Monday, June 4, 2012

Driving us mad

Wakefield Area News
By Mary Lauro
BRONX, NEW YORK, June 4- Owning a car in the Bronx is a real problem. Frequently, there is nowhere to park. The reasons are many but among them is that many families own more than one car. Some own several; one for each driving age child. A private home with a two-car garage takes one parking space for the driveway and two parking spaces for the other two cars the family owns. Multiply that by the number of homes on the block and you understand why you sometimes have to park three of four blocks away from your home. At night the problem is magnified.
Then, of course, there is alternate side parking which we believe is the number one cause of heart attacks in the Bronx. While the Mayor worries about sugar consumption in oversized sodas, he neglects the unhealthy effects of alternate side parking. And, incidentally, its phantom necessity.
But, for the elderly and the disabled, the chief cause of stroke, heart attacks and early death is the muni meter. They look innocent enough, but they are lethal. They force those who have difficulty walking to walk back and forth, first to put money in its greedy face and then to place the receipt on the dashboard. In the winter, with snow on the ground, in the spring with the rains and in the summer thunder storms, that walk back and forth becomes a route to knee and hip surgery thus increasing the burden on Medicare and Medicaid, to say nothing of how it steals money more slickly that an experienced pickpocket. Surely, there should be a law against muni meters.
However, there may be a knight in shining armor that plans to joust with the muni meters. His name is Councilman Jimmy Vacca who has introduced a bill in the City Council to use the muni meters to buy “parking time.” What this means is that when an hour's parking time is not consumed at the first stop, the driver can move the car to another area and use the same receipt to show he has paid for the time. This plan may be entirely too sensible for the Mayor to approve.
For the disabled, it means that when the cars moved to a new location, they don't have to get out and walk back and forth again. For them and for the strong and healthy, it may save a few nickels since they will not lose the time they had purchased and did not use. But that is precisely why our Mayor, whose pastime, it seems, is to nickel and dime us, may veto this bill which we understand has been cleared in the City Council.
Wow! Wouldn't that be wonderful? And it also would be wonderful if our representatives in government took time out to dream of these small ways that would simplify life for us rather than spend time trying to put pie in the sky.
Regarding the parking problem, we think some surcease can be achieved by more angle parking which would double parking space. Many streets, especially one way streets can accommodate angle parking at least on one side. Angle parking will also assist in calming traffic. The speed limit in city streets should be no more that 20 miles/hr.
Finally, regarding alternate side parking, our city leaders should stop the madness and face once and for all that Sanitation does not and cannot clean all the streets designated for the day. Alternate side should be reduced to one or two days a week. That should lower blood pressure.

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