Letters to The Editor, Jan. 11, 2018

‘Fake’ L train crisis

To The Editor:

Re “L shutdown plan a real train wreck, residents say” (news article, Dec. 21):

It is clear at this point that the “mitigation plan” for the L train shutdown was an attempt to capitalize on the “crisis” created by this event. The plan presented is part of a continued effort by the Department of Transportation and former Mayor Bloomberg’s astroturf group to eliminate and / or inconvenience vehicular traffic in the area.

The pedestrian plazas creating the extension of the sidewalks are intended to throttle vehicular traffic and to create plazas for privatization of the city streets for D.O.T.-sponsored vending and food trucks. The only purpose of extending the sidewalks is to destroy the functionality of 14th St. The fact that it is not necessary.

As a resident of 13th St., I feel doubly threatened. The local politicians who have been behind much of the recent traffic throttling say they were blindsided by the plan. I don’t know why they say that since it is a logical extension of what they have approved so far. The destruction of the functionality of a residential street, though, is a new one. The two-way bike lane, which would leave an 11-foot-wide moving roadway, is a bizarre idea. The street would be totally blocked when the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Sanitation, delivery vehicles and Access-A-Ride stop to pick up or conduct their business. Indeed, it is intended to do that.

The two-way bike lane also endangers the residents of the street who must use fire, E.M.S. or police services since it stops traffic and prevents emergency vehicles from getting to the problem. It is engineered to do that. There are doctors’ offices whose patients use Access-A-Ride services who would have to cross a moving bike path while using walkers. None of this matters to D.O.T.

When you create transportation policies that are based on ideology and are without balance, you will create bad policies. This is what has happened as astroturf groups have come to dominate transportation policy without regard to commercial activity, residents’ safety or balanced transportation policies that can use each mode of transportation to complement the other.

As these policies are implemented, they may prevent the use of driverless cars in this city (including electric). This is not the way cities in this country are moving. Bicycles move such a small percentage of passengers in this city that making them the centerpiece of everything — at least for public consumption — is not even believable as a policy. It’s about something else and that is Stalinist-type social engineering.

If the elected officials who supposedly oversee this wish to create a real mitigation plan, let’s do that — and without input from the astroturfs. Let vehicular traffic continue to use the major crosstown street, and continue to keep private vehicular traffic an important part of the transport mix.

Most of the major and most destructive of the aspects of the plan are not based on any type of real survey of needs or are created by throttling traffic in other areas.

Let’s get rid of this nonplan and start by creating a real plan for continued traffic flow. The local politicians should be more honest in discussing these issues and stop framing them in the name of some greater good. As everyone knows, there will be no real chaos or crisis on 14th St. that requires social engineering. the crisis is in Brooklyn, which is being cut off from an important transportation route with inadequate replacements.

John Wetherhold


Impressed by Johnson

To The Editor:

Re “Johnson cultivates Council, kingmakers to become speaker” (news article, Jan. 4):

Corey Johnson has been my councilmember for three years. I have been impressed by his hard work and communication skills. He seems to be progressive like de Blasio, and seems as energetic and smart as de Blasio. I wish Johnson the best in his new role, with the understanding he is entering the lion’s den. If it does not work out, he would make a great C.E.O. of a company.

Donnie Moder


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