Letters to the Editor 3.30.23

| 19 Mar 2023 | 11:34

    Kay Bontempo, in her article,”Chelsea, Upper West Side Most Perilous to Cyclists and Pedestrians in Manhattan,” addresses many powerful points about dangers to cyclists and pedestrians from cars. I share my experience as a pedestrian seriously injured by a yellow taxi in 1984, in a coma for 9 days, hearing loss, multiple back surgeries, and other permanent injuries, restricted work. This changed and restricted my life. I am adamant about traffic safety,and my late husband, Peter Freund, was one of the founders of Auto-Free NY.But what is not mentioned in the article or on the radar is that the pandemic has generated anew danger, bikers running red lights, on the sidewalk, wrong way, endangering seniors.people with disabilities, pedestrians. CityBike NYC reports a range of 100,000 riders daily. Isupport biking and alternatives to car traffic but not unregulated threats to our safety. Notmentioned in the article is the death of a 44 year old pedestrian, Gavin Lee, in August 2022,killed bya hitand run bikeron 22ndSt/&thAv., one blockfrom elementaryschool P.S.11, bikerphotographed but no license to display ID; a senior killed on W.23rd /6lh Av; a real estate agentin rehab with 2 hip fractures; actress Lisa Barnes killed and her assailant sentenced. ChelseaNext Door, a digital forum, is flooded with reports of injuries and rehab when the issue isbroached. Police Captain Gault of Precinct 10 said in a public webinar that they can’t go afterthe scofflaw bikers because a chase could injure others in the street and there are no licensesfor identification. When I had back surgery and walked to 8th Av/Z1st St., across the street fromP.S.11, with my physical therapist, I lost my balance after a near hit, frightened, we saw bike after bike running red lights and my physical therapist said he sees many Chelsea patients in rehab suffering from bike hits/injuries. He recommended I don’t cross Chelsea streets but go around and around my block for outdoor exercise. I agree that cars are the “bad guys,” more dangerous and lethal, but not a mention of the biker effects on pedestrians in an article on traffic perils trivializes and minimizes the dangers we face on the street. City Council member Robert Holden submitted 0758-2022 bill for licensing electric bicycles and more accountability.

    Miriam Fisher

    New York City