Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shit people say to someone who has recently suffered a life changing illness (updated 7-29-15)

Update July 29, 2015

Don't make jokes that you wish you had a wheelchair. Don't fain envy. Don't tell me you want to sit on my lap. Not remotely funny! And I have to clamp a thing onto my hands so I can hold a fork. Don't look at it and say I wish I had one. No you fuckin don't!

Update May 23, 2015

Last night I was reminded that Tom Cruise is a good actor.  He played Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July.  That scene where he came home from the VA hospital in wheelchair His face as everyone told him he looked good. I cried inside.  

Update, May 3, 2015

This is something that's been done by a lot of people who I really care for.  Just because of sitting in a wheelchair and my back is to you and I don't know you're there doesn't mean you could tap me on the head.  I hear fine if you say my name turnaround.


Update, March 16, 2015: 

The worst thing you can do if you see someone you think you know and suddenly in a wheelchair is  to look away.  Yeah, I'm the guy who helped to you unload a truck at the food co-op, or I might be the guy you ran all of the Park with, or I might be the guy who just cheered for you when you ran a race. I am still the same guy!!! You can say hello!!!


I know a lot of you people might be shocked to see me in a wheelchair.  But please engage the brain before you open your mouth
.
- Well, this might not have happened to you if you didn't push yourself so hard with all that running
Actually I probably would have been a lot worse off or even dead if I wasn't fit when this happen to me.

- Is disability temporary or permanent?
It depends how long I live and go fuck yourself.

- I know someone who has something like what you have.
No you don't, you don't even know what I have.

- I just remembered another one. When I was in the hospital and couldn't get out of bed people asked me if the nurses who bathed were hot.
I honestly didn't think of that until people asked. But it did make me wonder if their moms were hot. 

Okay, The crap above represent shit that came out of peoples mouths who knew me. Below is the shit people say to be to a stranger
I'll pray for you
Really, which God?  The God that put me in this chair or the God that you gonna pray to that will take me out.  I think it's pathetic that these believers assume I'm one of them but I've learned to just say thank you.

Everything happens for a reason
I don't even know if this can possibly mean. And my being punished? Am I suffering because of the fact that someone else got lucky?  Do they think that they has to be some sort of balance in the world and I need to be on the bottom put them on the top? So I just roll my eyes and ask someone to push me away from that person.

I'll add more as people say more shit to me.  Or you could leave your stupid shit n the comments.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You can go back

Did you ever go back to your first school? I got to do that a few years ago. My mother-in-law still lives across the street from my grade school. I was visiting her on election day and went in with her to vote. Everything looks so much smaller than I remember it. I thought the gym was huge, we used to play 4 basketball games at once in there. I thought the whole school would line up after lunch in that giant gym. But when I went back as an adult 20 people and 10 voting machines filled up the whole room.

That's how I felt this Monday when I went back to the hospital where I spent the bulk of last summer......  I stepped off the elevator on the ninth floor and waited patiently at the nurses station while they were doing their paperwork. Then my favorite nurse walked around the corner.....

Let me digress and tell you why she was my favorite nurse. First, there was a Saturday morning where a physical therapist came to take me to the gym. The unusual thing about this was that it wasn't on the schedule that was on the whiteboard in my room. He said it didn't matter if anyone came to look for me the nurses would send them to the gym. But when I was in the gym for five minutes Lioudmila came storming into the gym. She picked up the intercom and said "Hello security - I found him." She then grabbed my therapist by the collar, which was awkward because he was 18 inches taller than her, and just said if you ever take one of my patients I'll have you killed.....  Second, she often join me for breakfast. Not just to past the time with me, but she would circle extra things on the menu so that the next day she can have dessert with me. And yes her name is Lyudmila. And I told her this true story that when my daughter asked me what her runner-up name was my wife quickly snapped back Lyudmila, thinking that is the ugliest name we can come up with. We even told the story to my nurse Lyudmila in front of my daughter. She thought that was funny because it was also her mother's name. 
So Lyudmila walked around the corner with a clipboard, she barely glanced up at me as she asked ,who I was looking for. "YOU". I am not much of a hugger, but there was hugging. And then the first thing I said was, "you're so short," then I saw the rest of the nurses and aides and said "you're all so short!" You see, I spent about five or six weeks on the ninth floor of the Hospital for Joint Diseases and none of them ever saw me stand up. When I was there, he took one physical therapist were three untrained aides to get me from a bed to a wheelchair. I was basically a noodle.

