Thu12182014

Letters to the Editor

Cyclist cites peril from drivers

Los Altos Hills City Councilwoman Ginger Summit made a comment about bicyclists that is out of place. As an avid and law-abiding cyclist, I find her remark about cyclists never stopping for stop signs prejudiced.

What we don’t need is another excuse for aggressive and hostile drivers to make it even more perilous for cyclists. Personally, while riding in Los Altos Hills I have been hit by the mirror of a truck, I have been bumped from behind while stopping for a stop sign, I have had a pickup driver aim for me while I was going up Page Mill correcting his trajectory just a few yards before hitting me – all on purpose. Besides that, I have been yelled at to get off the road for no good reason, and I have had many close encounters with drivers who are just careless or unaware.

Cyclists are exposed to traffic that mostly consists of a few tons of steel that is frequently speeding. A bicycle comes without body armor, so to think that the cars have to be protected from the cyclist sounds a bit ludicrous.

When was the last time a driver was hit and hurt by a bicyclist? Yet every year, a few cyclists die and many more get injured by cars and trucks.

Local lawmakers would benefit from visiting some European countries like Holland or Denmark to learn from them how mixed traffic can be handled in a more civilized manner. In the U.S. it always seems that whatever is in the way of a motorized vehicle should be confined, whereas in more advanced countries the weaker roadusers get protected.

A cyclist doesn’t pollute, doesn’t damage the roads and doesn’t get obese. So wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage bicycling and discourage the use of the large, heavy, hard-to-maneuver and polluting vehicles? They do overseas! Now would be a good time to adjust the car-centric way of thinking in favor of healthier and environmentally friendly policies.

Marc Moisson

Los Altos

Acterra to restore Redwood Grove

Thank you for your article about Los Altos’ recently approved contract with Acterra to restore Redwood Grove (Oct. 8). We are fortunate to have such a peaceful and secluded natural wonder in the heart of our town. With the planned restoration, it will become an even better example of our native habitat. As a local environmental non-profit with extensive habitat restoration experience, Acterra has the expertise to engage the community in carrying out the transformation.

Thank you to the recreation commissioners for all their hard work in crafting the agreement and to the city council for approving it.

Laura Teksler

Acterra Board President

Los Altos

Fort Hood shooting an act of terrorism

Surely, you must have anticipated letters in response to your lead article in the Nov. 11 edition (“The reality of return: PTSD treatment for vets shines light in dark corners”).

Elliott Burr erred when he decided to use the example of the awful shooting spree at Fort Hood in support of his otherwise solid feature article.

The major who committed those unspeakable crimes was not a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder nor could he have been since he had not even been in a war zone.

He was a terrorist, pure and simple, as the flood of evidence that has since been uncovered shows so clearly.

Gordon Pilcher

Mountain View

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