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LETTERS: End share the road idea; teachers have primary responsibility for education

By: Gazette readers
April 12, 2018 Updated: April 12, 2018 at 7:30 am
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Zach Russell, left, and Janet Winterhalder with COS Racing ride eastbound on Research Parkway at Windy Hill Drive Tuesday, November 1, 2016, in the buffered bike lane that has been in service since the end of September. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

End share the road idea

After reading the exciting PPRTA taxpayer and miniscule tax on bicycle purchases idea, to fund the "Bicycle Master Plan" for Colorado Springs in The Gazette, I was elated! Not elated over the plan and how to fund it. Elated that I finally realized how to end the constant conflict between motorists (for who the highways were originally intended) and cyclists. Eliminate the impractical "share the road" mandate.

I was originally on the committee to incorporate the "Sharrow" idea funded by a grant from CDOT several years ago. (My voice of opposition was quashed by our cyclist lobbyists). We have been told, as motorists, that we must grant all cyclists, a "3-foot" clearance on the right side of our motor vehicles when encountering them on our roadways. Unfortunately, the right side of the vehicle is the most difficult side to estimate the appropriate distance necessary to safely accommodate cyclists. Thus, the conflict. Motorists were mandated to share the road with cyclists, but cyclists were not mandated to return the favor.

My hope is that when assessing the "Master Plan" implementation, that the planners and advocates, eliminate the "share the road idea" and incorporate a few practical things into the planning. Purchase enough room to add a three-foot shoulder to their plans, so no one has to worry about sharing anything. If they can't purchase the space, don't build a bike lane. Find somewhere else. Insist that all cyclists actually follow the rules of the road and act like vehicle operators.

Share the road? No! Add extra shoulders to the roadsides and follow vehicle operator rules? Yes!

Thomas Antkow

Colorado Springs

   

Returning animals to a safe place

Animals have always made excellent pets and great additions to families - specifically, dogs and cats. However, recently the population has been getting too much to handle. Numerous run away from home, get lost, or get taken to a shelter because families are unable to support them.

Colorado Springs has been seeing this issue, mainly since the start of 2018. All a person has to do is walk around the neighborhood and see several lost pet poster on street lights, convenience stores, or any local building. Currently there are shelters and programs that help to find these animals find their home, or protect them from the dangers of the outside and modern society - for example, the Humane Society, No Hound Unhomed, or Happy Cats Haven. Yet is this enough to solve the issue?

Fortunately, more that can be done to put an end or simply reduce the problem. The citizens of each neighborhood where pets are being lost should come together and form a "neighborhood watch". Instead of searching for crime, however, they would be looking for any animals that have been reported lost. With the amount of people that live in each town, this can prove to be very effective. Several eyes will be on every nook and cranny, searching for animals and returning them home or putting them into a safer environment.

Of course, this can only be completely possible if owners chip and tag their pets. Chipping and making sure tags are to date, animals will have the security and protection needed if they get lost.

Jonathan Southard

Colorado Springs

   

Primary responsibility for education

In last Sunday's Gazette, I read an appalling letter from a teacher. Teachers deserve tremendous respect and admiration, granted; but not only was this teacher happy about the end of homework in her school, but her last line stated (a direct quote): "Your child's education is not the school's responsibility, it starts with you!"

She expects working parents to essentially do as much or more to educate their children than schools and teachers - by working more with them at home. Well, how exactly should parents know what to work on with their kids at home - if there is no homework? Is this same attitude of "not our responsibility" perhaps why so many young people today can't: fill out a job application without multiple mistakes, or sign a real signature, or give correct change without using a phone, or construct a coherent paragraph, etc.?

Yes, some parents absolutely need to be more involved in the education of their children, but it's disgusting that any teachers would vocalize the attitude that the education of our children is not the primary responsibility of teachers and schools. Obviously, something changed in education over the past 60 years, but I know that every single bit of basic knowledge my husband and I use in living our daily lives - we had learned by the sixth grade from our teachers, in the classroom, and with homework. Anything on top of the basics, including college degrees, was gravy not often used.

Too many kids today aren't graduating 12th grade with the same basic knowledge and teachers, schools and parents share equal blame.

Maggie Mae Sharp (Stone)

Black Forest

   

A lot of gorilla dust tossed about

If you haven't noticed, there is a lot of gorilla dust being tossed about by our President Trump and China over the past few weeks. And, at first glance you might think a high stakes economic trade war was in our not so distant future. And, you might be right. But, perhaps, there is something a tad more interesting afoot we might not ever notice - investors involved in a volatile stock market just may free up cash for real estate.

Given the current resident on Pennsylvania Avenue was, and still is, linked in with the cash-addictive Trump Organization (a real estate company), I'd say there appears to be a good reason why Trump states "trade wars are easy to win."

He wins. We lose.

Michael Tkacik

Colorado Springs

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