Then I went downstairs to the gym. It looked so frigging teeny Below is a video that was taken of me about 13 months ago. That hallway was endless, I remember it being a city block long and in my mind that is how far I walked. It took two people to help me get out of a wheelchair and three to keep me from falling back into it.

It was wonderful to see these therapists again, They were really happy to see me, not just because of me, but because they never get to see people who recover that much. In acute rehab they send people home while they're still getting better. And I got to show them what a lot better looks like.

When I was there I realized that was never gonna go back to my old job. I wanted to become a physical/occupational therapist. I asked one of them what it takes to become one, how much school? She asked me about my educational background and I said I have a Masters in Social Work. Ack, you'll have to go back to undergraduate school and take about a years worth of premed classes. Then three or four years of a competitive program in physical therapy, then an internship, then an entry-level job.  So I'll be like 60 and in debt I start working. Naw, I'll come back and volunteer. At the time I thought I'd be coming back to help push wheelchairs. But I'm not ready for that.

So, I went up to the recreational therapy department and reintroduced myself. Right now the plan is that I'm gonna be going back once a week. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do, maybe I'll help people update their blogs like they did for me a year ago. I don't want to belittle the educational expertise and background that recreational therapist had, but I think with my meager MSW I can do what they did best, spend some time with some patients and make them feel good.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

I make a couple of bucks a week taking online surveys

This came up as a screening question.



According to the GBS CIDP foundation 'We know that you are 1 to 9 per 100,000 people who have CIDP". So there are no more than 30,000 Americans that have CIDP. That's both a veryfew and too many. So I don't know if they're looking for people with CIDP trying to screen out people who make stuff up.

In any case, you can call me a liar for the survey, but I have a rare variants of CIDP. My doctor said there are less than a few hundred Americans with Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy. I don't think I'll ever find that on an e-Rewards survey. But then it might be another type of survey.If I were asked what I got for my 51st birthday I can check off the box that says AMAN.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Now I can watch Forrest Gump again

When I was in rehab they had an extensive library of about eight videotapes. Since I was one of the few people with no cognitive disabilities I was in charge of the TV. I hid the Forrest Gump tape. I didn't think I could bear to see young Forests to just get up and run




You know maybe I'm getting lazy blogging but I'm really tired of talking into my computer so I am just gonna try letting you hear what I have to say.

I just walked. Walked out the front door made a left and then another left.




Yeah, I just walked. Walked out of the house made a left, made a left. I walked around the block.

. People used to ask me how far I can walk with a walker. I would answer I don't know the only way to find out is to find out how far I can't walk. The distance you can walk is an inch less than the distance that you got to when you fell. I'm not talking like that anymore, I'm gonna walk further and then I'm in a stop and hold on to something.

The bottom line is if I don't want to be a person with a disability I have to stop being a disabled person.

Hey, insurance companies! Don't give me any shit about this, I'm getting better okay

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Looking back, looking forward

To the right is my Facebook flashback thing. It's reminding me that a year ago today I had just started chemotherapy. It was kind of a quasi-experiment. On the experimental side it was not an FDA approved drug for me. But research showed that 14 people with my symptoms took this drug and more than half of them got better. I needed to get better and definitely I needed to stop getting worse. A year ago I couldn't sit up without help. I understood the chemo wasn't gonna make me better was just gonna stop me from getting worse.

