Saturday, July 06, 2013

Let the neighborhood vote on Masonic bike project

Dear Mr. Reiskin:

MTA, several members of the Board of Supervisors and others have repeatedly asserted that the Masonic bike lane project has “overwhelming community support.” Would MTA agree to a nonbinding, advisory vote in which all adult residents within a reasonable proximity of the project area would have an opportunity to vote yes or no on the project? Voting would be on the basis of one person-one vote, and would be designed, conducted, monitored and verified by an independent third-party. 

 A two or three block radius of the project area seems to be a reasonable proximity; the actual definition would be subject to agreement between MTA and Save Masonic Avenue. If MTA were to agree in principle to a vote, I’m confident that the parties would be able to reach an agreement on the voting area.

There is precedent for such a vote. In 2004, the Department of Parking and Traffic (MTA’s predecessor) held a vote about the Page Street traffic circles. Residents within a specified radius of the project (I believe it was one block) were given an opportunity to vote. DPT agreed that if a majority voted no, it would terminate the project. A large majority voted no, and DPT terminated the project. With respect to Masonic, I am not even asking for a binding vote, as DPT had agreed to, merely an advisory one.

If a vote were held and a majority of voters approved the Masonic project, I commit to dropping my opposition.

Howard Chabner
Save Masonic has an alternative to Masonic Avenue for cyclists:

Click on the map to enlarge

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