Cyclists should obey traffic laws
Now that the weather is warmer more and more cyclists will be on the road. I have read the reminders such as this: Be aware and give lots of space for cyclists. I have also read the annoyance of some drivers who do not like having bike lanes. As a cyclist I would like to remind the cyclists instead, to obey traffic laws. It irritates me to no end to watch one or two cyclists take up a lane on a two-way street instead of moving over to the side. Several times I have seen cyclists do this and the only choice for the driver is to go into oncoming traffic and hit possibly cyclists who are the same thing in that lane. I have seen cyclists go through lights instead of waiting. And I have read too many times of cyclist who have died in traffic. I know what it is like on the road as a cyclist, which is why I obey the traffic laws and stay hyper vigilant. I ask other cyclists do the same so we can all be safe.
So much for getting citizens' input
As commented by Roger L. Baty in his May 15, opinion letter regarding the city's "Bicycle Master Plan", I also attended the open house on May 4, and as he observed, also thought I was the only non-enthusiastic supporter for the plan.
Although I was not impressed with the format or conduct of the well-attended open house, it seemed that just about everyone there did support the plan. I reached that conclusion even before the doors to the meeting room were opened as I overheard the many conversations that were occurring. In fact, I was dismayed to hear one apparently "in-the-know" individual comment to a friend that the open house was simply a formality because the plan was a done deal. So much for the open house's espoused goal of getting all citizens' input!
I am not categorically against bicyclists in the city, but I do draw the line when I encounter proposals that violate common sense, such as installing bike lanes on streets like North Academy Blvd. It's ridiculous that such a street with its concentrated number of business establishments and very heavy, fast moving traffic be further burdened by the added safety complications of drivers having to dodge cyclists. There is a reason that bicycles are not allowed on the Interstates.
Baty also commented about the aborted Research Parkway bike lane fiasco.
I frequently drive that street, and can only shake my head as I look at the ground-out surface of curbside lanes where the bike lanes had been painted.
If the city's Bicycle Master Plan is being supervised and implemented by the same people who gave us the Research Parkway foolishness, all of us non-bike riders better start paying attention to who's making the decisions and their rationale for doing so.
Bruce J. Lotzbire
More on the air that we breathe
With respect Jen Clanahan's article on the sad state of affairs when it comes to quality of air that we breath in our fair state. Clanahan referred to a recently released report by the American Lung Association that gave El Paso County an "F" in air quality.
Now before you run out and buy that gas mask, let's take a closer look at those numbers. The failing grade that Clanahan refers to is the amount of high ozone days that we experience here in the front range. The model used by the ALA is built on a 20-year average beginning in 1996.
While it's true that the one of the fastest growing counties in Colorado can probably point to automotive emissions as part of the problem, it should be noted that wildfires also contribute to this number.
Our geographical location makes our city especially susceptible to not only wildfire smoke in our area, but also from New Mexico and all states north up to (and including) Canada. The wide variations in the data provided by this report bear this out.
On a positive note, the report also indicates that during the last two years the Springs' annual high ozone level is comparable to the year 2000, three days a year . and it has been steadily declining the last five years.
What else does this report say?
Colorado Springs is tied for first for the cleanest metropolitan areas in the country for 24-hour particle pollution.
In the "Top 25 Cleanest U.S. Cities for Year-round Particle Pollution," Colorado Springs ranks eighth.
This is not to negate Clanahan's concern or message. She does some fine work in the name of this area's children.
Can we always do more to clean up our environment? Absolutely, and we should investigate all options.
But if you only supply one side of the argument, or give an incomplete picture of the facts . we can never have an honest dialogue on the solutions.
Tearing down our president
Reading Tuesday's paper May 16 about Trump's spills of Intel: Trump is blasted for sharing very sensitive Intel with Russia as he should be. In the middle of the article it says he has broad authority to declassify government secrets. This doesn't necessarily justify what he did.
About the last third of the article it says the Washington Post is withholding most of the plot details including the name of the city at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities. What about the officials that gave this information to the Washington Post? Were they not even more guilty than President Trump? But nothing is said about them.
The article is more about tearing down of President Trump when he had authority to release the information. The officials who gave the information to the Washington Post (I think I trust the Russians as much as the Washington Post) are the ones that should be caught and put on trial. This is just another example of the media tearing down our president.
I am not justifying Trump's actions but our media is just so looking for anything to make our president look bad while letting others go unmentioned.
And Trump does a good enough job of that on his own.