SEPTEMBER 11, 1954
WOODSTOCK, Ontario—The rain in New York on Wednesday seemed to completely disrupt traffic in a way I never before have seen. It took me, in my little car, one hour and fifteen minutes to go from Fifth Avenue and 56th Street to Fifth Avenue and 8th Street. There was a particularly long wait before we reached 42nd Street and an even longer one just below 26th Street where the buses, long lines of buses, turn uptown. I used to think they all went through 22nd Street and turned. This time they did so at about 24th Street, it seemed.
Wasting so much time getting from one part of New York City to the other makes one wonder what can be done about traffic, because, before long, something really must be done. Could an overhead roadway be constructed over the sidewalks for buses? Could trucks travel in certain areas at certain times of the day? Could the subway service be somewhat improved, so that more people in the daytime would use them?
I am told by many people they would like to use the subways but they are now so dirty and so unsanitary that they hate to ride them, even though it is not the rush hour. During the rush hour it takes a valiant soul, indeed, to face the subway. But even the subway rush might be staggered somewhat by an arrangement among the business houses in different areas to open and close at different hours. One-way avenues north and south have helped, I think, but even one-way cross streets don't prevent one from being stalled everlastingly in getting across town. Perhaps there should be some regulations on private cars.
So much has been said about committees working on this problem and yet so little seems to be done that I wonder if the time has not come for action, instead of more words.
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On Thursday we went out to the airport to take an 11:30 a.m. plane for Montreal, and there we sat for an hour because some repairs had to be made on the plane.
I would rather sit and wait for repairs, however, than run the risk of an accident. Our trip to Montreal was easy and pleasant.
Once there I did a short recording, saw the press, and in the evening attended a small reception and dinner, and then went to a meeting in the interests of Bonds for Israel. By midnight, we were on the train bound for Woodstock, where I spoke Friday night for the new St. Paul's Ladies Guild.
The press questions in Montreal centered around EDC's rejection, the new Pacific pact, and what did I think of Senator McCarthy's attitude in the present investigation of his activities.
I am told that the press in Canada has been somewhat critical of the Attlee-Bevan trip to China, but I am quite sure this oblique criticism of Great Britain will be overshadowed by the warmth of the reception which will be given for the Duchess of Kent and her daughter. They arrived in Canada Thursday and everyone is anxious to see them and to welcome them to Canada.