Setting road diet record straight


To the editor:

(re: “Does Riverdale need a road diet?” March 31)

Your paper’s recent story on the traffic safety upgrades to Riverdale Avenue referenced a letter of support that I sent to the city’s transportation department and the city itself.

It contained several inaccuracies. First, it stated that “road diets” can reduce accidents by as much as 15 percent. In fact, my letter correctly cites national data showing road diets improve safety by as little as 15 percent and as much at 55 percent.

Second, the story states that the former North Riverdale Merchants Association took a position in support of bicycle lanes and other specific reconfigurations of Riverdale Avenue. The association and its 2017 report demanded DOT initiate a study on safety conditions and come up with its best solutions.

Moreover, since I chaired the Riverdale Main Streets Alliance’s board of directors until this past February, I can state that the alliance had no role in DOT’s development of its present plans for Riverdale Avenue. But I was surely relieved to find out about it earlier this year after many years of writing to DOT and elected officials demanding action.

Finally, the story states that I did not see DOT’s current proposal for Riverdale Avenue. Your paper did not speak to me for this story, but if it did, I would have informed you that I did see a draft study in late February.

DOT is carrying out its legal obligations under the administrative code to speak to interested members of the community and consult with the community board before finalizing a traffic safety plan. Those that suggest the current process is wrong or defective should review the relevant code provisions.

Christopher Rizzo


EDITOR’S NOTE: A reporter did try to contact the author while reporting the story, exchanging both emails and texts with him about the proposal.