Letters to the Editor
It is every American’s right to protest. This right, however, does not always make a protest right or appropriate. The upcoming protests and predictable histrionics in store for Salt Lake this week during the president’s visit for the American Legion meeting is neither the time nor the place for such grandstanding.
While the protestors find the policies of the president irritating, I find their continuing whining, sniping and no real solid alternatives equally as irritating.
Opportunists like Cindy Sheehan, the Salt Lake mayor, and a local musician who shamelessly promotes himself have become boring and very tiresome.
The protests from this crowd sound very much like the Islamic fascists that hate the United States, want to kill us, and eliminate our way of life.
I, for one, am thankful that this president has made a stand against terrorism, and I surely feel safer with his administration in charge, as opposed to those on the extreme left and the protestors who await him in Salt Lake on Wednesday.
Sharing the road
Bicycle/pedestrian and motor vehicle conflicts have been in the news and editorial pages in both Wasatch and Summit counties a lot lately. Perhaps one of the reasons these conflicts are increasing is because the infrastructure to support the co-existence of bicyclists/pedestrians and motor vehicles hasn’t kept up with growth. Suburban infrastructure supports large numbers of people who walk and ride bikes. But when suburbs expand rapidly into once-rural areas without the necessary infrastructure then conflicts are bound to increase.
It is easy to share the road when there is plenty of room to pass a bicyclist safely and/or there is a well-marked bicycle lane and signs alerting drivers to their presence.
But it is more difficult to share the road without aggravation and upset (and sometimes sheer terror) when you round a bend doing the posted speed limit of 55 mph and there is a bicyclist in your lane and a large truck coming toward you in the opposite direction. Suddenly, you are forced to slam on your brakes and terrifyingly contemplate whether to kill yourself and your children in a head-on with a cattle truck or if you will have to take out the poor bicyclist if you can’t slow down enough to let the truck pass before you swerve around the guy on the bike. And it can be somewhat upsetting when the guy on the bike doesn’t even realize or seem to care that he just gave you a freaking heart attack. Courtesy needs to work both ways.
If we all pay for the road, then I think that UDOT ought to allocate a whole lot more money to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure on their roads in Wasatch and Summit Counties. And the cities and counties that encourage and allow such rapid growth and development – and who are turning our rural roads and communities into a busy suburbia – ought to step up to the plate and start systematically putting in the necessary infrastructure to make it easier for motor vehicles and bicyclists/pedestrians to be able to share the road safely and courteously.
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John White writes in a guest editorial that the No. 1 task for the next president is to regain the trust of the American people.