Letters to the Editor

On Bike Lanes

 Dear Editor,

The Ellis Neighborhood Association sponsored a July 24th meeting to discuss the Berkeley Street bike lane with the Boston Transportation Department. The meeting ended like other BTD meetings in the city, with unsatisfactory results. Protestations that there are no bikes to speak of on Berkeley; that taking away a lane on the only cross town east/west artery would further impeded traffic already backed up at the intersection of Tremont and Berkeley; that the block between Appleton and Chandler is commercial and needs double parking for deliveries; and that the day care pick up and drop offs on the same block take up yet another lane which altogether reduce Berkeley from three to one lane were dismissed as anecdotal. In short, community input was noted, but inconsequential to BTD, in essence a nuisance.

Shocking was the revelation that the department collected no data on Berkeley and used downtown Washington Street as a “look alike,” claiming there was no money available to conduct a Berkeley impact analysis. Revealed also was the time line for evaluating the project success or failure: 2030, seven years after installation, obviously too long. It was admitted, that desired bike usage is significantly below expectations.

The issues of bikes lacking insurance, running traffic lights, having no warning mechanisms, not using designated lanes and weaving in and out of traffic were likewise regarded as irrelevant with one exception, insurance. It was the BTD representative’s belief that bike riders had car insurance and their insurance would cover damage costs to cars and pedestrians, clearly unsubstantiated. Agreement also that ugly, white post were defacing the city did not change installing them on Berkeley despite unobtrusive bike paths bike paths bordering parked cars in the Fenway, Dartmouth Street, Brookline Ave and along Commonwealth mall manage quite well without them. This is no small complaint.

Given the increasing and irreversible number of cars on the road each year, along with Boston’s designation as being one of worst traffic congested cities in the country, the real challenge is to move cars and trucks as efficiently as possible through the city and not commandeering already inadequate road space for bicycles that are believed to quixotically make Boston green.

Recently, Mayor Wu addressed a convention of mayors touting Boston’s “going green” plan, and, no doubt, did not mention resident push back, goal shortfall, and that the misbegotten project to turn Boston into a cyclist dream city is a colossal failure.

Barry Zaltman

Climate Change is Happening

Dear Editor,

We have all felt the horrendous weather this summer.  Heat, humidity, rain,  thunderstorms, floods and tornadoes have wreaked havoc on our country.

The Southwest has gotten clobbered.  The heated ocean waters off the coast of Florida are destroying the coral reefs. Whales are dying as they beach themselves on our shores.  Ice caps are melting causing sea levels to rise. Firestorms have hit Canada hard, destroying Canadian forests and causing a tremendous amount of  smoke to permeate our air.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service has stated that “July is poised to be the hottest month ever on record.”

Recently, the New York Times exposed the area known as the Fertile Crescent (Israel, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, West Bank, and Gaza) to be devastated by the effect of the shriveling up of the Euphrates River.  This has caused the  Mesopotamia Region to be without water in many regions.   Forty percent of Iraq, an area roughly the size of Florida, has been overtaken by blowing desert sands.

Italy and Greece have also been hit hard by record setting temperatures.

Severe wildfires have scorched and devastated forests, homes, farms and animals.

All regions on our Earth have been affected.  Climate Change has become real and not just words.  It is not a time to be frightened but it is a time for  ACTION!  We must all join hands in an attempt to work together to stop this  “BEAST.”

We all acknowledge that there are wars across our world….destroying lives.

But Climate Change is destroying our whole world!

It is vital for all global governments to band together to find and implement  solutions to “Climate Change”.  We must stop supporting the oil and gas producing industries that create the fossil fuels causing the  emission of poisonous gases into our atmosphere and cause Climate Change.       

Wealthier countries need to financially support under-developed countries, so they will be able to share in our goals.

Finally, we all have an obligation to protect our planet but more importantly, our first obligation is to take care of our children and the generations of children to come.

Please join your environmental community in supporting the fight against fossil fuels, thus protecting our children and our Earth.

Maryalice Sharkey

Mothers Out Front

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.