Can’t we all get along on the road?

Dear Editor:

While I understand her frustration, I was disappointed that Diane Markins (“Sharing the road with cyclist,” AFN, June 18) chose to extend the car vs. bicyclist debate in her opinion column. Yes, there are cyclists who are rude or do not obey the rules of the road. There are also drivers who do the same, but we don’t generalize about them. I find it troubling that the debate is painted as “us” vs. “them.”

I’ve got news for you: I am one of you, and I am a cyclist. I am your neighbor, your friend. My kid might go to the same school as yours. Maybe I’m the one who brought the home-baked cookies and margaritas to the last neighborhood barbecue. I may have commiserated with you when your baby was screaming in the checkout line at Safeway. Maybe I sit behind you in church. I also happen to enjoy riding my bike around Ahwatukee because it keeps me healthy and it’s a lot more enjoyable than going to the gym.

Just because a cyclist once ran a light in front of you or skipped to the front of the line at an intersection doesn’t mean I am a jerk and you need to buzz me, throw things at me, yell or honk. I have a daughter who expects her mommy to come home in one piece.

Please keep this in mind as you share the road.

Tammy Hines


Extraordinary moms

Dear Editor:

On June 24 I fainted outside of the McDonald’s on Desert Foothills and Chandler Boulevard. Two amazing moms came to my rescue. Dolly called 911 on my behalf and helped get me inside the restaurant along with Zachary’s mom. Dolly stayed by my side until the fire department arrived.

Zachary’s mom took care of my girls while the firefighters took care of me. I would like to express my sincere thanks to McDonald’s for our food. Thank you Dolly and Zachary’s mom for all of your help and kindness. And boy am I glad I voted yes on Prop. 100; thank you to Station 46 for your quick response, namely Bob G, Alisha K and Scott W.

Kelly Damron


Ignorance to law is never the right excuse

Dear Editor:

I am writing in regards to the article “Sharing the road with cyclists,” written by Diane Markins (AFN, June 18).

I agree there are serious problems with bicycles and motor vehicles sharing the roadway. There are very few laws that pertain to bicycle rights of way and safety, and they can be found in the Arizona State Legislature’s Article 2, Title 28 Transportation Laws 28-811 through 28-818.

In 28-815 riding two abreast is illegal on typical roadways and only allowed in exclusive situations or paths. Then 28-812 allows bicyclists the same rights and duties of a motor vehicle if ridden as close to the curb as possible traveling in the same direction of traffic – meaning they must stop for red lights and other traffic signals. In 28-815 cyclists are allowed to be in the left-hand turn lane at intersections.

I, too, have been the recipient of the one-finger salute on occasion when tying to pass two abreast cyclists breaking the law.

As a young adult I rode a bike all across New England and was taught to dismount at intersections and walk my bike across in the crosswalk. I respected the fact that 2 tons of Detroit iron would win if we made contact.

Ignorance to law is never the right excuse so I strongly urge both bicyclists and motorists educate themselves so that we all can live in harmony.

Thank you, Diane for having the backbone to bring this issue to light. The last I looked there were more registered motor vehicles than bicycles on the street.

Richard Careb


Drivers are to blame 9 times out of 10

Dear Editor:

I had to respond to “Sharing the road with cyclists” (AFN, June 18). Diane Markins had, at times, a conciliatory tone to her piece. Kind of like someone in a grocery store line, stuck behind someone who is slow. They might say to their companion: “I am sorry for saying this, but can’t that man go any faster, and why does he have to write a check? Debit cards are here for a reason!” In other words, me-ism.

Driving around a group of cyclists can take what, three or four seconds out of your drive-time? Yes, there are cyclists out there who are inconsiderate and who need to be more cognizant of the rules of the road, but they are few and far between in comparison to inconsiderate drivers.

What separates an inconsiderate driver from an inconsiderate cyclist? Depending on the size of the motor vehicle, more than 2,000 pounds. I just wonder if Ms. Markins has ever biked or even walked the streets of Ahwatukee. I have done both and I can tell you that the streets are littered with glass, rocks and trash that makes staying in the bike lanes, at times, impossible.

I will close with this little anecdote: I was driving down Liberty Lane between 24th and 32nd streets, on a weekday going 27 mph. I was tailgated and eventually passed by a driver right before the intersection of Liberty Lane and 32nd Street. Now, how smart was that? The woman who passed me, on a residential street no less, could have caused a major accident.

Inconsiderate, stupid drivers are to blame nine times out of 10, not cyclists.

Beth Lyon


U.S. wacky Middle East policy

Dear Editor:

The Obama minions at Foggy Bottom have coordinated with Russia et al., and now the U.S. and others have jointly imposed sanctions upon Iran, again!

Unfortunately, these “tough sanctions” (a quota?) nevertheless allow Russia to sell its most modern, top-of-the-line air defense system to Iran, while these allies rejected an embargo of petrol products, which would bring Tehran back to reality and rationality quickly. And so, the U.S. has decamped from its leadership position and exacerbated the probability of an Israeli-Iranian military showdown and possible nuclear exchange.

“What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin’ on here?” (Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove). The U.S. policy in the Middle East seems to combine a wacky Rodney King-like bent (the “can’t we all just get along” model) with President Obama’s radical black and Muslim-leaning administration’s distrust and distaste of all things Israeli (now referred to as the Helen Thomas model).

Our current Middle East policy is dangerous and could quickly increase the peril to our military forces east and west of Iran, and possibly the threat to our homeland.

Alan Tindale


Stand up for your rights people

Dear Editor:

In the song “I’d love to change the world” by Ten Years After there is a verse that goes “Tax the rich to feed the poor, till there ain’t no rich no more.” Well folks, we may not even have medium income people anymore. The first six months of this year gave us a lot of new taxes. And the state is not done yet. City of Phoenix gave us the 2 percent sales tax, on top of their already high sales tax. Not to be outdone, many people in the state voted for the 1 percent state sales tax (if you did not vote, you voted for this one). Kyrene School District decided that two budget overrides were not enough, so some of you voted for this one (once again, if you did not vote, you voted for this one).

This month will bring you some new taxes, a tax that will take your money even before you see it. “Senate Bill 1185 Mandatory Changes to Arizona withholding for wages paid after June 30, 2010.” That is a lot of words just to tell you that state income tax will no longer be a percentage of federal withholding based on a table prescribed by the Department of Revenue.

Wake up people. Our elected officials are taking it faster than we can make it. It looks like they are taking a page out of the federal government’s playbook. Do not vote for any more taxes. Vote out the incumbents who love to spend your money. Stand up for your rights.

Chuck Patrick



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