To the editor:
(re: “New ‘road diet’ is just a mess,” Sept. 29)
The coverage of and letters about Riverdale Avenue’s recent “road diet” make it clear that there is a problem with excessive traffic congestion near P.S. 81 Robert J. Christen — especially during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up.
This makes perfect sense.
This school was designed and built with the expectation that most of the children and adults who work and learn there would be arriving on foot, by bicycle, or by mass transit. Time, prosperity, suburbanization and cultural changes have all conspired to shift the mode share in favor of cars.
Now, hundreds of children are being brought to school by car every morning, and there is nowhere for them — that is, the cars — to go.
Instead of lamenting the loss of lanes, perhaps we should look to the past. What can we do to reduce the number of car drop-offs and pick-ups at neighborhood schools? Why do families today feel so much less comfortable letting their children walk or bike to school? And what can we do to make them feel more comfortable?
I believe this line of inquiry can lead to a reduction in traffic and a stronger community. Walking to school was good enough for my parents. Why not my children?