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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: Letters

Re: “Letters to the Editor (7/02/14)

I agree with Ms. Becker's comments that a bike path designed as a public recreational space is unsuitable for many individuals seeking to commute via bicycle or ride/train on road bikes at high speed. If you don't mind a longer ride or proceeding at a leisurely pace that allows you to dodge dogs, young kids, inattentive joy-riders, and oncoming bike path traffic, then perhaps the bike path is your thoroughfare of choice. For anyone going on a serious ride or trying to reach a destination on-time, don't ride the bike path. That's not why it's there and you're more likely to put others in danger and just end up more frustrated.

I strongly disagree with Mr. Gallucci's comments that sidewalks are where cyclists belong. I think sidewalks certainly have their place for cyclists some of the time, depending on the user, their bike, and the goals of the ride. As I wrote previously it's not always sensible to throw pedestrians and high-speed cyclists together on the same narrow piece of real estate. They ticket people for riding bikes along the Rt. 127 beltline between Colchester and Burlington, where the shoulders are quite wide but vehicle speeds exceed 50mph. At least the bike path is pretty smooth and somewhat wider than your typical city sidewalk. Mr. Gallucci states that when people are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner, they most often do. This is meant to lend weight to his argument that pedestrians and cyclists sharing the sidewalk should be easy to accomplish. But can this not also apply to motorists and cyclists sharing the roads? Why would you not expect motorists and cyclist, by and large, to act responsibly and with civility if you expect it of pedestrians and cyclists? I am not an advocate for dedicated bike lanes and carving out a dedicated cyclist infrastructure through the heart of cities and towns. I do support the notion that all users of a common infrastructure should be responsible for supporting it in accordance with their impact and that all those obliged to follow the same rules (of the road) have equal enforcement of those obligations placed on them. More than anything though, I support motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians not behaving like douchebags to each other. That will go the furthest toward proper sharing of common thoroughfares.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lee Stirling on 07/09/2014 at 12:28 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (7/02/14)

@Tony G of "Sidewalk Works": An interesting concept but I interpret it as an attempt to not deal with the issue by shifting the challenge away from car-loving roads.

First, we'll have to rename sideWALKS to something else.

Side(walks) will need a LOT of work; do you want to drive your car down roads equivalent to the quality to many of the side(walks) in the area? Many are incredibly lumpy/bumpy, sometimes with poor transitions at intersections and given the narrowness for existing two-way pedestrian traffic we'll see a culture war there with foot traffic complaining about cyclists whizzing by.

Also, would you want to drive your car down a road where drivers will be pulling their car noses out without looking until they are well into your lane of traffic flow? That is what any cyclist riding along a side(walk) will have to be constantly concerned over.

I'll take bike lanes that don't randomly end, please.

Posted by Divus Augustus on 07/06/2014 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/25/14)

Sean Moran, I could not agree with you more. I too am a cyclist and enjoy riding in the nice weather. All too often I see cyclists, whether I'm driving or riding, violating traffic laws that they are legally obliged to follow. They do things like not signaling their turns, running stop signs, switching between the street and sidewalk as their whims change. This reckless behavior doesn't do anything to endear cyclists to motorists, not to mention raising the risk of an accident. And when it's a car vs bike situation the cyclist will always lose, making such reckless cycling behavior even harder to understand. I'm a "share the road" supporter and, in that vein, I would support cyclists paying a nominal fee to register their bikes every 1 or 2 years. After all, they are utilizing the vast majority of the same infrastructure as cars and trucks. I would also like to see increased enforcement of traffic laws as it pertains to cyclists. If cyclists are subject to the same laws as motorists, then they should be just as likely to be pulled-over as well. Just like with motorists, I think it's a small proportion of cyclists who are either just completely oblivious or completely obnoxious when on the road but that small proportion has a big impact on peoples' perception.