Starting chemo was scary. There was a time when both my neurologist and my urologist were visiting me at the same moment. I asked them if they got a big room on the top floor of the hospital with a giant table and it where they all sat around and talked about me. She said yeah, and and there are actually a few TV screens in the room with doctors from other places talking about you too. I said good, because I was thinking of calling Columbia for a second opinion. She said that would be redundant they are already in the room and so are some doctors on other continents.

I wasn't so scared of chemo. The doctors shared all the data with my wife and I. And my wife the statistician, explained to me that the cocktail I was about to have gave me a 10% chance of severe to moderate side effects. So I had a 10% chance of being physically ill. I really wasn't looking forward to that, being that it would be a challenge to sit up if I had to throw up let alone run to the toilet. But none of that happened, I just lost a couple  of hairs.

Before I started chemo I learned what the Rankin scale is. They said of the 14 people who took the brand of chemo that I was about to get eight of them improved 1.8 on that scale after two years. I wanted that. I was a 4.9 on that scale. I was not incontinent although every few hours a nurse would ask me if I was. They stopped when I snapped back, "You been a few feet from me for the past 24 hours you know as soon as I did if I was incontinent!"  Now I can say that I am a 4. I'm really pushing hard to get into that 3 range. I know how to push because two years ago I pushed so hard I would bleed for my nipples when I ran.


The Rankin and scale doesn't account for the superpowers that I've developed since losing other physical skills. The Facebook ad to the left showed what I could do. I might not be able to pour myself a cup of coffee but I can stop rush-hour traffic with no hands.

Yesterday I had some more dental work done. The staff in the office hadn't seen me a month and one of them blurted out your improving so fast next year you should run the marathon.(From the looks of this person and the way they said it I knew they didn't know that a marathon was 26.2 miles. And that if you're in New York City THE marathon is on the first Sunday of every November.) She didn't know that I have finished 29 marathons. She probably didn't even know that there was a thing longer than a marathon and I finished three of them. I just said yea, that the plan November 6, 2016.


Friday, July 3, 2015

SUPERPOWER ACTIVATED!

A year ago today I was about to start chemotherapy so I posted this on Facebook
I can stop rush-hour traffic with no hands.
On Thursday, July 2, 2015 I got to grand Army Plaza at about a 6:45. I watched the last bits of rush-hour traffic use Prospect Park as a shortcut. Then a couple of guys in a garbage truck showed up and put out the gate. They didn't think it was a big deal, but I knew it was

Yeah, back in the spring I got fed up with Prospect Park being used as a shortcut during rush hour. So I started this change.org petition. I didn't know what would happen with the petition. I was just hoping to get some attention from politicians maybe shame them into helping my cause. Maybe. 

Maybe also shame Transportation Alternatives to getting off their butts and put this issue back on the front burner. an organization I felt that their focus had become more global a little less local to suit my tastes. I'm not sure what they were doing to rid the parks of rush-hour traffic, To me it looked like they were resting and accepting the status quo. I'm not sure if I got transportation alternatives to actually do anything. I went to one of their meetings and people talked about doing stuff. Whatever. But a couple days after the Mayor announced that the PM rush hour would not happen in Prospect Park anymore and most traffic would not go to Central Park anymore Transportation Alternatives took a lot of credit for it. That's okay, their are people there to get paid to get things done.  Maybe I didn't kick the ball down the hill maybe was already rolling and I was running behind.

So far, the highlight of this process was having my picture taken behind the do not enter sign. Prior to that it was a few weeks ago when I was waiting for ack stress o ride. I got a call from my favorite reporter at DNA Info. She wanted to know if I had anything to say regarding the Mayor's announcement that he would ban rush-hour traffic from Prospect and Central Parks. What a way to find out you succeeded when a reporter asks you for a comment! 

