Fear of scofflaw cyclists is justified
To the editor:
When graduate student Sophie Maerowitz told T&V (“Bikes still a primary concern for ST/PCV residents,” June 6) that bike lanes have made biking safer for biking, reducing fatalities by 44 percent, she addressed those ST/PCV “concerns” and “nervousness” with utterly irrelevant information.
Ms. Maerowitz’s remarks fail to address the fears pedestrians have been taught when they now cross streets that have bike lanes. To my knowledge no one has argued that bike lanes are a blunder, and no one has claimed that bikers have killed pedestrians. More so, my remarks and our fears do not come from all bicyclists running lights, nor from pedestrians splayed-out by bikes.
Plain and simple, our fear has been caused by a pattern of bicyclists’ behavior. So let’s not require what is not before our city government takes us as real.
Our fear is fed by the self-assigned cyclists’ attitude toward traffic regulations: namely that they need not obey traffic lights and right-of-ways, and they may ride on sidewalks. It doesn’t seem to trouble Ms. Maerowitz and our city fathers that her safety as a bicyclist as been secured by, among other things, a quality-of-life payment made by pedestrians.
When we pedestrians cross at a green light, we glance to see that auto and bicycle traffic has come to a stop. That glance is the exercise of a simple precaution, but that momentary act, that glance, has become a signal to bicyclists that we are uncertain about our actions, and with that split-second communication between bicyclists and pedestrian, bicyclists take the right-of-way red light-and-all.
In short, if they catch you hesitating, they figure you will chicken-out of your right. The two-way bike road on 20th Street is almost sadistic in its disregard for pedestrians wanting to board the westbound bus. Where once we merely stepped up from the curb onto the bus, we now must look to our left and then our right before crossing the two bike lanes and the newly installed island to enter the bus. Of course, on heavily-trafficked cross streets, bicyclists can be counted on to regard traffic lights. They know the difference between a pedestrian who will give way and jump back on to the sidewalk, and a motor vehicle that will kill! When it comes to size, bicyclists are realists!
Am I suggesting that bicyclists, like motor vehicles, obey red lights and not ride on sidewalks? Isn’t it weird that “Yes” sounds so unreasonable! Just who do we pedestrians think we are!
John Giannone, ST
Great, more bikes
Wow! Can you believe that Stuy Town management are actually planning to put a bike station within the grounds of ST!
Walking the grounds is dangerous enough between scooters, skate boards and illegal bikes, now we are going to have to contend with extra bikes coming and going. Does management honestly believe that people who use these bikes are going to walk to and from the roadway with the bikes? I certainly hope the complex has adequate insurance to cover the problems that will be coming with this extremely stupid move.
Valerie White, ST
Supporting the supermarket
Re: “Putting our money where our mouths are,” letter, T&V, May 30
I wholeheartedly agree with Jane Roeder that we must do all we can to support Associated, a real supermarket.
Thank you to Stuyvesant Town management for not raising the rent on Associated and helping them stay here. Now we residents must do our part and continue to shop at Associated and not at Target or Trader Joe’s.
Pat Walcott, ST