A Response to Eric Ulrich
Melissa Rosales is the former Queens Community Board 9 member who, via Twitter, expressed her concern to Council Member Eric Ulrich about his comments regarding the “nightmare” of bike lanes. Ulrich responded with an ungracious “#getalife” and later doubled down on his dismissal of her concerns by claiming that he had been the subject of vulgar tweets and harassment. Rosales sent me this response:
I am offended by the suggestion that I have been harassing Councilman Ulrich. But most of all, I am disheartened, that when voicing an issue to a local councilman, someone who is supposed to help you find solutions to problems, I was not only dismissed, but insulted.
The issue in our community regarding traffic safety has tragically and unfortunately arisen on too many occasions this past year. The tragic passing of an 81-year-old woman crossing Woodhaven Blvd on a walk signal and more recently the tragedy on 103rd avenue, involving a 53 year-old-grandmother (who happens be my parents’ age). I mentioned in my tweet that traffic calming measures, which at times may include bike lanes, improved crosswalks, and more, have been proven to slow traffic by narrowing lanes and reducing excessive speed. I suggested they should be considered dreams, not nightmares, as Councilman Ulrich had tweeted just days earlier. Though the recent tragedy cannot be undone, I believe further incidents can be avoided with these types of traffic calming measures. Even at the specific intersection in question, residents in the following ABC Newscast are begging for changes beyond the ineffective stop signs that currently exist.
The statistics of how these infrastructures can save lives is unmistakable and they have even been mentioned in a memo from Deputy Mayor, Howard Wolfson.
This is a safety concern that I fear not only for myself – an active member of the community, but also for my parents – homeowners in the community, and my neighbors & friends; all of whom have lived in the community, went to school in the community, walk in the community, shop in the community, drive in the community, and yes there are some that bike in the community.
I am disappointed that such a matter was flippantly handled by the Councilman, a councilman whom I’ve worked alongside in our community. A councilman who I cheered on when he and other elected officials advocated for engine 294, a councilman whom I’ve shared past beliefs within the benefit of our community. I am also disappointed that someone in his position would choose his words so poorly not once, but numerous times, continuously offending his constituents and his community.