I'm not sure how will my powers next. I think of try to get the traffic lights straightened out so that cyclists and pedestrians get along will better. I made these observations a few years ago when they put in a new traffic light pattern in Prospect Park. 


As far as I can tell Prospect Park is the only place in or near New York City where pedestrians can press a button and make the light turned red in a bicycle lane. It's been three years relatively few people are pressing the button and bicycles aren't stopping anyway. I thought then and still think now that there should be a permanent blinking red light for pedestrians with a warning that the crossing of bike lane. At the same time there should be a blinking yellow light for the cyclists reminding them that their approaching a crosswalk. Last Sunday I just sat in the shade and observed people at the crosswalk. I watched a little kid press the button and then his family dragged them across the street before the walk signal showed up. Then when the light turned red for the cyclists some of them stopped and some of them didn't. Even more chaos in the roadway. Next week I'll see if I can get this fixed

Thursday, July 2, 2015

This is why Ack Stress O Ride is late (update)

No more excess ride vans
I have a reason to think my ack stress a ride travel will become a little smoother. Last week I changed my subscription and told them I don't require a lift for my wheelchair anymore. So now I don't always get picked up in the giant clunky diesel vans that are converted into buses. Yesterday my round-trip was in vehicles that could have been Uber Cabs. On the way to therapy I sat in the backseat of a brand-new Toyota Camry. It was a sweet ride and we even got to go over the Brooklyn Bridge.

The ride home started out as pleasant.. A brand-new Toyota Sienna showed up 15 minutes early and I got to sit up front. But when I started to offer the driver the fastest route home he told me I wasn't the next stop. And in fact he had three stops before he was bringing me home. Oh shit.

The first pick up was across the street from the Chrysler Building. It took us almost as long to get from 38th and 2nd to 42nd and Lexington as it would have to take me all the way to Park Slope. Fortunately for me when we got there the passenger canceled. So I figured we might have to drop that person off before taking me home. But that turned out not to be true she would've only gone five more blocks.

The next pick up was on 58th St. off of Park Avenue. It took us an hour to get there. On the way there the driver got a call from excess ride asking him his ETA of the next pick up. He screamed back into the phone five minutes. In my old life it would've taken us five minutes to walk there but we got there a half hour later. But the problem is there's no way the driver could've gotten to that pick up in five minutes and he knew that. He should've been honest. When my excess ride right is late I call the dispatcher and ask where the vehicle is. Not when it will arrive. If I'm standing out in the heat or cold I just need an honest answer.

Then the fun really started. We pulled up to the address and the driver waved to some guy and he got in. From my seat it was unclear what they said to each other. I thought the driver just said are you waiting for excess ride and then he got in but my friend in the car thought that the driver asked him if he was Brown, and he answered in the affirmative. A minute after we started driving away the driver got another call from excess ride asking him his ETA to the destination we had just been to. It instantly became clear to everyone in the minivan that he picked up the wrong person. It took us another 45 minutes to drive around the block and let him out and pick up the right person. Then we had a pick up two more people in Gramercy Park who needed to be dropped off in Brooklyn Heights.

So I got picked up at a 2:45 and got home at 5:15. The old me could've walked home faster.  I just made a very messy map of our route and it was under 14 miles. It took us 2 1/2 hours to drive 14 miles. I have run hip-hop marathons in less than an hour and 45 minutes. And the straightest line for my rehab hospital to my home is 7 miles I could've done that in an hour.

And I probably will again, because in that physical therapy session I was given the green light to start using a cane. That four-wheel walker has been slowing me down. Yeah, technically it's called a forearm crutch. I will only need one just like Dr. House.  Dr. House by the way is the only TV doctor to diagnose anyone with GBS. In that episode he later corrected himself but he did think someone had GBS.  To the best of my knowledge it's the only time GBS was ever mentioned in it fictional TV show.




