By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper residents expressed concerns about cyclists around the property, especially the bike lane on East 20th Street between First Avenue and Avenue C, at the Tenants Association’s annual meeting last Thursday.
Resident Susan Mason said that a mom in the neighborhood said her stroller was hit while her child was in it. Mason did not specify if this was at the intersection of East 20th Street and First Avenue but said that the corner seems to be a problem.
“Since you’re trying to educate the bicyclists, it would be helpful if you could send officers to 20th and First because cyclists are constantly going through lights there,” she said.
The 13th Precinct’s executive officer, Ernesto Castro, noted at the meeting that there has been one collision reported at East 20th and First so far this year, and the NYPD usually focuses traffic enforcement on areas with more crashes, including East 23rd Street and Second Avenue, as well as at Sixth Avenue.
TA president Susan Steinberg also noted that the two-way bike lane recently installed on East 20th Street has made some residents feel less safe and one resident at the meeting said that while he has never been hit, he has had close calls on the street.
Graduate student Sophie Maerowitz, however, told T&V at the meeting that she uses the bike lane all the time to get from her apartment on East 14th Street between Avenues B and C to Baruch College and the protected lane is the safest way for her to get across Manhattan and get from her job on the Lower East Side to class.
“Since they’ve installed the two-way bike lanes, visibility has increased immensely and I see a lot of cyclists using that lane,” she said, citing a recent study from researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of New Mexico that found that protected bike lanes reduced traffic fatalities by 44 percent. “To try and rip out this incredibly safe, proven traffic treatment because some residents are nervous about being close to cyclists is not reflecting the data that we’re finding nationally.”
The Tenants Association also voted at the meeting to re-elect Alvin Doyle and Susan Steinberg as directors for another four-year term. Doyle served as president of the TA for 23 years and Steinberg, the TA’s current president, has been a member of the board since 1996.
Peter Cooper Village resident Anne Greenberg, the TA’s vice president, also updated residents at the meeting on the state legislature’s efforts to pass pro-tenant rent bills by June 15, as well as the upcoming Rent Guidelines Board vote on June 25.