Letters to the Editor, Feb. 28, 2019

Don’t ‘L’-ose momentum

To The Editor:

Re ‘Post-‘L-pocalypse’” (editorial, Feb. 14)

I find The Villager’s editorial piece on the post-L-train “shutdown” hugely confusing…frustrating, too.

New York City is America’s greatest pedestrian city, and — after an eternity of insidious Moses-ism — is reimagining that title, with spectacular transit and foot-and-bike-centered improvements unspooling everywhere across 14th St. and around Union Square.

The former L-train shutdown has provided a once-in-our-lifetimes opportunity to further rethink the outdated notion that city streets are for autos alone.

Many smart, engaged people have weighed in, and many proposals have already been acted upon. These enhancements — wider sidewalks, curbside management systems, bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes — must remain permanent parts of our urban lives, not temporary “survival” mechanisms.

Why The Villager advocates “restarting this whole process” with yet more meetings and sign waving remains mysterious.

As one of the 90-plus percent of Manhattanites who do not commute by car, I do not want to see these improvements to our lives retracted.

I prefer not to live in a dystopian fantasy of automobiles for all. This is not only a question of public safety and fairness — I do pay taxes to use my streets, after all — but a question of who these streets belong to.

I urge my neighbors, colleagues, elected officials, local business improvement districts and those who love our community to continue improving 14th St., and our shared quality of life, which unfolds every hour of every day on a grid of pathways developed in 1811 — before the car had even been imagined.

David Koch

 

Great source, great man

To The Editor:

ReJack Taylor, 93, preserved Ladies Mile, Tammany” (obituary, Feb. 21):

Jack Taylor couldn’t have been more helpful to this reporter in describing the history of Tammany Hall, now under a massive retail expansion that he had fought against diligently. He lived barely a block from me in the Gramercy Park area and I will miss him sorely. R.I.P., Jack.

Mary Reinholz

 

Taylor’s lasting legacy

To The Editor:

ReJack Taylor, 93, preserved Ladies Mile, Tammany” (obituary, Feb. 21):

Jack Taylor never asked for credit. He just tirelessly pressed for preserving the city’s precious stock of old elegant buildings, and we owe a great deal to his generous unflagging advocacy. I always saved his handwritten letters, which told me that he just wasn’t impressed with technology progress. He was content to quietly fight the battles his way. He was a relentless crusader and will be much missed. But I will see him every time I pass one of the buildings he worked so hard to preserve.

Joanna Underwood
Underwood is president, E. 13th St. Community Association

 

Jack gave ’em hell

To The Editor:

ReJack Taylor, 93, preserved Ladies Mile, Tammany” (obituary, Feb. 21):

Jack’s mailed envelopes smelled of cigarette smoke. Since he was avidly working on preservation projects, I knew it was more hellfire in the works.

Carol Schachter

 

Can’t hack taxi surcharge

To The Editor:

Re “Surcharges for taxis and for-hire vehicles to start Feb. 2” (news article, thevillager.com, Feb. 1):

We live in New York City. We are 75 years old and have walking limitations. We take taxis everywhere. Sometimes three to six times a day. These charges should not be imposed on New York City residents.

Mark Solomon

 

Zoning is not planning!

To The Editor:

Re “Housing and classrooms vs. Noho zoning gridlock” (viewpoint, by Eric Kober, Feb. 21):

As a retired city planner, I am amazed that Mr. Kober missed one of the cardinal rules in Planning 101, that being: Planning is inclusive of zoning as a tool in effectuating planning — but zoning alone is not planning.

His focus on zoning as the catalyst for New York University and its vast expansion under its 2031 plan totally ignores the existing framework that the Village, Soho, Noho and adjoining neighborhoods are an established residential community that is being overtaken by N.Y.U.’s disregard for community preservation.

We have been governed for more than 16 years by two mayors whose roots are Boston and who have promoted extensive upzonings in density at the expense of neighborhood preservation, never realizing that New York City is a collection of neighborhoods. 

Martin Tessler

 

Where does ‘growth’ stop?

To The Editor:

Re “Housing and classrooms vs. Noho zoning gridlock” (viewpoint, by Eric Kober, Feb. 21):

This article seeks to make a case for endless expansion, but the question becomes where does it stop? Soho and Noho are low-density areas well fed by the transportation services mentioned. Does that mean we should promote growth for growth’s sake and give up low density? I’m certain the number of people who already use the transportation this author cites — and calls “a striking example of a failure to update land-use policy in furtherance of these priorities” — far exceeds what the 1800s subway builders had in mind as maximum ridership. And is growth one of “these priorities” as a sought-after community good?

Otto Barz

 

E-mail letters, maximum 250 words, to [email protected] or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

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