I stand corrected

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I don't think I've been exposed to this much chemcals since I had chemotherapy

A year ago
Facebook tells me what hospital I was in a year ago. Without it I have to figure it out with the calendar. But 12 months ago today I was visiting Rusk for the second time. I know that because I let my daughter and her BFF paint my nails.

There are lots of things I didn't know that I had to know. When I walked into the hospital I had no idea I wasn't coming home right away, Let alone that I really would be there for over four months. When I was there it was just one day at a Sabrina time. But as those days dragged out.... There were little things that I needed to take care of. Things that I always did myself and suddenly needed help with. I never painted my nails I always got the myself and I couldn't do that anymore. The nurses and their staff wouldn't do it either. They said that was a podiatrist job or a dermatologist and they couldn't do their job but my wife could. So when I was in the hospital my wife cut my nails. And for fun I let my daughter paint them. When she was about seven or birthday party was an insane slumber party. At like 1 o'clock in the morning I had a give these girls and focus so I let each one of them paint one of my nails. But that's another story.

Also when I got to the hospital, I thought it would be cool to have a hospital beard. I kind of imagine that I would go home and get a hot towel shave. But that was going to happen in my face was getting
much too hairy.

A bit much
Then I checked in to subacute care /nursing home for two months. There, every Monday my floor was treated to Spa Day. A hairstylist and a bunch of volunteers from high school showed up and mostly painted peoples nails but I taught her how to use an electric razor.

But I'm really digressing. Today I walked into a nail salon for happy hour. A free manicure with every pedicure! For me it was kind of surreal. I didn't know when to lift my foot or stick out my hand and the people helping me didn't speak much English there was a lot of poking. But my nails on both my hands and feet are very well trimmed and then they pumised my feet in ways that I didn't really need. They also rubbed my cuticles off and I walked out smelling a lot like a candle. I will not show you a picture my fingers because they are unremarkable. But I went with my daughter and she had a marvelous time picking out shades of sparkly colors.

Since I'm using voice to text my daughter can hear me as I speak this blog post. She says I'm being very obnoxious I think I'm just being honest. Anyway below is her comment and to the right are her fingers.

This is Sabrina and I never said my dad was being obnoxious. I just think he is not being truthful. I was sitting next to him and there was no poking or pumising or unnecessary smells, in fact he really enjoyed himself. But now he's telling people that there was a lot of extra pampering and I don't know why. Maybe to protect his 'manhood'. This was the first time either of us got a pedicure and we had a lot of fun!





On one hand, the highlight of my day was sitting next to my daughter and having my nails done. (Pun intended) but the real highlight of my day came when I got home. I got to the front door of my house and didn't want to walk around to the back. FUCK IT! I just walked up those little stairs.!

 No rail no problem FUCK YOU CIDP OR WHATEVER


My physical therapist gave me the green light to try to walk down but I don't know about that yet.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It has been a good week

It all started on Wednesday. In the afternoon my physical therapist gave me the green light to walk up the steps to get in the front door of my apartment house. It's a 95-year-old building and there are three oddly shaped stepsto get in the front door. There's also no rail. I haven't done it yet, but knowing I can is a good feeling.  In therapy I also was given the tools so I can do more upper body work in the gym near my house,

Then while checking my email before the accessorized showed up I got a phone call from a reporter asking my opinion on the mayor's statement that he will stop rush-hour traffic in Prospect and Central Parks. Back in March I started this petition because I was sick of cars zooming by as I tried to get into the park.  Here's a link to the whole story. Yeah, a reporter called me to ask me my opinion on breaking news. The next morning the mayor held a press conference in Prospect Park. It was announced that the PM rush-hour would no longer go through Prospect Park and the a.m. rush-hour would continue because almost 3 times as many cars use it in the morning and that that many cars would cause havoc along the streets outside of Prospect Park. They shut down the rush-hour traffic in most of Central Park. But they left it in the busiest part, I'm a little worried because the southern end of the park has the most traffic but it also has the narrowest roads and the horse-drawn carriages. I've seen cars pass the horses in the bicycle lane. It's still a disaster waiting to happen. But I have hope that the east side of Prospect Park and the southern end of Central Park will be rid of rush-hour traffic after the traffic scientists fix the streets a little better on the outside of the parks.

