Time-To-Get-Involved Tuesday: History Talk, Hate Crime Forum, Meeting on Bike Lanes and Excessive Street Salting


Raise your hand if you think it’s important to get involved in your community!

The Upper West Side is an active place, and sometimes there are multiple crucial meetings held on the same night. That’s the case this Tuesday, when people will be discussing several important or intriguing ideas. Here are the three events, in no particular order.

6:30 p.m., Community Board 7 Transportation and Parks Meeting, at 250 West 87th Street
Two committees wil be discussing whether Central Park needs to add crosstown protected bike lanes to make sure cyclists don’t have to ride with vehicles. The issue has gained urgency since the death of Dr. Daniel Cammerman late last year on the park transverse road around 96th Street. The committees will also be discussing “excessive salting”, given the seemingly ridiculous amount of salt dumped on the neighborhood’s streets whenever snow is in the forecast. That can’t be good for the environment (or dog’s paws!). See the whole agenda here.

6:30 p.m., Free History Talk, at Hostelling International, 891 Amsterdam Avenue at 103rd Street
The Bloomingdale History Group is putting on a unique talk about a famous 19th century actress and the building constructed for her. “Caitlin Hawke, longtime Bloomingdale resident and Block Association blogger, presents the story of the St. Andoche, a building constructed [at 855 West End Avenue] for beloved Civil War actor Maggie Mitchell.” More here.

7:30 p.m., Hate Crime Forum, MS 54, 108th and Columbus
Hate crimes are rising, and this meeting will address the issue. “In addition to BP Brewer and and Council Member Levine members of the 20th and 24th precincts, Dr. Frank Pezzella who is a professor at John Jay College who specialized in the causes and prevention of hate crimes, Dr. Sanayi Canton, faith leaders including Rabbi Jeremy Kalmonofsky from Ansche Chesed and others.”

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    1. Mark Moore says:

      Excessive street salting is really an issue ever since the Sanitation Dept fell down on the job during that freak storm last year. A few weeks ago there was so much salt on Amsterdam Avenue that you could literally taste the cloud of salt dust in the air. And it barely snowed.

    2. Kathleen says:

      I would love to see some of these meetings held during the day or even on weekends for those of us who work evenings and can never attend them as they are presently scheduled. (And, yes, I will contact the appropriate people with the same request.)

    3. Scott says:

      Yes to less salt. It not only hurts our dogs’ paws but corrodes infrastructure and destroys cars. There are alternatives including magnesium chloride and sand.

    4. Kay says:

      Yes to crosstown bike lanes. Narrow lanes, pot holes and sewer grates make traverses too dangerous

      • Brandon says:

        So you want these cross for bike lanes online park transverse streets — 65/66, 81, etc? The bridges make widening these streets a difficult prospect and at the current width won’t fit two way car traffic and a bike lane. If bikes went through the park that is a longer ride. What is your proposal? Nobody wants another bicycle hit by a car.

        • Robert Goodman says:

          Here are some suggestions.

          1.Don’t ride a bike through the transverse in icy conditions. Actually, don’t ride a bike anywhere in icy conditions. Don’t base policy that affects all on one person’s fatal mistake.

          2. Remove the sidewalks in the transverses. Pedestrians can walk through the park. Might take a bit more time but the air is better.

          3. Going crosstown? take a select bus. They’re pretty efficient.

        • BMAC says:

          Proposal: rip out the sidewalks on the south side of each transverse; install 2-way bikes lanes.

        • EagleEye says:

          I agree this will be difficult to make perfect, but maybe remove one or both sidewalks to create room for a bike lane. At a minimum, repave the road so bikes can cross without veering into the car lanes. Fixing the drainage issues would help both cars and bikes and might have saved Dr. Cammerman. Ask DOT experts to get creative as I am not a road engineer.

    5. Ted says:

      The article I read stated that the victim in the transverse accident fell in front of the vehicle that struck him when his bike was thrown off balance by the street conditions. I don’t know if that is factually correct but that was what the account I read stated.

      Presuming that to be true and knowing the conditions in the transverse, I question the judgement of a cyclist who chooses to ride in them. The city does an atrocious job of maintaining the transverses. They are even more degraded and pock marked than the already low bar set by the city for street conditions.

      Despite the fact that the transverses SHOULD be properly maintained, it is common knowledge that they aren’t and all users have to make a risk tolerance decision about using them. Being right isn’t going to help you when it’s you and ~30lbs of bicycle against a truck or a bus.

      It is sad that we have to deal with the world as it is rather than how we would like it to be. It would be great if NYC was like Tokyo and young children could walk to school unsupervised but that is not the reality here in the US.

      I applaud those with the energy and the drive to try and make the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists, but please be safe and err on the side of caution until conditions improve.