To the editor:
(re: “DOT takes the ‘fast lane’ on Mosholu Ave,” June 10)
Kudos to Laura Spalter and the members of our local community board for all of the research and hard work they do in the interests of our community. How unfortunate it is that their role is advisory only.
Our board and we who live here know our neighborhoods better than do any New York City officials who often disregard the board’s advice and fail to follow the strongly expressed will of our local community as communicated to them by our community board.
A current case-in-point is the strongly opposed and ill-advised creation of bicycle lanes on Mosholu Avenue between Broadway and Riverdale Avenue. As The Riverdale Press reported, many valid objections were raised by the community board and local residents who enumerated the drawbacks of turning this avenue into a designated bicycle lane.
These objections included fears for the safety of both pedestrians (including schoolchildren) and bicyclists, and the negative economic impact upon the many small businesses on Mosholu.
Therefore, here is my eyewitness report of the current Mosholu Avenue situation. Today, my dog and I walked the entire length of the avenue twice on our daily walk, which we do every day, weather permitting.
As was the situation prior to the painting of the lines, there was not a single cyclist on the roadbed of Mosholu which, in the almost 40 years during which I have been walking dogs there, had had few — if any — cyclists. Private cars and delivery trucks were double-parked where they have always been — parking in and ignoring the newly painted bike lanes in front of local businesses.
Thus, a cyclist would have had to ride around them, weaving into and out of the car and truck lanes — a safety hazard for all concerned.
I also observed vehicular traffic riding in the bike lanes, completely ignoring the markings.
I did observe some pre-teens and younger children riding their bikes on the sidewalk — not the bike lanes — near Riverdale Neighborhood House.
In other words, there is no need for the lane markings because cyclists are not using them, and even if they were so inclined, the lanes are already blocked by cars and trucks. It’s safer to ride on the sidewalks.
However, there was plenty of bike traffic on Broadway — and why not? Broadway is not a steep hill like Mosholu Avenue, and the cyclists do not have to dodge parked cars, pedestrians and trucks.
Why ride up and down a steep hill, blocked with parked cars, pedestrians and trucks, when there is a safer and more comfortable alternative on Broadway?