When the ack stress oh ride came it was apparent that the driver couldn't position the bus in a place so that he could operate the lift. Too many cars were left in the driveway of my rehab hospital. I was able to look at the big picture and see that he could pull out once his passengers got in. So I handed the driver my walker and said fuck it I'm going up the stairs. And I did.

Wednesday evening was the third race in a summer series that I have organized. Five or seven years ago we were happy if 30 to 50 people showed up. I kind of took over and got the race up to 300 people on a regular basis. Last summer I was flat on my back for all the races and my friends took over and did a great job. This year I took kind of a behind the scenes role in managing the races because I can never commit to being there and that I don't do too good in the rain. Wednesday night I zoomed down there in my new electric chair and help direct traffic. Another fuck it moment at the award ceremony. I just got about a my wheelchair and posed in the picture.

To the right is a cool animation of how I direct traffic at a race.

Below is a picture of a guy wants to stand up with his friends.

And thanks to Larry for both of those pictures
Then Thursday came. I had no idea my crazy petition was gonna change anything. But I did have some fantasy that if the roads were ever closed to rush-hour traffic that I would stand next to The Mayor when he made the announcement.. That did not happen.(See the bottom of this blog post for the complete New York City statement). But it really makes sense that the mayor didn't give me credit because the city can not officially say that policy is influenced by one not who launches a change.org petition..

But my neighbors knew what I did. Thursday evening I went out to meet my friends with Achilles Brooklyn. On the way there strangers congratulated me and thanked me. I know what I did, and the people who know what I did know what I did. And I also think the people at transportation alternatives know what I did. But after Thursday's press conference they published this summary of what they did. I guess some people there have a job to do and if I do it for them they might not get paid.

Whatever, so Thursday evening I got to meet my friends at jackrabbit sports. You can't tell from the photo below that without telling anyone I just climbed a flight of stairs and sat in a chair. Yeah, that was my third fuck it moment of the week.

When I set up there I remember saying that I was living on the edge. Getting up was easy but I have no idea how to get down the stairs. Fuck it I got down.

Then we got to Prospect Park and I just surprised
everyone by joining the circle.



Below is one of my favorite pictures of the week. I don't just love it for the obvious reason I like that Larry took it. He just shows up at all kinds of running events and takes 1 billion pictures and then gives them out for free. If you ask him nicely take a picture of whatever you want. I don't think he knows how much I appreciated as I used to take my own pictures but I can't right now.


Thanks Anne
Then Saturday came. My running club has a picnic/relays race the end of every June. It's just a lot of fun, Teams of three are picked at random and we do a short loop in Prospect Park. Then we stand around and eat potluck food and apple juice out of red plastic cups. At this event, in 2000 some of my friends chipped in and gave me a double running stroller when my kids were just a month old. In 2001, I adjusted the randomness and all three people on my relay team were Rings. I pushed my kids for the whole race. My kids run it with me a few times. On the date of last year's race on not even sure what hospital I was in. I just remember staring at some ceiling knowing where I'd rather be.

Yeah, in the past 13 months I missed a lot of the races that I've always made a point to run. I don't want to be pushed and I don't want to complete of race in a golf cart either. But for a long time now I've been thinking about this race.It is the shortest distance that ever done, about a mile and three quarters. It took me 20 minutes longer to complete one loop than the slowest team took to complete three of them. But that's only good. That meant everybody was waiting for me at the finish line. I also inspired six people to chaperone me who couldn't think they can walk almost 2 miles.

thanks Tifenn





Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Sections of Central Park and Prospect Park Will Become Permanently Car-Free, Dedicated Solely to Recreation

