The following is an open letter from Steve Barrison to Borough President Marty Markowitz. Barrison is the president of Bay Improvement Group and executive vice president of the Small Business Congress of New York City. In the letter he criticizes the city for taking us in the wrong direction on congestion, and says we need to plan for more vehicles on the city’s roadways.
YOU ARE RIGHT!
We now have bike lanes to handle estimated 1.5 – 2 million bikers! YET, we only have about 3,000 in the winter and we grow to 8,000 – 12,000 in nice weather and peak at 25,000 once or twice a year for special events….we won’t have 1.5 or 2 million bikers for many lifetimes, if ever!
We have over 850,000 vehicles a day that are part of NYC’s economic engine too, whether for small business, business owners, deliveries of good and services, health care, elderly, handicapped, children and those that aren’t well served by mass transit or that a vehicle is simple needed.
The reduction of travel lanes is causing more congestion, more back ups, making traffic movement impossible and yes, causing more pollution! Vehicles flowing give off much less pollutants than when stopped in traffic. Oh yea, and by the way Times Square is supposed to be chaotic, crowded, crazy and have a mix of everything, that is what is expected there at the ‘Crossroads of the World!” not some sprawling mass of tourists spilling out all over and hanging out on chairs and benches squeezing vehicles into bottle necks ands causing New Yorkers to just avoid it all together.
Hell, I used to love to drive through Times Square with all the excitement with friends, family, kids, visitors from out of town so they can feel the excitement of it all. Now, we just don’t go near it, as many others I speak with don’t either. And you know what? Out of sight out of mind! It’s back to that new level of measurement developed as a result of the anti-car people, The Hassle Factor.
Even driving around Prospect Park on the south west traffic circle with all it’s new corralling concrete islands which again bottle neck traffic patterns into neat three and often one lane patterns is plain crazy lacking any practicable common sense to everyday driving there! This isn’t some small town but Brooklyn, NY! Before these cute traffic ideas, traffic flow was much greater, faster and less back ups than it is now at many key circles and intersections across the city and in BROOKLYN! The huge spending on intersection “make-overs” is frankly a scandal in these tough economic times when we are closing firehouses, laying off cops and letting repairs to our infrastructure be on hold. These traffic, so called upgrades, are in aesthetics only, and they do not in any way help move traffic; but are making it worse! But that continues to look like the idea of DOT Khan! She wants all cars to begone no matter what the consequence.
The “hassle factor” is weighing heavy over the last eight years and many outside the mass transit core service area who do drive and come into the big city to spend money are doing so much less and in some cases almost never. The hassle is just no longer worth the trip.