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September 23, 2013 at 6:22 AM
Get with the program
It is about time that our city officials got their heads out of the sand.
I am referring to the fact that they want people to get out of their cars and use bicycles or public transportation. More specifically, about making developers put in so few parking spaces for their new apartment buildings that it will impact the surrounding neighborhood.
Because there will not be enough parking spaces provided in the apartment buildings, there will be a spillover in the immediate area. I grew up a few blocks from the new apartments on 15th Avenue Northwest, and I am fully expecting property values of the single-family homes in that area to be adversely affected by this.
One needs a car to get a large load of groceries. There is also a need for extra parking spaces if a tenant wishes to entertain. People who are elderly or disabled need to have a space to park a car or have someone pick them up. Finally, what about women who have to work late? They need to be able to park in their own building for their own security.
Folks, America is married to the car — get with the program!
Sally Neumeyer, Seattle
August 8, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Citizens should oppose new measuresI strongly recommend that all Seattle citizens find the time to read the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) June 2013 revision of the Master Bike Plan (available at all city libraries).
The city has already reconfigured a number of major streets to accommodate cyclists. This results in loss of traffic lanes and/or on-street parking. The Master Bike Plan revision proposes much more of this.
SDOT estimates that 3.6 percent of commuters travel on bikes. There is nothing wrong with cycling, but it does seem that there is something wrong with making the transportation needs of 96.4 percent of the citizens more difficult in order to accommodate a very small minority of the population.
Given that the current city government is fanatically pro-cycling, this plan will sail through without opposition if there is not a strong response from the city’s citizens.
Dick Schwartz, Seattle
July 29, 2013 at 7:25 PM
No room on the road
Riding bicycles is fun, healthy and nonpolluting. It would be even better if bicycle riding could help solve Seattle’s traffic problems. [“Around the Northwest: Full recovery likely for injured cyclist,” NW Sunday, July 28.]
However, more bicycles on Seattle streets is proving to be an unworkable, maybe disastrous, solution. Seattle’s traffic problems are problems of geography: The lakes, the Sound, the hills and the ship canal dictate a traffic grid that can’t get better.
All this is exacerbated by the location of Interstate 5 right in the middle. Today, the grid we have is stuffed full of cars and new-car sales are booming.
When designers insist on superimposing a traffic grid for bicycles on top of an already unworkable traffic pattern, the result is predictable. There simply isn’t room for safe-bicycle lanes that usurp the already overcrowded Seattle streets.
I wish it weren’t so.
Larry Lowry, Seattle
July 22, 2013 at 7:11 AM
Cyclists pay their fair share
I’m hoping the school-bus driver who complained about bicyclists breaking traffic laws is no longer in her job, because she is clearly either blind or driving with her eyes shut. [“Northwest Voices: Bicycle safety,” Opinion, July 14.]
She insists she’s seen more cyclists breaking traffic laws than drivers. Really? There are thousands more drivers than there are cyclists, and just in my daily five-mile drive to work, I regularly see those drivers roll through stop signs, pass on the right, change lanes or turn without signaling, cut other drivers off, exceed the speed limit … the list goes on and on.
The letter writer just hates bicyclists.
I’m tired of people complaining that cyclists don’t pay their fair share of gas tax in support of transportation projects that include bike lanes and other bike-related projects. I drive plenty, and so do all the other adult cyclists I know.
Besides, transportation amenities, like bike lanes, contribute to the overall livability of the entire community, which has all sorts of benefits to every single one of us — even those who never get out on a bike and ride.
Kasia Pierzga, Olympia
July 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM
Editorial was delusional
I just read John Pucher’s guest column, and I must make two points. [“Building a bicycling renaissance in Seattle,” Opinion, July 14.]
First of all, maybe Pucher should read the letter in the next column of the paper that day. [“Northwest Voices: Bicycle Safety,” Opinion, July 14.]
Secondly, where does he get off saying 60 percent of Seattleites want to ride bikes?
If anybody truly believe people — en masse — are going to give up their cars, they are delusional and should be riding bicycles so they won’t hurt anybody with a car.
Gordon Knuth, Seattle
Those were very interesting pieces in Sunday’s Opinion section.
One was positive, with constructive ideas on how to promote bike-riding and make biking safer and easier for all ages and genders.
The other piece, a letter to the editor, was the more negative and confrontational side, suggesting taxing and registering all bikes so we can tattle to the police.
What a contrast.
I’m OK with the taxing to help improve bike lanes that John Pucher suggests, which actually could be accomplished when a bike is sold; maybe an additional 10 percent tax on all bike sales could go exclusively to providing greenways for bikes. I could see many bike riders and bike shops being in favor of a tax for this purpose.
However, I find it ironic that we would require bike registration when bikes harm no one other than the bike rider if there is an accident, yet not require registration of hand guns, which have the sole purpose of harming or killing others.
John Whitmore, Maple Valley
Bikes must be regulated for cyclists’ safety
Not only do bicycles need licenses, but the riders also need to have some proof that they have passed a test on the rules of the road, in addition to paying a fee for the privilege.
How about requiring insurance? If bicyclers want the same rights as drivers and want to share the road with them, then they need to accept the same responsibilities.
Then there is the issue of real safety helmets, not little aerodynamic riding caps. Effective lights, sturdy frames; all of these things are codified on other vehicles that use the roads. Why not bicycles, which are by far more vulnerable?
Life for a bicycler was simple when they used off-street trails and the empty streets of the suburbs, but it has to change when so many of them now share the highways and busy streets of cities.
Susan Terry, Seattle
July 8, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Taxes should not target drivers
No one seems to notice that King County Metro says its cuts will be “up to” 17 percent if it doesn’t get the tax increase it’s looking for. [“Metro faces potential cuts as existing funds dwindle,” NW Tuesday, July 2.]
Government agencies typically give a worst-case scenario when they don’t get the funding they want. This strikes me as the usual wolf-crying by a poorly managed agency.
If there is to be a tax increase, it should not be on the backs of automobile drivers, no matter how much Mayor Mike McGinn and his backers despise us. If bus service benefits everyone, as they claim, then everyone should pay by means of a sales tax increase.
Now that we’re talking about transit and taxes, it is long overdue to bring bicycles into the mix. I see no reason why an adult bicycle rider shouldn’t pay the same annual fees that are paid by an adult moped rider.
Charles Pluckhahn, Seattle
April 29, 2013 at 8:04 AM
Safety regulations must be taken into consideration
Before we all get euphoric about 450,000 riders commuting merrily on their 500 bicycles, abandoning the alternatives of cars and buses, Puget Sound Bike Share executives first have to assure us of this program’s safety element [“Puget Sound Bike Share to roll out with 500 bicycles,” NWTuesday, April 23].While the program was uber innovative with helmet dispensers for safety, nowhere was it mentioned that riders will be liable if they violate the rules of the road.
Steve Durrant and Holly Houser, the key players in this program, must recognize the need to display license plates (front and back) so bikers can be identified. It should be a prerequisite to carry adequate coverage in cases where either bikers or others incur property damage or injuries due to the their violation of traffic laws.
In brief, it’s already a sad fact that many bikers do not obey traffic stoplights. It has long been a concern that due to the absence of a state bike-license requirement, no injured party has a case to claim compensation from a bike rider if he or she flees the scene.
So, Puget Sound Bike Share, we urge you to legislate a license requirement for bicycles before dropping 500 more wheels on to Seattle streets.
Dee Tezelli, Seattle
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