Letters to The Editor, Week of June 30, 2016

Letters to The Editor, Week of Jan. 3, 2018

Our right simply to be

To The Editor:

Re “Memories of the Ramrod and faith-based terrorism” (talking point, by Tim Gay, June 16):

When I heard about the Orlando massacre, my thoughts went quickly to the Ramrod shootings. I was a naive baby dyke who had only moved to New York City the year before the 1980 shootings.

For too many years afterward, whenever we gathered at large gay events outdoors, I always looked around and up expecting someone else who hated us to be there with a gun. But we still gathered and gave witness to our right to be.

My heart is heavy with the losses in Orlando, and my heart is full with the bravery of our community as we celebrate our lives.

Kim Brinster


Float those funds to buses

To The Editor:

It seems to me, if there’s so much money available for the city’s planned new citywide ferry service, a way should be found to return some of those funds to the M1, M6 and M5 buses, so they can be restored to their previous routes. That way residents would have the bus service they need instead of all those meetings with the M.T.A. that go nowhere.

After all, a ferry is more expensive to run than a bus.

Sylvia Rackow


Street-fair emergency!

To The Editor:

For years now, street fairs that shut down avenues, not only in the East Village, but all over town, have been contributing to an increasingly lower quality of life here in the city. I’m more than sympathetic to everyone who works hard to make a living the best way they can. However, the repercussions of these fairs are not only potentially dangerous, but downright deadly.

Today I experienced firsthand that a fair had shut down Fourth Ave. from E. 10th St. to E. 14th St. — all day — for just a four-block-long fair. Northbound traffic had been detoured east on 10th St. — which is only a single lane, with a parallel bicycle lane — and it was nonstop traffic all day. Frustrated drivers were leaning on their horns and doubled-up in the bicycle lanes just to alleviate the crush of traffic. Finally, later in the day, a traffic agent was assigned to the intersection, but it was apparent to any driver which way they were forced to go.

The noise and danger to bicyclists and pedestrians crossing at the corner was bad enough, but not really the worst of the whole mess. The danger I’m referring to is that emergency vehicles responding to an emergency are also forced to travel with bumper-to-bumper traffic and can’t move any faster than the traffic will allow. They are similarly forced to lean on their horns and blare their sirens to get through.

Time is critical when these emergency vehicles are struggling to respond to life-saving situations. Someday that could be you, me or a loved one trapped in a burning building or suffering a medical emergency, when, as we all know, every second counts.

The city makes money from granting the permits to street-fair promoters, but the monetary gain can’t compare to the necessity of saving a life.

Yes, the fairs are one way to discourage people from driving cars in the city. But cars and trucks won’t just disappear, regardless of our effort to reduce our carbon footprint. The street-fair vendors and promoters also have a right to make a fair living by offering their wares, but discussions about a better solution have to begin soon.

My personal opinion is that traffic patterns have to be carefully considered and emergency lanes have to stay clear. Having vehicular traffic — cars, trucks and emergency vehicles —spilling over onto the side streets is just a way of brushing off the problem, and not a safe solution. One idea would be to narrow the street fair’s width and have an emergency lane, not only for the length of the fair, but for the route leading up to it, as well. Proper signage would also help, placed at intersections near the street fair.

I would propose that the experts at the Department of Transportation work closely with the local police precincts and City Hall to brainstorm about a better plan. I know they are more than capable of creating a feasible compromise that would ensure the safety and entrepreneurial benefit of everyone.

Joe Preston

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