expert.

          Second, have you observed any injuries caused by cyclists?

          Third, one of the things you mention is not illegal… and misspelled.

          Fourth, your posting stigmatizing cyclists speaks for itself as a product of bias/resentment instead of as an informed position piece about the thing we all agree about – that injuries on the road should be reduced & that irresponsible behavior should be eliminated. The premise that all bicycle violations (on streets and intersections only designed for high-volume motorist traffic and highway-sized trucks) are highly risky to pedestrians and bicyclists is faulty… many bicycle violations are, indeed, risky (and things like sidewalk riding should be abolished with broad enforcement measures – I’m also no defender of wrong-way cyclists and I agree with ticketing them too), but counting bicycles going through empty intersections with no cross-traffic or pedestrians in sight is just running-up-the-score.

          I have seen lots of cars speeding in the district, many blowing through just-turned red lights while pedestrians are in the crosswalk, and drivers making left turns into occupied crosswalks is a MAJOR threat to pedestrians as all of the city’s injury stats show. (note that trucks/cars that block bike lanes are rarely towed, and your suggestion is simply not going to happen with the way the NYPD overall is currently deploying equipment and resources) No one who has significant involvement with bicycle advocacy groups or any pedestrian-based transportation advocacy would think of writing a long, angry screed calling cyclists “ugly” while making a footnote of awful driver behavior & intersection design.

      • Brian, without question, you are Town and Village’s biggest douche.

        Keep your eyes open, you’re destined to get clobbered by a bike. Karma’s a bitch.

  2. Listen, I do not disagree with a lot of what you are saying. And ultimately I do believe that cars are the biggest threat to pedestrians. I should also note that I am a pedestrian that has been hit by a cyclist and was in the hospital for 10 days from that accident.

    You can come on here and argue against me all that you want, but my story is my story, and I am fighting for both cyclists and pedestrians. You should stand out on a major intersection for any given amount of time and tell me that that my numbers are exaggerated and that cyclists are just blowing through red lights because there is no traffic flow – that is pure BS driven by yet another entitled millennial biker.

    Cars are the problem. However, If we don’t nip the biking scofflaws in the bud before it comes too late, pedestrians don’t stand a chance.

    I think most people on here would agree with me, and that just furthers my point…

  3. Oh, and thank you for mentioning a misspelling. Really brings out the millennial in you and makes you look like an even bigger jerk

  4. Aside from the bikes & cars, what about the cartoon? NYCHA residents aren’t the only people with no heat. Need I say more? In fact, NYCHA may get MORE heat than “Stuy Town.”
    Thanks to Powers and Friends, this is all perfectly legal now.

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