Community Soapbox…

Written by NYPress on . Posted in Our Town, Our Town Downtown.


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Use Your Horse Sense

My country horses (“Horses Can’t Cope,” April 26) have never been in an air-conditioned or heated building; they don’t have sprinklers in the field, nor do they have fan-waving slave boys to feed them bonbons while they lounge in their hay beds and fret over the next week’s weather forecast. They are coping just fine living pretty much as horses have for a long, long time—only without the fear of being dinner to a saber-toothed tiger.

Horses grow a thicker coat in winter and shed it in spring; come summer, they sweat. They accept weather without questions or self-pity. So stop projecting. When horses are not visible near Central Park, it does not mean that they are now riding around in air-conditioned taxicabs.

—Sarah Bellepeppa

 

Stalwart Fighter

At the risk of sounding like a mutual admiration society, I want to thank Bette Dewing for her kind words about me in her March 15 column (“Trails That Need Following”). Given that she has been a tireless, stalwart advocate for pedestrian and bike safety for decades, I am humbled by her praise.

I also want to add two comments to her discussion of bike safety, particularly delivery bikes.

First, I spent over an hour watching food delivery bikes go back and forth in the West 80s, after sundown. Not one single bike had a headlight. Not one. And less than half had any bell or other warning device. Although this may be “low-hanging fruit,” this certainly gives police officers something concrete on which to write summonses on an ongoing basis.

Second, with respect to the motor-assisted bicycles and fully motorized moped-style delivery bikes that are spreading like kudzu—and are dangerous not only because they make no sound (and have greater weight with which to cause injury), but also because their riders are engaging in illegal practices such as going through red lights and traveling the wrong way on one-way streets—these bikes are already illegal under Section 19-176.2 of the New York City Administrative Code. And the NYPD Legal Department is about to make formal ruling as to whether they can be used at all. If they rule that those bikes cannot be used, I strongly urge the NYPD to engage in a concerted campaign to not only summon those who use the illegal bikes—as well as the restaurant owners who allow their use—but to actively confiscate them. A few weeks of serious crackdown, including summonses and confiscations, is the only thing likely to get restaurant owners to cease using these silent menaces.

—Ian Alterman

Upper West Side

The writer is president of the 20th Precinct Community Council

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