June 18, 2015
Video available at: http://youtu.be/9khUC2NfHTA

Changes will make two of NYC’s crown jewel parks safer and healthier, enhance public space and encourage New Yorkers to get active
Central Park Drives north of 72nd Street will be permanently car-free starting June 29
Prospect Park West Drive will be permanently car-free starting July 6
BROOKLYN, NY—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced permanent improvements to Central Park and Prospect Park that will make the majority of each park car-free, with park drives dedicated solely to recreation for the first time in more than a century. The changes will restore major sections of two of the city’s crown jewel parks to their original vision as recreational paths, making the parks healthier, safer and more accessible to millions of New Yorkers.
Central Park's entire loop drive above 72nd Street will be permanently car-free. Prospect Park's West Drive between Grand Army Plaza and Park Circle, previously open to motor vehicle traffic for two hours during weekday afternoons, will likewise be permanently reserved solely for recreation. With these changes, more of each park will be car-free than at any time since the first automobiles were introduced to them at the turn of the 20th century. Combined, more than 45 million people visit Central Park and Prospect Park each year.
“Prospect Park has always been my family’s backyard. That’s a sentiment New Yorkers in every borough feel about their parks. Making the loop drives in Central and Prospect Parks permanently car-free for the first time in more than a century will make these great spaces safer, healthier and more accessible to the millions who flock to them,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Department of Transportation conducted extensive traffic analyses of both parks’ loop drives and surrounding streets prior to undertaking these improvements. Neither change is projected to impact travel times or congestion in nearby neighborhoods. In Central Park, this change is consistent with the seasonal car-free summer hours of the past two years, which have proven to have had no adverse impacts.
The four Central Park Transverse roads will remain open to motor vehicle traffic. Emergency and parks maintenance vehicles will continue to have access to the loop drives as necessary. To further improve mobility in Manhattan communities adjacent to Central Park, the DOT will extend the Fifth Avenue bus lane north to 110th Street from 7-11 a.m. on weekdays. Fifth Avenue is one of the heaviest travelled bus routes in the City, with over 74,000 local and express bus riders each day.
“This is great news for the millions of people who come to walk, bike, and enjoy Central Park and Prospect Park every year,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Thanks to Mayor de Blasio's leadership, this expansion of car-free parks will create a greener, safer and more serene experience for all.”
“Prospect Park and Central Park are known throughout the world as classic urban parks that have evolved to serve 21st century cities,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. SilverFAICP. "Thanks to Mayor de Blasio, these great parks are now on the verge of the next stage of their evolution: a cars-free vision that will improve air quality, safety, and the park-going experience.”
“Central Park Conservancy has supported a car free park for many years and we think this is a fantastic step forward," said Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of Central Park Conservancy. “Fewer cars in Central Park will not only make it  safer for recreational use, it will also make it more of a natural retreat from hectic the pace of city life which was the original intent of its creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.  They would be very happy today as are all of us at Central Park Conservancy.”
“The Prospect Park Alliance supports the Mayor’s decision to reduce vehicular traffic in Prospect Park,” said Sue Donoghue, Prospect Park Administrator and President of the Prospect Park Alliance. “The Alliance works closely with the community, our agency partners and stakeholders to balance the needs of the diverse users of the Park Drive, and is consistently working to promote a safe environment for the cyclists, runners, walkers and other Park visitors who depend on the Park Drive for recreation and outdoor enjoyment.”
"For over 100 years, Central and Prospect Parks have provided refuge for New Yorkers seeking escape from the hustle and bustle of America's largest city," said NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, "The Mayor's decision to close portions of the parks to traffic year-round will not only improve the serenity of the parks, but will also reduce the risk of injuries in line with the City's Vision Zero goals. I applaud him for taking decisive action to protect the parks' 40 million annual visitors and congratulate the advocates who have fought for decades to see their vision of car-free parks realized."
