Removal of the concrete barriers on the west side Manhattan bike path
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The path is a place for all New Yorkers to be able to bike, walk and run, away from the traffic filled streets. Placing concrete blocks across the path as a knee-jerk reaction to this week's appalling terrorist atrocity, is totally misguided for many reasons:
1) It is creating danger for the users of the path. Placing concrete blocks across the majority of a path, which is shared by bikers and runners will substantially increase the likelihood of deaths and injuries.
2) It will force some bikers onto the roads, where they will face the danger of traffic. Again, this will increase the likelihood of deaths and injuries to bikers.
3) One of the central aims of terrorism, is to use high profile acts, to lead to restrictions on freedoms and to change our lives in democracies. We must, of course, take steps to protect lives from terrorism in a sensible and appropriate fashion, for example with security checks at public venues, but such steps should not be disproportionate and counterproductive, taken in a knee-jerk manner. Will the Mayor now be placing concrete blocks along every sidewalk in the city? At every intersection to prevent crossing pedestrians being run over?
By what twisted logic does placing concrete blocks across bike lanes make cyclists safer?
4) Aside from the convenience and enjoyment that the path provides, it is a symbol of freedom of movement around the city. To respond to this week's attack, by placing so many jarring, ugly, barriers on the path, an escape for so many, only serves to remind users of the ubiquitous threats we now face and to hand a victory to the terrorists.
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