Readers sound off on solving traffic congestion, commemorating Juneteenth and remembering Willie Mays

Readers sound off on solving traffic congestion, commemorating Juneteenth and remembering Willie Mays

Tolling cars is a poor patch for poor planning

Long Island City: There is no magic bullet to the problem of our congested streets. There is a way to address the problem but the answer is not congestion pricing. I read the “Be Our Guest” pieces by Liz Krueger (“Killing the MTA’s toll program breaks state law,” op-ed, June 7) and Alex Matthiessen (“Hochul’s congestion pricing betrayal,” op-ed, June 7) and while I agree with certain parts of both articles, I totally disagree that congestion pricing is the answer. I agree that Gov. Hochul’s about-face is stunning, to say the least. That said, our problem has only gotten worse over the years from poor leadership and planning.

I understand that buses move faster with dedicated bus lanes, but removing two lanes of traffic on major north/south avenues for dedicated bike and bus lanes only makes congestion worse. I could not cross Second Ave. and 40th St. one recent morning because of gridlock, and as usual, the worst offenders were NYC articulated buses completely blocking the intersection. Bike lanes along the curbs with cars parked further from the curb are extremely dangerous. Dining sheds should never be allowed in the streets, never mind this stupid plan to take them down for four months a year. Closures along Broadway for car-free pedestrian seating areas are another poorly planned and designed idea.

If you want to raise money for the MTA, create a $1 surcharge on all packages delivered by Amazon, FedEx and UPS. Our problems can be solved by good planning and design, but there does not seem to be a will among our elected officials to really address them. Paul Camilleri

Just another smell

Brooklyn: I have to laugh when I hear New Yorkers indignantly complain that since marijuana became legal, the supposedly offensive smell of weed has taken over everywhere. So, which of NYC’s signature street scents do you miss savoring fully? The rotting garbage, car exhaust fumes, second-hand cigarette smoke or the urine and feces? If you ask me, the herbal aroma one occasionally encounters wafting down the sidewalk these days is, if anything, a welcome upgrade to the city air’s ambience — and surely no more harmful to passersby than all the other toxins we were already inhaling. Katherine Raymond

Help in a pinch

Brooklyn: I want to thank the several people who helped my sister when she fell Tuesday night in Brooklyn. She hit her head on the sidewalk and there was a lot of blood. A man actually gave the shirt off his back to use for pressure on her wound! He also called the ambulance, and FDNY EMT came very quickly. All of the people who helped really made the situation less traumatic. Beautiful Brooklynites! Kerry Weirich

Holiday robbery

Camden, N.J.: Hawk Newsome has a good heart as it relates to wanting to render a favorable social event in the community. “The mayor is the Grinch that stole Juneteenth,” Newsome proclaimed (“Juneteenth event stirs permit flap,” June 20). New York City is the leader in the country as it relates to recognition of this newest federal holiday. And by rights, its acknowledgement of such a greatly deserved commemoration is well overdue. In the news, we hear of so many crimes perpetrated by our youth. The rules are the rules, but when it comes to activities that involve entertainment and free concession, particularly for young people, the city should be honorable. Wayne E. Williams

Use it to know us

Bronx: Not only Black Americans should celebrate Juneteenth. It is an American holiday that should be meaningful to all morally grounded Americans. When one American hurts, we must all feel the pain. Our contemporary white brothers did not enslave us, and the guilt over this human condition can not be passed down from one generation to another. But they must understand their duty to study how this stain on America still affects Black Americans. Knowledge is not only power, it can help heal our nation. Gilbert M. Lane

Irrelevant illustration

Bronx: I was looking forward to June 19’s Bramhall’s World, hoping to see his take on Juneteenth — perhaps something as moving as the annual Memorial Day cartoon. Instead, you ran a repeat of the previous day’s cartoon about bump stocks. What a letdown! Barbara Sulkowski

Root of the conflict

Penticton, British Columbia: Long for Middle East peace? Solve the Arab displacement and elimination of Arab parents and children, and now Gaza, by Benjamin Netanyahu and the original uninvited, destabilizing Zionist intrusion, or Israel will suffer a widening of its own self-created curse! Joe Schwarz

Prophetic reasoning

Kew Gardens: To Voicer Nick Smith: Ultra-Orthodox Jews don’t support Israel because they believe that only the Messiah will deliver the Jews to Israel and nothing else. They don’t care about the Palestinians. They support them in the hope that they will take down the government and wait for the Messiah. Steve Flatow

Offshoot ideology

Brooklyn: To Voicer Nick Smith: I learned the hard way that not all Jews believe in the state of Israel. The prophecy is that “there is no state of Israel until the Messiah comes!” According to the Satmar sect, the “Messiah” hasn’t come yet, so to them, there is no state of Israel. There might be other sects that agree with the Satmars. Harvey Kaplan


Bronx: Your otherwise excellent article “Union’s power shift” (June 19) repeats significant disinformation propagated by the city’s budget office: “The plan was expected to save the city $600 million annually and negotiated with the Municipal Labor Committee, including Mulgrew.” Shifting retirees from Medigap to Medicare Advantage would not save the taxpayers $600 million per year. Even the city’s attorneys admitted that the money would shift from the General Fund to the Health Stabilization Fund during the recent appellate decision, won by the plaintiffs. The Independent Budget Office testified at the City Council on Jan. 9, 2023, “that while this nominally frees up approximately $600 million annually, those savings will not accrue to the city’s general fund, a statement that is still true today. As a result of agreements made by the city with the Municipal Labor Committee, all the savings resulting from ending the city’s financial support for Medigap insurance will be contributed annually to the Joint Health Insurance Premium Stabilization Fund.” Stuart Eber, president, Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations

Escape plan

Brooklyn: There are three key reasons why Donald Trump desperately wants to be president again. They are, in no particular order, an obsessive need for attention, retribution against his perceived enemies and staying out of jail. He is so desperate that he brought the absurd case for total presidential immunity for any crimes committed to the Supreme Court. Only a true criminal would think this way in the first place. This blanket pardon would apply to future presidents from either party. I wonder how his supporters would feel about that. Irwin Cantos

Biased source

Manhattan: To Voicer Bob Sterner: I evidently believed that the Wall Street Journal was, or rather should be, a cut above Fox News and its printed counterpart, the New York Post, but alas, as you correctly noted, it is yet another Murdoch-owned property with obviously slanted coverage. Indeed, not only did the Journal leave out all positive references to President Biden’s mental acuity from sources formally interviewed, but will likely not report anything about the former president’s often bizarre, nonsensical and irrelevant ramblings on the stump, his recent failure to accurately recall his own personal physician’s name (after challenging Biden to take a cognitive test), his references to beating Barack Obama instead of Hillary Clinton, or his conference last week with CEOs/business leaders who reported their dismay at his inability to stay on topic. I can only imagine what hay would have been made out of any such lapses if they were Biden’s. Denise Fortino

Baseball legend

Whiting, N.J.: Although I grew up a Mickey Mantle fan, and in my youth would argue he was the better player, I eventually reached the conclusion that I was wrong. Willie Mays was the best all-around ballplayer, a showman for the sport and a good man. Rest in peace, Willie. When they choose up sides for a game in heaven, you’ll be the first pick. Bill McConnell

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