Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Alan Gerson

Safer Streets Under Fire at Gerson “Town Hall”

grand_street_median.jpgIt's safer to cross Grand Street. The arrogance!

Lower Manhattan City Council rep Alan Gerson held a "transportation town hall" Monday night, following up on his pledge last year to closely monitor creeping safety enhancements to New York streets. Fellow City Council member John Liu, a candidate for comptroller, also made an appearance at the forum.

Based on a report in the Lo-Down, a new blog covering the Lower East Side, the session successfully gathered up ideas from ill-informed cranks:

The Grand Street bike lanes and center islands installed last year wereridiculed by several residents of Co-op Village. Harold Jacob accusedDOT Commissioner Margaret Forgione of lying when she told him thecenter median was installed because pedestrians had been killed by carson Grand Street. Jacob said he believed the changes had, in fact, madethe street more dangerous. Because there is less room to maneuver,Jacob claimed fire trucks and ambulances can't safely pass through."You've actually put lives in danger," he told DOT officials.

Another resident contended the islands, opposed by Community Board 3, were "arrogantly conceived and arrogantly carried out." More than onespeaker blamed Mayor Bloomberg, accusing him of "destroying GrandStreet." Some people demanded that the medians be removed -- otherswanted the bike lanes eliminated.

A quick CrashStat check reveals that, contrary to Mr. Jacob's gut assertion, several people have been killed by autos while walking on Grand Street in recent years. Co-op Village, like many other housing developments in the area, is home to a big senior population. Those pedestrian refuges make Grand Street safer to cross and less intimidating to older New Yorkers. Rolling back critical safety improvements that improve seniors' quality of life -- is that really the kind of "community input" that Gerson wants to align himself with?

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Monday’s Headlines: A Federal Case over Parking Edition

We're flicking our bicycle bell over a big scoop last week that no one picked up on...yet. Plus other news.

April 22, 2024

Hochul, Legislators Reach Toll Evasion Crackdown Deal

Higher fines for covering a plate and for not paying tolls are part of the budget deal inked on Saturday.

April 22, 2024

Behind the Scenes: How Gov. Hochul Got ‘Sammy’s Law’ Over the Finish Line

Opponents didn't want to put their name on a no vote for the life-saving measure.

April 22, 2024

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 21, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024
See all posts