Opinion: Letter to the Editor: What Are City’s Priorities?

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: What Are City’s Priorities?

Aren't you as alarmed and angry as I am reading that the city cannot afford to keep its lower-income residents living here? We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to subsidize BikeShare cycles, which are used by a small, select group of people. Read the demographics of the BikeShare program and you'll see most are young, college-educated, primarily male and few with low incomes.

This is just wrong. The money from BikeShare should be shifted immediately to support and maintain our affordable and public housing. Already hundreds were driven from the area in North Old Town known as The Berg. Only 50 were given housing there. Sadly, because of industrial use, no one wanted to live in that area for many years, so it was given to the less privileged. Then when property values rose, it was deemed "too valuable" for the long-time Alexandria residents. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg knew that money was better spent on needy residents in New York City than bike riders. So, he told the organization to find private funding — which it did. Citibank and other corporations anted up, so not a dime of New Yorkers' tax dollars subsidize the program. BikeShare is a worthy program but not deserving of dollars from our city's budget with its ever-rising debt. In contrast, our lower-income residents do deserve to stay in this community that has been their home for years.

Linda Couture