Observer Forum: Letters to the editor 09.22.15

Martin Zimmerman
Martin Zimmerman

In response to “Roads are as dangerous as we make them” (Sept. 19):

Not taking chances on Charlotte’s roads

Thank you for giving this issue such prominence. While near 100 percent of my encounters on the streets of South Charlotte – whether they be on foot, by bike, with a stroller or wheel chair, or in a car – are super courteous, I feel far from 100 percent safe. Therefore, I will always ride my child to preschool by bike on the sidewalk (when there is one).

Until there are elevated and separated bike lanes, DMV drivers’ tests that include bicycle and pedestrian safety, and texting drivers punished the same as drunk drivers, there is no way I will risk a four-year-old cruising, as Mr. Janes highlights, on my 20-pound bike in the same lane as a 4,000-pound vehicle.

Karin Lukas, Charlotte

Cities are helping us share streets

The writer is vice presidentof BikeWalk NC and former executive director of the Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance.

Kudos to Theoden Janes’ plea for a pact of civil behavior between cyclists and motorists on Charlotte streets. What he did not cite was the simple fact that, yes, bike riding is legal on all roads of North Carolina except interstate highways. N.C. law defines both bicyclists and cars as “vehicles.”

In practice, largely because many cyclists, especially women and children, do not feel safe in car lanes or even bicycle lanes, scores of cities, including Charlotte, are moving toward a new generation of design solutions, such as buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and road diets. The common goal is to make streets safe for all user groups, by car, bike or foot.

Martin Zimmerman, Charlotte

In response to “Trump saying what needs to be said” (Sept. 20 Forum):

Plain talk is good, but insults aren’t

Plain talk is indeed preferable to the carefully crafted sound bites that are offered up by most politicians, but in the case of Donald Trump let’s not mistake childish insults, boorish behavior and empty bravado for reasoned thought.

Arnie Grieves, Charlotte

In response to “The law, race and Michael Greene” (Sept. 20):

Greene deserves praise, not scorn

The article on Michael Greene was very interesting, but it made me sad that a very intelligent, successful attorney is judged negatively because he did his job well. He defended a person based on the facts and merits of the case, not on the basis of race.

The people attacking him actually think he is “less black” because he defended a white man for killing a black man. That is absurd! Kudos to Mr. Greene for being objective and not seeing the race of the defendant or the victim as a factor.

Deborah Beck, Iron Station

Greene the victim of a different bias

Growing up, I had black friends in school who would never answer a question in class when asked by the teacher for fear of being taunted relentlessly by the other black kids for trying to “act white.”

I guess racism is alive and well in Charlotte, and is held toward black people who actually try to make something positive of their lives by other black people who think that living the “black experience” means something entirely different.

Kenan Sneed, Charlotte

In response to “Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance” (Sept. 20):

Pope is right to address big issues

George Will has joined the fray to declare Pope Francis’s message about global poverty and environmental concerns off-base or off-limits. Since these are the two greatest issues facing our planet exacerbated by man-influenced climate change, population growth, and corruption, it is well within the Pope’s rights, history and mandate to address these issues.

He is the planet’s most respected leader, and his message is dead-on accurate and should be heard.

Keith Wilson, Charlotte

In response to “Safety must come first in schools” (Sept. 20 Forum):

Safety wasn’t an issue at Texas school

Dottie Toney’s question of why shouldn’t we be praising the teachers in Irving, Texas, for putting safety first, and not “looking for discrimination in every act” can be answered simply. If school officials had truly believed the device was a bomb, why weren’t the students evacuated immediately?

Les Burns, Mineral Springs