Community Soapbox

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The best comments from
Bike Disaster
I read the message from Executive Editor Allen Houston in your Bicycle Show issue (April 19). He is obviously very pleased that New York City will be inundated with more and more bike riders. Does he not care that we will have more and more thoughtless, selfish bikers who only think of their convenience, which is to ride on the sidewalk, go through red lights and against traffic? Have we not had enough accidents and heart-stopping experiences? This issue may be a snapshot of "where we are," but I dread thinking of "where we are going." -Bunny Abraham , Upper West Side
Horse Sense
For the people who think it's okay to drive a horse around the city: Get a reality check. Hook yourselves up to a jitney or whatever you can pull and trot around the city all day breathing fumes, hearing honking horns and only resting when someone says you can, or eat by the same token. You are cold, hot, tired, hungry, your body aches and the harness makes you sore?who do you tell if you can't speak? Horses have much more to offer than what they've been recognized for. And yes, they have suffered humanity's whims as beasts of burden for centuries. Isn't it about time intelligent people support repaying our debt to them? There are many well-educated and well-trained horse people out there who have come around to understanding the natural instincts and needs of horses and using them in a productive and considerate way. Enduring the urban environment that the carriage industry necessitates is most certainly not one of them. -Jennifer Canfield
More Important Issues
In response to Ms. Rosenthal's comments about the horse carriages in Central Park, and with due respect-"Horses are farm animals and obviously, unless raised in a city, not used to cars and loud noises"-the number of accidents caused by the carriages is minimal compared to accidents caused by reckless drivers. The horses that pull the carriages are working horses, many of them draft horses. Draft horses are raised to work and are used to pull heavier loads than a carriage. Central Park horses are not being "forced" to work-they enjoy working! Perhaps Ms. Rosenthal should visit some farms and see what working horses do instead of campaigning to send the horses to a farm to die of boredom. The carriages in Central Park go back more than 60 years; the idea of bringing in antique cars instead of carriages is absurd. Asking people to go to a farm if they want to see a horse is almost backward-the reality is that many families don't have the money or means to do that. There is no reason to go outside the city when one can enjoy nature at home. -M. Burgos

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