Letters to The Editor, Week of Aug. 30, 2019

An absurd attack

To The Editor:
Re “A power broker’s legacy; Schwartz pulls a Moses” (op-ed, by Quinn Raymond, Aug. 22):

I find it hard to fathom how, as a lawyer for the Transport Workers Union for almost 20 years, someone can call me an opponent of mass transit.

I am not fighting to keep cars on 14th St. I am fighting to keep them off residential side streets, the very street Jane Jacobs helped preserve. Jane, like me, would say, “Get rid of the cars, don’t just shift them around.”

The statistics from the first month of the busway, with cars on 14th St., show bus speed increasing by 25 percent during rush hour, which was the target! Local people are far more astute than the distant bureaucrats in City Hall.

By the way, I not only fought for the M8 (Eighth St. crosstown), I was in court seeking to stop the closure of that line and a dozen others back in 2010, trying to save the jobs of the largely black and Hispanic bus drivers and keep them from being laid off. I didn’t win, but that same lawsuit succeeded in stopping the closure of more than 100 token booths and the laying off of 500 station agents.

I am proud of my legacy.

Arthur Schwartz

As Transportation Alternatives protested outside his Village home two weeks ago, attorney Arthur Schwartz offered them pastries. The crowd decried him for suing to block the city’s planned 14th St. busway pilot program and demanded that he “drop the lawsuit!” (Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech)


Yes to car ban

To The Editor:
Re “A power broker’s legacy; Schwartz pulls a Moses” (op-ed, by Quinn Raymond, Aug. 22):

Fourteenth St. is one of the busiest, densest corridors in the entire world, with unparalleled levels of transit and huge amounts of people who traverse it every day. Banning private cars there isn’t socialism; it’s geometry.

You aren’t entitled to take up more than your fair share of space, just because you happened to spend five figures on a deadly machine that spews local and global pollution.

Dan Miller


Safer without lanes

To The Editor:
Re “A power broker’s legacy; Schwartz pulls a Moses” (op-ed, by Quinn Raymond, Aug. 22):

New York City officials are misrepresenting the most basic verifiable facts about the supposed safety of bike lanes.

What is the reality? Studies from numerous European cities — the very cities that the mayor and the Department of Transportation are using as examples of the benefits of bike lanes — demonstrate that bike lanes increase accidents, injuries and deaths.

Urban planner Lawrence Solomon, in his article “Rip out the bike lanes — before more innocent people get hurt” in the Financial Post, details a number of these studies, which are based on real data rather than the nonsense propaganda issued by bike-lane advocates.

As D.O.T. adds more bike lanes, more undecipherable signage painted all over the streets, more traffic officers and traffic cameras trapping drivers at intersections, timed to generate as many summonses as possible — and, worst of all, with more tourists and inexperienced bike riders getting on rental bikes and taking off into New York City traffic, as if it were a bike park —we will see a continued increase in accidents and deaths.

Instead of blaming drivers, blame the mayor, D.O.T. and the bike fanatics at Transportation Alternatives for the carnage. They are redesigning New York City streets to be a killing field.

Robert Lederman
Lederman is president, A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics)


End car favoritism

To The Editor:
Re “A power broker’s legacy; Schwartz pulls a Moses” (op-ed, by Quinn Raymond, Aug. 22):

Seventy-seven percent of Manhattan households are car-free, and households that own cars have a median income nearly double those who don’t, according to 2015 U.S. Census data). It’s insane how much of our public streets are given over to private car users.

The M14 average speed in 2019 is 4.3 mph, slowest in the city. Here in Brooklyn, Fulton St. has been bus-only for many years and the buses move much faster.

The majority of New Yorkers suffer slower transit, increased pollution and increased risk of injury every day because of the dominance of infrastructure for cars. It’s past time we had a more equitable transit system throughout New York City.

Tony Melone


Put back M14 stops

To The Editor:

Re “Wheely mad: TransAlt rages at attorney” (news article, Aug. 15):

Regarding your article, I am writing in support of Arthur Schwartz’s suit on behalf of Disabled in Action about changes in the 14th St. bus routes.

I have been a volunteer for Visiting Neighbors, escorting many frail senior citizens who live at home to doctors and dentists appointments, physical therapy and other services. These seniors depend on readily available bus service, not routes where they must walk several blocks to reach a stop. Buses are the only public transportation available to Lower East Side residents living on Avenues A, B or D or south.

As a resident of E. 10th St. between Second and Third Aves., I am a regular rider on the M14 bus and am well aware of the traffic delays. But it seems to me that priority of such service should be given to elderly and disabled residents, most of whom are not wealthy and rely on this bus route.

I hope the M.T.A. reconsiders its decision to remove bus stops on these routes.

Katharine Wolpe


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com 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 purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

One Response to Letters to The Editor, Week of Aug. 30, 2019

  1. Arthur, you do not have a good grasp of the fundamentals of traffic engineering.

    Reduced Demand
    “Just as increasing road capacity reduces the cost of travel and thus increases demand, the reverse is also observed – decreasing road capacity increases the cost of travel, so demand is reduced. This observation, for which there is much empirical evidence, has been called disappearing traffic,[7] also traffic evaporation or traffic suppression, or, more generally, dissuaded demand. So the closure of a road or reduction in its capacity (e.g. reducing the number of available lanes) will result in the adjustment of traveler behavior to compensate – for example, people might stop making particular trips, condense multiple trips into one, re-time their trips to a less congested time, or switch to public transport, carpooling, walking, bicycling or smaller motor vehicles less affected by road diets, such as motorcycles, depending upon the values of those trips or of the schedule delay they experience.”

    Even if this were not applicable to 13th street (which it is), fighting minor congestion on your own block to screw over a much larger group of people with less power and resources than you is fundamentally selfish.

    You have the right to advocate for whatever you like, but this is a wicked deed and you have nothing to be proud of here.

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