Imagine visiting the doctor to find out where those headaches are coming from, only to completely ignore her and trust our own non-medical diagnosis.
Imagine hiring an accountant to take care of all your company’s complex finances, only to ignore everything he says and keep the books yourself.
Imagine wanting to travel to space, and despite all of NASA standing and ready to help out, you decide to just figure it out on your own.
It’s near impossible imagining any of that, because who are we to know better than a well-educated doctor? Or a well-trained accountant? Or, well, NASA?
Yet, that’s exactly what Community Board 8 did in its vote Monday over the Broadway corridor. A team of people who make their careers finding ways to get people from Point A to Point B developed what they felt was a plan to slow traffic, make pedestrian crossings safer, and provide alternative means of transportation on a stretch of road from West 242nd Street to the Westchester County line.
The advice, however, wasn’t just ignored — it was lambasted. With everything from transportation officials don’t know what they’re doing, to the implementation of some hidden agenda to help bicycles take over the world.
The Broadway plan was not perfect. Maybe it wasn’t even great. DOT did itself no favors by keeping the community out of the process for as long as they did.
But let’s not forget that the reason we can get to school, or work, or our friend’s house, or a movie, or to the doctor, or even a roadtrip to Kennedy Space Center is because of experts like the ones that work in the transportation department. They’re not infallible, but they aren’t clueless either.
The fact remains Broadway is a problem — whether it’s parking, crossing the street, or just driving down it. DOT is eventually going to do something along Broadway.
Whether it’s their original plan, what CB8 wants instead, or something completely different — the community needs to have a seat at the table.
Yet, no one is going to let any of us sit down, if all we’re going to do is berate the cook.