Nighan in the City on red-light cameras. And biking in the city.

Nighan in the City on red-light cameras. And biking in the city.

[Outside Small World Books on 425 North Street, summer 2016. Photo of David Kramer’s bicycle by David Kramer]

Recently, Michael Nighan had a letter published in the Atlantic Magazine.  Michael is on a letter writing roll. This week the City Newspaper printed Red-light cameras save lives.


City Newspaper 12/28/16

Michael makes a powerful case that eliminating the cameras will increase the likelihood of senseless deaths.


City Newspaper 12/28/16

I personally am in favor of keeping the cameras. During the warm months, I enjoy cycling in the city.  Nor am I hardly alone, as the bike groups Bike Writers and Conkey Cruisers can often be seen on the streets.

The city said the cameras reduced accidents and made some intersections safer — and hence more bike friendly. My observation is that the cameras lessened the number of drivers who slide through red lights or don’t come to a complete stop. Or drivers who stop in the crosswalk area used by bicycles and pedestrians. These driving behaviors  make city biking dangerous and certainly less pleasant.

Alongside Michael’s letter, in response to Mary Anna Towler’s Lovely Warren’s right about red-light cameras, Eric Fairchild offered several alternative non-monetary punishments that could make the streets even safer: attending classes on driving safety, including red-light issues; community service; and assignments to stand with a crossing guard at school crossings.

But the city council simple eliminated a program that had successes without providing a satisfactory replacement.

This is short sighted. Every year more and more Rochestarians take to their bicycles during the summer months.  Neighborhoods that do everything they can to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety reap the benefits: more people want to shop and live there.


Conkey Cruisers, Rudolph Harris and Theresa Bowick 6-29-16 from More on how the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park came to be 


Bike Writer member Donald Hyatt inside the Rochester Subway 5/23/16 from On bikes and writing: Bike Writers


On bikes and writing: Bike Writers

For Golisano Children’s Hospital with love at the inaugural Gran Fondo at the Twilight Criterium

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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