SAFE PEDALING FOR ALL
A SOURCE OF PRIDE:
The Olympics have begun in Tokyo, Japan.
Now Eddy Alvarez was the American flag bearer
along with basketball star Sue Bird for team
USA. Eddy Alvarez’s statement at the event gave
me much hope and pride when he said, “Just to
get the honor to represent the United States of
America, to hold the flag — the symbol of liberty,
of freedom — my family came over from Cuba in
search of opportunity, and if it wasn’t for them
doing that, I wouldn’t be in that position that I
Many immigrants have come over here for just
that reason. These immigrants have made America
what it is today: a land of promise, freedom
and opportunity. Now back in the early 1960s in
Queens Village, an immigrant named Maria and
her three sons had moved up the block from us.
They had left Cuba when Castro and his government
took over and Maria’s husband was killed
in the takeover.
Maria, who became a good friend of my mother
Teresa, would often babysit me when my mother
had things to do. Maria would often tell me how
thankful she was to God that she was to be living
in America and to be free. As to the Cuban
people with all their hardships they are saying,
“No tenemos miedo” (We are not afraid). And to
Eddy Alvarez, make America proud.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose
I’m appalled at the new noise of planes over
67th and 68th drives in Forest Hills.
Not that near to LaGuardia but roaring in the
skies above since May 2021.
Why and why here?
I’ve lived here for a very long time, and I’ve
never bothered by airplane noise before.
Jackie, Forest Hills
New Yorkers are riding bicycles at a high rate,
according to the Department of Transportation.
Cycling surged during the pandemic,
and as the city reopens, the trend doesn’t
seem to be slowing down.
The expansion of Citi Bikes across the city has
made cycling a much more attractive option for
residents. The city needs to implement more protected
bike lanes in an effort to protect cyclists.
Often, there are streets where cyclists are forced
to ride in the midst of traffic, which puts them at
risk of getting hurt.
There’s a contingent of drivers who blame the
bicyclists themselves for breaking the law on the
road. We get the frustration, but at the same time,
not all drivers are angels on the roads themselves
— and getting hit by a driver operating a speeding,
2,000-pound vehicle is far more serious than
getting struck by a 200-pound person pedaling a
bicycle that weighs 40 pounds or less.
Bicyclists, therefore, need more areas to safely
pedal, and the city plans to add 30 miles of protected
bike lanes by the end of the year. The increase in cycling
has, however, led to more accidents, as there
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just aren’t enough protected lanes in place yet.
E-bikes have been an issue in particular. Citi
Bike has increased its fleet of e-bikes and so have
deaths in the city involving e-bikes. In 2019, there
were only six deaths involving e-bikes. That number
jumped to 20 in 2020.
On the flip side, bicyclists, e-bikes and e-scooters
need to be better regulated so that users of
these modes of transportation understand that
they also need to follow the rules of the road.
Brooklyn State Senator Simcha Felder proposes
a new state law that would mandate that riders
of bicycles, e-scooters or e-bikes wear helmets.
It also creates a system where bicyclists are required
to get licenses to operate a bicycle, register
their devices and purchase liability insurance.
These are good ideas, but the state must be
made careful not to add financial burdens for bicyclists
— a number of whom are low-wage delivery
workers, or otherwise cannot afford the expenses
of car ownership or even a monthly MetroCard.
A lot has been done over the past several years
to make the city more bike-friendly, but there is
still plenty more to do to make it safe for everyone.
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