Letters to The Editor, Week of July 11, 2019

D.O.T.: The new R. Moses

To The Editor:

Re “Judge blocks 14th St. busway” (news article, July 4):
We are absolutely delighted with Judge Rackower’s fair and reasonable decision to grant our request for a temporary restraining order and to compel Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and her Department of Transportation to support their claims of essential need for vehicular restrictions on 14th St. by providing the required hard data prescribed under the law. We are also deeply appreciative of Attorney Arthur Schwartz’s tireless efforts on our behalf.

Robert Moses, the city’s former Planning czar, saw several of his highway and redevelopment megaprojects defeated by determined Village residents. Now, plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the 14th St. busway plan are calling the current Department of Transportation’s actions heavy-handed, dismissive of the local community and, well…Moses-like.

For those that thought mere dialogue with Trottenberg and D.O.T. would produce a reasonable result, we hope that the lesson was learned. It is indeed unfortunate that it takes a lawsuit to compel the city and D.O.T. to balance the needs of tens of thousands of local residents and businesses with those of a limited number of transient commuters in the name of unsubstantiated minimal improvement to crosstown bus service.

Anyone who would suggest that to demand an equitable balance of accommodation between locals and commuters is elitist, hypocritical and uncaring is clearly continuing the disingenuous agenda of dictating to our neighborhoods and communities how we should live in our homes.

It is quite evident that the 14th St. busway is Trottenberg’s Robert Moses-type assault on our neighborhood in the name of questionable improvement to bus service. When the L-train shutdown was averted, she quickly changed gears with substitute reasons for continuing with the 14th St. plan; something she publicly advocated at each and every alleged community outreach.

It is also clearly apparent that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could care less about the busway, otherwise it would have submitted a legal brief objecting to the T.R.O. and/or appeared in court to make its case. The fact that the M.T.A. is remaining silent speaks volumes about D.O.T.’s misrepresentations that this would disrupt the M.T.A.’s careful Select Bus Service route planning. This is Mayor de Blasio’s and Commissioner Trottenberg’s agenda 100 percent as Andy Byford, president of the New York City Transit Authority, clearly could care less about banning certain vehicles from 14th St.

Julianne Bond and David R. Marcus
Bond and Marcus are plaintiffs in the community lawsuit against the 14th St. busway plan and founding members, 14th St. Coalition; Bond is the coalition’s former co-chairperson and Marcus is a former steering committee member.


Hands off University Place

To The Editor:

Re “Baldwin gets serious at Judson” (news article, June 27):

I have lived on University Place for 40 years. No, Reverend Donna Schaper, closing all of University Place to cars would not be “fun and different.” It would be horrendous.

The residents of University Place have been opposed to this troublesome idea for many, many years and yet New York University keeps pushing it. The local businesses want to take over our beloved University Place by putting their cafe tables in the street. We already have enough noise issues from N.Y.U. students now.

If Community Board 2 wants to make University Place better, bring back the M1 bus!

Enough is enough. Hands off University Place!

Deb Friedman


Right on, Richard!

To The Editor:

Contrary to a letter in your June 27 issue (“Vax vote outrage,” by Carolynn R. Meinhardt), I applaud Assemblyman Richard Gottfried’s principled stand against the unconstitutional repeal of the religious exemption for vaccinations.

I know many people who have had to seek a religious exemption because their children experienced serious reactions following a vaccination series. Many children are sensitive to the ingredients in these vaccines and, therefore, there must be choice. These parents initially tried to obtain a medical exemption, but that is practically impossible because of the intimidation of doctors, who fear loosing their licenses if they don’t adhere to the idea that vaccines are completely “safe and effective,” as we are constantly told by pharmaceutical manufacturers and their “revolving door” Centers for Disease and Control partners.

These parents now face the terrible dilemma of having to either risk further harm to their children by resuming the vaccine schedule, (which requires 50 shots by age 6, roughly 72 by age 18 — something my generation never had to contend with), or lose the right to attend school. For many, homeschooling is not an option, so they are seriously considering moving out of state.

I find it curious that so-called liberal-minded people, who believe in a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body, cannot countenance the right of parents to exercise informed consent when it comes to the well-being of their offspring. There are many ways to protect health besides those imposed by the pharmaceutical industry. Assemblyman Gottfried is on the right side of democracy.

Consuelo Reyes


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