Note: I work for a park slowly in continuing development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handles anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
This true tale is an e-mail received from a bike rider that uses a bike path that runs throughout the park. The bike path is Manhattan's most used path, and as you can imagine, is flooded with bike riders, roller-bladers, skaters, and the occasional person on a razor scooter. Separated from the bike path by a plant bed median, is the walkway esplanade which runs along the river and is for walkers and runners.
However, as we all know in this world, there are times when people simple do not follow directions or choose to ignore them completely and do what they want to do. What you end up with at times are bikers on the walkways, and vice verse. Over the years a growing feud between runners and bikers has developed and has continued and gone as far as requests to the Mayor's office to have the opponent banned. Yes, seriously.
The following e-mail was from a biker who sent and e-mail and figured he had the solution to the biggest conflict this side of the Middle East. What he ended up proposing was the most preposterous idea, that even if you are not familiar with government agencies, you would find it completely ridiculous.
"I bike to commute everyday on the Hudson River Bike way I have heard and have been apart of this ongoing biker/pedestrian issue. It's gotten completely out of control. I have seen the signs trying to separate the bikers/pedestrians for safety reasons, but it is not enough! We'll never get along! I suggest using some man power along the five mile strip that belongs to you to solve this and to help break people habits of running and taking up space on the bike path If you don't have wheels, get off! How about placing your office staff in the mornings along the route with signs every 500 feet or so until 10am to help keep the peace and have everyone follow the rules? It is so dangerous mixing us all and we need you YOU to step in"
Come on, who wouldn't want to spend their mornings separating pedestrians on foot, and those on wheels? And yes, he clearly thought this was THE solution when he clicked "send" on that e-mail.