NYCkayaker re boathouses on the hudson, etc.

David Gottlieb
Fri Nov 3 10:10:38 EST 2006


I knew this issue was going to come up. The same hazards exist outside the
city where public access to the river is allowed. How many drownings do you
hear about. 

I grew up in Manhattan in Washington Heights and played down by the river
all the time. By myself and with my friends. I never drowned. In Inwood Hill
Park there is an old abandoned boat ramp that generations of kids have
played on  -- and still play on -- that goes into the Spuyten Duyvel Creek
on the Harlem River. Not one kid has drowned there. There are miles and
miles of shore front in the city that kids play on by themselves. How many
kids go to Brighton Beach and swim? There are piers in existence throughout
the city that kids play on. Kids play on the rip rap all the time.

Yes, it takes responsibility and knowledge to kayak. It takes responsibility
and knowledge to do lots of things that kids do ‹ and that adults do. There
are monkey bars in the parks. How many kids die from them??? Part of the
idea of putting up bulletin boards with safety tips and advice at the
put-ins is not so much for the knowledgeable kayaker but to scare off those
³unknowing amateurs.²

There is an innate sense of survival in most human beings, including kids. I
see it most clearly in my twin girls who live with me part time.

We have to teach our kids about a lot of things. How to cross the street,
how to ride a bike safely, not to play with electricity and water, not to
stand too close to the edge of the subway platform, not to play on subway
tracks and the list goes on and on and on.. There are so many hazards. The
river is just one of them

Kids chasing balls in the street get hit by cars if they are stupid. You
have to teach kids not to cross between cars, to cross at lights. Most
parents teach their children about the dangers of entering the river.

Stop trying to protect the general public. The general public knows how to
protect themselves. Kids know how to protect themselves from most danger.
This is the argument of the city bureaucrats.

Yes, the bike analogy is important. There are thousands of kids and adults
riding there bikes in the streets of NYC. Stop trying to tie everyone¹s
hand. Ostriches hide their heads in the sand, not human beings. Why don¹t we
just lock up all the beaches and put chains on all the entrances to the
parks. You never know when a tree might fall on your head. You can¹t predict
when a child will fall off a sliding pond. Let¹s close all the playgrounds
while we are at it.

Again, there are public put-ins many places outside of the city where kids
and the general public have access. Perhaps you should go to all the
communities outside the city that allow unfettered and free access to the
river, and tell the officials there that they should stop this because of
³the stupidity and recklessness of the untrained, especially kids,² as you
put it. Everyone will be grateful for your protecting us all from the
hazards of the world.

On 11/3/06 9:20 AM, "Ken Gray" <> wrote:

> There are two overriding issues everyone is overlooking on this topic:
> responsibility and knowledge.  I'm sure most people posting here are very
> capable, sensible and safety-conscious.
> If launching areas are available without license or registration, they will be
> abused by the unknowing amateur.  Don't underestimate the stupidity and
> recklessness of the untrained, especially kids.  Speaking of the Hudson around
> the metropolitan area, this is not Down by the Old Mill Stream.  I envision
> lots of poorly designed inflatables being launched, lots of people without
> PFDs.
> I believe everyone should be registered.  The bike analogy is a poor one.
> Bicycles should be registered.  How many pedestrians have been injured by
> bikes going on sidewalks or the wrong way on one-way streets?  And just so you
> know where I'm coming from, I think that cars should be restricted in
> Manhattan and more bike lanes provided.
> I think there should be greater access to the water, but it's gotta be
> regulated for safety reasons in some way.
> Ken
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