Losing the battle on bikes (cars, too)
To the editor:
T&V has recently featured articles on residents complaining about cyclists’ behavior and the NYPD’s 13th Precinct enforcement activities towards cyclists. None of these articles point out that the real danger to pedestrians and cyclists are automobiles.
Motor vehicle crashes killed 200 people in NYC in 2018 including 114 pedestrians and 10 cyclists and left 60,000 injured. Between July 2012 and January 2019, 887 pedestrians were killed by automobiles. Generally, when the DOT installs protected bike lanes or other infrastructure to make cycling safer and easier, pedestrian safety also increases.
All too frequently whenever there is a serious crash involving a cyclist being hit a motor vehicle, they initiate ticketing activity against cyclists often at intersections and bike lanes in which little dangerous behavior is exhibited by cyclists rather drivers who block and drive in bike lanes, drivers who cut off cyclists at intersections or drivers that block the box causing cyclists to go out into traffic.
As for the ticketing of e-throttle bikes, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD have certainly lost that battle. All one has to do is stand anywhere in Stuy Town or Peter Cooper Village and observe that the majority of delivery cyclists continue to use such bikes. They are ubiquitous. As long as residents want food and other items delivered quickly the use of these bikes will continue. The NYPD also likes its meals delivered quickly as recent observations of deliveries to 1 Police Plaza confirm that most are made with e throttle bikes.
As long as these cyclists continue to be poorly paid and are pressured by their employers to make quick deliveries and they do not suffer any economic consequence for their policies their employees will continue to find the shortest and quickest routes available, often violating traffic laws. If employers did not allow cyclists to use e-throttle bikes, demanded obedience to traffic laws and paid them better, then the behavior of delivery cyclists would improve.
Blair F. Bertaccini, ST
Days late and dollars short
To the Editor:
Manhattan elected officials promoting congestion pricing were a bit late in coming to the aid of their constituents who live and drive here – two weeks before the deal was sealed! Did they ever consider any exemptions at all for Manhattanites who live below 60th Street? Doesn’t appear so until they received an earful.
They rushed to embrace congestion pricing to burnish their environmental profiles while not considering the financial impact on residents. As nearly half the population of Manhattan lives below 60th Street and approximately 23 percent of households possess vehicles, where were the borough president, state senators and assembly members on this issue?
Until T&V published this article not one of them were on record backing exemptions. Shame on them all!
Charles Sturcken, ST