Posted by Lee Stirling on 06/26/2014 at 8:53 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (6/18/14)

I'm all for maintaining the existing road system but wow, an amazingly selfish and simple-minded, car-loving message from @Nancy Berger above. Which is the more economically friendly solution: roads or bike co-sharing bike lanes? Throw in the overall health benefits from well thought out bike lanes and voila, the answer is apparent.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MjH on 06/24/2014 at 1:08 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (5/14/14)

Hello Seven Days -
I'm sure you're tired of hearing loud complaints about the back page adds by American Apparel of your newspaper. We just had several weeks without any offensive adds, but today you seem to push the bar again. Why do you insist? Only because you can? Is the money from American Apparel really that much better than Healthy Living? Can you only accept adds that objectify women (girls)? Don't you have a moral obligation, as a newspaper that seems to thrive on educating us on local issues, to send respectful messages about girls and women? How can you have a paper that rats out 'happy ending' massage parlors, while insisting on sending insulting messages about women? The 'happy ending' of your newspaper is unfitting for a free community paper. Of course it does give us fodder for conversations about the continued exploitation of girls, but when it's the back page at the newstand with an add selling jeans by using a mostly naked picture of a girl, you've crossed the line - we don't need any more fodder, really. Those images are damaging. You could be completely hippocritical and write an article about the objectification of women, using, for example, "Missreprensentation" - or why not take a critical view of what so many of us have ranted about to you for years? And committ yourselves to not wanting to be part of the problem?
Hello Seven Days -
I'm sure you're tired of hearing loud complaints about the back page adds by American Apparel of your newspaper. We just had several weeks without any offensive adds, but today you seem to push the bar again. Why do you insist? Only because you can? Is the money from American Apparel really that much better than Healthy Living? Can you only accept adds that objectify women (girls)? Don't you have a moral obligation, as a newspaper that seems to thrive on educating us on local issues, to send respectful messages about girls and women? How can you have a paper that rats out 'happy ending' massage parlors, while insisting on sending insulting messages about women? The 'happy ending' of your newspaper is unfitting for a free community paper. Of course it does give us fodder for conversations about the continued exploitation of girls, but when it's the back page at the newstand with an add selling jeans by using a mostly naked picture of a girl, you've crossed the line - we don't need any more fodder, really. Those images are damaging. You could be completely hippocritical and write an article about the objectification of women, using, for example, "Missreprensentation" - or why not take a critical view of what so many of us have ranted about to you for years? And committ yourselves to not wanting to be part of the problem? Another idea would be to ask how much we'd be willing to pay for your, otherwise, great paper to not have to be subjected to this kind of objectivity. Would you consider that? You might make out, and the work of instiling ideas of empowerment and subjectivity in our young girls might make out too.
Thanks for reading - again.

Signe Daly
Burlington

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Signe Daly on 05/14/2014 at 1:02 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor (4/30/14)

Responding to Steve Merrill's letter:
The Vermont Land Trust deal was detailed by Chris Braithwaite of the Barton Chronicle and you can read it here. http://vtdigger.org/2010/10/02/vermont-lan…. Had the Nelsons agreed, the family that VLT had lined up to buy it would have had to sign off on the noise and health effects, would have been gagged from saying anything. Trip Wileman, the landowner leasing the land to GMP, would have been involved in the financing along with GMP, and he would have gotten a right of way, among other things. That it was all done behind the Nelson's backs and only revealed to them months after GMP, VLT, and Trip Wileman had been colluding to get the Nelsons off their land, makes it all the worse.

Regarding Vermonters for a Clean Environment, we have worked on numerous agricultural issues which you can read about on our website www.vce.org. We have been involved in stopping several large farms, including the expansion of the Vermont Egg Farm in Highgate more than once. We are as dismayed as you are about ANR's gifts to polluters to degrade water quality instead of protecting it and maintaining it as required by the Vermont Water Quality Standards. From the filling of headwater streams on Lowell Mountain and ongoing sedimentation coming from the big wind sites, VCE has been the ONLY environmental organization in the state willing to stand up for water quality against the interests of Big Business which ANR is enabling by permitting whatever they want. We led the effort to get groundwater protection laws improved, and reached out to other environmental organizations like VNRC to make it happen. Your allegations are misplaced.

If you, as a Vermonter, want us to get involved in a specific issue, give us a call. That is how we operate. We work with Vermonters on issues that they bring to us, we are partners and we haven't heard you asking us to get involved in the e-coli rule change. Based on our experience with ANR lately, it probably wouldn't have made any difference though. As far as we can tell, the developers are calling the shots at ANR. After 15 years working on environmental issues in Vermont, ANR is the worst we have ever seen.

Posted by VermontCE on 05/05/2014 at 10:02 AM

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