Roundabouts can be a boon
I applaud your editorial on roundabouts and hope it helps to educate drivers. Roundabouts do indeed liberate drivers... but only in other countries. In England, for instance, the roundabouts are large, designed for efficiency and keep traffic moving well. Here the roundabouts are the opposite: designed too small to ‘calm traffic’ and slow people down. The landscaping in and around them looks nice but unfortunately too often blocks visibility needed to navigate them well.
Most people also either don’t know or don’t follow the rules to keep moving when in them and yield only as necessary when entering. No wonder so many people dislike roundabouts and are unnecessarily frustrated. They really are a boon when there built as intended to keep traffic moving and people learn to navigate them properly.
Tickets would pay for the cameras
In support of Raymond Lisle’s lead opinion letter of Sept 4, we do need more “red-light cameras” — at every busy, main artery intersection in town! The tickets would surely pay for the cameras in quick time.
Recently, we even received a mailed “automatic” speeding ticket, on Broadway in Denver, in traffic, for barely exceeding the limit, as we can recall. Anyhow, now we are “right on”!
Considering some facts on guns
I respond to the Sunday letter “Gun control won’t fix anything” from a Kevin Adams — urging those opposed to gun legislation to stick to facts rather than emotion when considering the right thing to do:
So here are some facts:
•The election was 1,027 days ago, I didn’t vote for Hillary, and nobody is taking my guns away.
• Instead of the term “mass shootings” — multiple dead adults and children for no reason amounts to mass murder.
• Adams asserts that ‘criminals’ can always buy an illegal gun off the street or even build one from scrap metal to commit crimes: but the fact is that most of these mass murders were committed with legally purchased military style assault weapons or large handguns.
• These mass murderers have been angry, white, native-born U.S. citizens filled with hate.
• It is a sad fact that in this country the $30 million that went directly from the NRA to a GOP election campaign can be legally called a campaign contribution; but in other countries it’s just called bribery for which there are always certain “expectations”... commonly known as pay-to-play.
Well, the NRA seems to be getting their money’s worth; because the ‘doing nothing’ policy of the White House since January 2017 has gifted America with 314 adults and children murdered and 793 injured.
Maggie Mae Stone (Sharp)
ADUs: Sensible urban planning
In the last few months, retired Colorado College professors Tom Cronin and Bob Loevy have published multiple op-eds in The Gazette warning Colorado Springs residents about the dangers of the Accessory Dwelling Unit proposal before the City Council. They extol the virtues of single-family residential zoning and claim that the proposed ADU ordinance threatens to degrade the character of their single-family neighborhoods.
Accessory dwelling units are allowed in all neighborhoods zoned for multifamily residential use in Colorado Springs. A proposed ordinance before the City Council would allow them in single-family zones, with a significant caveat — in single-family zones, the property owner must occupy one of the two units as their primary residence.
While it’s important to think carefully about the effect zoning changes will have on homeowners, Cronin and Loevy’s analyses miss the mark. They gloss over important information about the details of the proposal and their writing is designed to stoke fear within single-family neighborhoods. As Colorado College students, we greatly appreciate our professors, but we also have a responsibility to keep them honest.
First, they repeatedly claim that the population of their neighborhoods will double in 10-20 years if the city passes the ADU ordinance. However, history tells us otherwise. Denver passed a very similar ordinance in 2010, and since then has received slightly over 200 permit applications for ADUs citywide — a pace of about 22 per year in a city of 620,000.
Second, they assert that the ADU ordinance would allow the owners of single-family homes to subdivide their lots and sell off the piece with the ADU. But the ADU ordinance doesn’t change anything about minimum lot size requirements, meaning only people who own lots that are twice the minimum could do so — these lots would be 12,000, 18,000, or 40,000 square feet in various single-family zones. And there’s nothing stopping these property owners from doing that right now, with or without the ADU ordinance.
Third, in a piece published April 29, they make the following baseless claim: “It has long been an axiom of sensible urban planning that single-family zoning, with lowered densities and lighter traffic, preserves city neighborhoods and makes them much less subject to urban blight.”
We’re not sure where this idea comes from. Sixty-five percent of residential land in Detroit is zoned single-family. So is well over 50% in Chicago. It doesn’t seem to have prevented urban blight in either of those cities.
Allowing ADUs in single-family zones is sensible urban planning. They will add to the housing stock, helping to reduce the housing shortage that the city faces. They’ll allow more people to live closer to where they work, reducing traffic and the amount of money people spend on transportation. And they’ll help the 94% of our older neighbors who want to retire here afford to do so by enabling them to either generate extra income or move in with nearby family members.
Change is always scary, but the change to the zoning code under the proposed ADU ordinance isn’t nearly as scary as some make it out to be. If you agree, contact your contact council member and let them know. If you disagree, you’ve probably let them know.
Max Kronstadt, Liam Reynolds, and Elam Boockvar-Klein