September 29, 2021
Re: Pedestrian safety in SoHo
Shirley Secunda, Jeannine Kielly, Bob Gormley — Community Board #2
Dear Board Members,
It’s been some time since Shirley and I have spoken. We go way back. I’m contacting you because I’ve been keeping track of the myriad pieces of information regarding traffic flow and safety which emanates from the Traffic & Transportation committee.
Since I’ve lived and worked in SoHo since the late 1940’s I have a unique perspective. And, as former Vice Chair of CB2 I’ve watched the ebb and flow of information and disinformation.
I’ve read the most recent Full Board minutes from CB2 and it reminds me of the numerous reports, studies, research, which I wrote about in the 1990’s in The SoHo Journal. In one regard, nothing has changed. There is nothing about enforcement or pedestrian safety.
I was recently hit by a car turning the corner from Avenue of the Americas into Watts Street. We have one traffic agent from 4 p.m. to about 6 or 7 p.m. directing vehicles. That’s it!
He doesn’t give out tickets, he doesn’t prevent vehicles from completely blocking crosswalks and he doesn’t EVER assist pedestrians. In fact, people with baby carriages cross the street at great risk. People are often hit by cars and keep going because they know that there is no enforcement. In fact, I’ve even tapped the fender of a car because there was not enough room to cross the street with the light in the crosswalk. As the traffic agent looked on, the driver got out of his car and threatened me for tapping on his fender. The traffic agent did nothing.
Recently, after having been hit by a car heading for the Holland Tunnel I reported this Hit & Run to the police. They did nothing after interviewing me. The vehicle sped away.
So, enforcement is non-existent in SoHo. Do not waste your time discussing ANY reports about how the CIty plans to change traffic flow until enforcement is addressed. Otherwise, DOT is perpetrating a fraud on CB2 and SoHo residents. And, until this issue is dealt with, your committee, from the point of view of the community and pedestrian safety, is a waste of time. This is an issue that Kavanaugh, Glick and Chin are all intimately familiar with and nothing has been done. Meanwhile pedestrians are killed, maimed and damaged by the inactivity.
I recommend taking action before the lawsuits begin.
Oh, and by the way, you’ve been through many scandals at CB2 and I”m sure you’re aware that I’ve had my own. Even though I never heard a word of support from any of the members of CB2 or any other politician aside from Brad Hoylman, I wanted you to know that after being coerced into taking a plea for my writing about corruption — and spending four years in prison, the SoHo Journal is alive and well and publishing,
And, as a result of my writing, D.A. Thomas Spota, who prosecuted me for exposing corruption in his office and racism in the Hamptons, was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison.
D. Clark MacPherson http://www.sohojournal.com