"The closure of West Drive to car traffic is a tribute to the residents and advocates who worked tirelessly to highlight the challenges to street safety in and around Prospect Park. We are one step closer to ensuring that parks are for people, and we can be assured that step will be taken across a car-free street. I look forward to riding my bike down West Drive with other Brooklynites enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Prospect Park," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Closing the Central Park loop to cars would make a huge difference in helping New Yorkers enjoy the greatest public park in the world, while having a minimal impact on traffic,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Freeing these large parks from the intrusion of traffic is the right move for the parks themselves and the New Yorkers who visit them, which is why I’ve been working toward this goal for years.”
"Central Park is a beautiful, serene, and cultural oasis in the middle of the greatest, and busiest, city in the world. People from all over, including myself, enjoy the jogging, picnicking and recreational opportunities this historic park provides. Today's announcement that our beloved park is moving one step closer to being completely car-free will provide for a much safer, quieter and healthier environment for all to enjoy. I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio's commitment to a greener and healthier New York City,” said State Senator José M. Serrano.
"As a resident of Brooklyn, I had the opportunity to watch Prospect Park enhance in safety, cleanliness and health, allowing a more friendly family and children environment," said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. "I commend Mayor de Blasio for implementing safety measures in our neighborhood parks that will strengthen an environmental and recreational atmosphere that the people in my District and across the City of New York can enjoy,"
“Public parks are for people and other living things, not automobiles, traffic, and car exhaust.  I applaud the move by Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Department of Transportation to limit cars permanently and year-round from Central Park and Prospect Park.  In a dense urban environment like New York City, our communities need and deserve car-free parks,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried.
“Protecting pedestrians in our parks is an essential piece of Vision Zero. Making two of our biggest parks nearly entirely car-free is in keeping with the original vision for our parks as an escape from the city landscape. I’m happy that Mayor de Blasio has committed to this change, prioritizing pedestrian safety in our parks,” said Assembly Member Dan Quart.
“Closing the Central Park Drive at 72nd Street is in keeping with Vision Zero and will make the park safer for pedestrians and cyclists alike,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. “I applaud this decisive step and look forward to continuing to work together toward making our City streets and parks safe for all users.”
“I commend the administration’s commitment to Vision Zero in Central Park, closing the loop north of 72nd Street to vehicles and, last year, lowering its speed limit to 20mph and adding barricades to separate pedestrians from cyclists. In 2014 two pedestrians lost their lives while crossing the Central Park Loop, and removing vehicles from the northern part of the loop will give pedestrians and cyclists room to coexist safely on the path. I look forward to working with the administration to extend this policy to the southern part of the loop in the near future,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“Our city’s precious green spaces should be a refuge. New Yorkers shouldn’t have to worry about looking over their shoulder for on-coming traffic if they are out for a run, or a stroll, or a bike ride in the park. For decades, park and open space advocates have called for both Central and Prospect Parks to be car-free. Today, I’m proud to stand with them, Mayor de Blasio and New Yorkers across the five boroughs as we make that dream a reality,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Committee on Parks
“Our parks belong to our children. By closing the loop we are making sure that the children of our city are protected from traffic. Congratulations to my colleagues, Council Members Rosenthal and Levine, as well as Mayor de Blasio, who have worked so hard to achieve today's victory,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation.
“In light of both the strong and growing support from my constituents and the long-term success of the Prospect Park Drive reconfiguration in 2011 that significantly reduced traffic in the park, as well as the City's continued work together toward Vision Zero, I agree: the time has come to reduce rush-hour traffic in Prospect Park,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “I am glad to support Mayor de Blasio’s decision today, and thank him for his leadership making our city’s parks a safer place for New Yorkers to enjoy.”
“Avoiding cars in certain sections of Prospect Park was as exhausting as the cars’ emissions. Making our parks car-free is going to make our air cleaner and safer for New Yorkers,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for taking the wheel on this important issue.”

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