Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alternate Side Suspended for Earth Day Movement! (Should be!)

          Now hear this!

          I am sending the following email to Mayor Bloomberg and I ask everyone who is reading this, everyone who has ever read this Blog and all those people who think they may have heard about it somewhere, and their friends, to do it too. Email Mayor Bloomberg with the following pledge @ Contact the Mayor

Mr. Mayor,

Please show your unconditional support for the most enlightened of all holidays, EARTH DAY, by suspending Alternate Side Parking rules on this April 22. EARTH DAY is a day for the planet, a Day for our future, a Day for our children (the littlest voters). Suspending Alt Side this Thur will enable the majority of street parking New Yorkers to park their car on the Tuesday/Friday side and not have to move it again until the following Sunday (counting Wed and Sat as OFF Days). By suspending just one day of Alternate Side Parking, you can bequeath to New Yorkers 5 blessed days of less air pollution, 5 days of less traffic, 5 less days of fuel consumption, and 5 days of less noise. What better way to celebrate the life and preservation of this remarkable planet where we make our home

As my part in this EARTH DAY celebration, I pledge to you and my fellow New Yorkers not to use my car or truck unless absolutely necessary. For these 5 days to not start it or drive it; to leave it as idle and as quiet and as green as it can be.

Let’s show the world New Yorkers know how to say Thank You!


The Fine Print
          I know some cynics among you are saying I only care about suspending Alt Side, but that is not completely true. Just about everyone I know who drives wants to go more green, but, if you do have a car or need a car, there are not too many choices. You could buy a hybrid car, but a new car in this economy (?) and how many people actually know how to fix these things? Also in my defense, I can happily point out that our apartment electricity comes through the Con Ed wind power program (available for a 10% higher bill) and thus uses a more natural source of power. Other than moving for street sweeping, I only drive my car around the city 15 or 20 times all year and take subways and taxis most of the other times. A good parking map helps me decide when it makes sense to drive. I would say ride a bike more, but I can’t afford the liability. Have you seen the statistics for bike/car accidents in this city?
          Let’s look at mine. I have one friend who was struck and left on the curbside unconscious. Eventually he was taken to hospital where he barely survived in a coma for 5 days and has no recollection of who or what hit him. My wife’s doctor was killed by a tow truck while he was on the West Side Highway bike path. She called to make an appointment one day. I pedaled into a taxi door when the fare decided to jump out at the light. Lucky for me I was thrown into a parked car which actually held my bike up, but the bruising on the left side of my body was enough cause one coworker to get sick. Cars often zoom past cutting so close to me I am shaken by the wind. Vans and trucks blow past me as if I was also behind a 2 ton steel reinforced hull rather than mere flesh and brittle bone. (But the city will write you a ticket for biking in the wrong direction in Central Park!)
          My latest is the cab that whacked me on the elbow with its side mirror. The cabbie, hearing the loud crack, decided that the best response was to pull over which he did… into me. The grinding noise he heard as his cab refused to turn in was my bike against a parked car. My handlebars were scraping both cars and were the only thing keeping me from being crushed. I was not liking my chances. Fortunately, he did pull away and stop to see if I was OK and then asked me to straighten his mirror since he couldn't reach it. This is not the appropriate forum to describe my response.
          Most of us do our parts, and as more choices become possible will do even more, but this week is an opportunity for all of us to do a small, but very symbolic, part.
          So be a friend to the planet this EARTH DAY and Email, Twitter, go down the hall and tell your friends who drive. Tell everyone who might think this is a good idea, everyone who just has a little free time on their hands, and everyone who wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves to Contact the Mayor.
          As Arlo Guthrie said it once: imagine hundreds or even thousands of people emailing the Mayor to suspend Alternate Side Parking for EARTH DAY. He’ll think it’s a movement and no elected official with the uncanny sense of survival of Mayor Bloomberg could ignore that.

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