As many of us have realized the Bloomberg’s administration “re-engineering of the city’s street grid” is costing us parking spaces, not to mention adding to the very traffic congestion he was once so determined to alleviate with a drivers tax. Apparently he means to break those too many Manhattan drivers the old fashioned way, by just saying no. But the most alarming thing I have heard about these traffic redesigns came in a New York Times article this summer.
This article recounts statistics that show that the deadliest pedestrian accidents occur when male drivers turn left (and our favorite passenger said we weren’t listening!). The article also talks about the Bloomberg administration’s series of traffic pattern changes (barring vehicles from major avenues, the bike lanes, etc,). Then the article mentions a planned series of changes in line with these latest statistics and we are told:
"Dozens of parking spaces will be removed next year from a major Manhattan avenue — officials would not say which one…”
Representatives of the Bloomberg administration, our elected city government, already has plans for substantial changes on a major Manhattan avenue, but would not say which one. Excuse me? Does that feel as creepy to you as it does to me?
Our administration is playing secrets with public policy. Traffic strategies affect local residents and businesses and directly impact those businesses’ economic value. We have a right to know. Since when is our American standard of open government subject to the whims of a few people who won a local election? Do we have a democratically elected Mayor or a Czar? Even Dad will let us know what kind of cake he is baking before it’s finished. Maybe that third term really does pervert all Mayors’ sense of entitlement. But no, I can’t imagine Ed Koch using such an intrigue, looking askance, like a jilted Doris Day, and refusing to say where he plans to make changes that will affect traffic and parking on a major Manhattan avenue.
If this administration truly fears open debate, prepared community review, and needs to ambush local communities with its special agenda, then maybe it’s because it’s not such a good agenda. Please feel free to click on the Contact the Mayor link to the right and let Mayor Bloomberg know you are old enough to know what he plans to do in your neighborhood before he actually does it.