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Now's the time to build crossing bridge for school

Published May 14, 2004

Re: Crossing guards answer Ridgecrest call, story, May 11.

When all of the construction gets under way to widen Ulmerton Road, it may be perfect timing to include a crossing bridge for the students of Ridgecrest Elementary School as part of the project. After all, the area is going to be in one big snarl anyway. So, what's a little more confusion?

And besides, as one of the letter writers stated, walkover bridges would encourage others to get out more often to do some walking or bicycling, minus the hazards of crossing a busy thoroughfare (Walkover bridges may save lives of pedestrians, letter, May 11). Think of it as a multi-purpose bridge.

Pinellas County owes Ridgecrest a high road in order to bridge its students to safety.

-- JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Newspaper does a great job by watching out for children

Re: Crossing guards answer Ridgecrest call, story, May 11.

I would like to compliment Shannon Tan, Times reporter, and the Times editorial board for the coverage of the dangerous situation of no crossing guards at the intersection of 119th Street and Ulmerton Road for children who walk to Ridgecrest Elementary School.

With the newspaper featuring this story, and other pressure from the community, it was a happy day when the Sheriff's Office finally appeared to assist the children in getting across the street safely.

This was newspaper reporting at its finest influencing public opinion, and we thank you for your conscientious coverage. This situation has had the best possible outcome - for the children.

-- Louise King, Largo

Bikers wear black for practical reasons, not to be fashionable

Re: Lighter colored clothes might keep bikers safer, letter, April 28.

I am 51 and have been riding motorcycles since I was 18. The reason most real bikers wear black is twofold. First, the bugs don't show or stain your shirt when they hit you while riding, so you still look good when you get where you're going.

Second, years ago, motorcycles weren't as reliable as they are today; you would always have to fix something along the way. You could fix it, wipe your greasy hands off on your black jeans and be on your way, still looking okay when you get there.

So you see, black is not really a "fashion statement" but more a practical solution.

-- George Marshall, Largo

Use of Pinellas Trail overpass is a good solution to crossing road

Re: Panel members don't have kids' interests in mind, letter, May 10.

Thanks for the advice, but I will make note of the people who voted (for children) to utilize the Pinellas Trail overpass to avoid the Ulmerton Road/119th Street intersection. I will be voting for them because they do care about children.

Our youth are without hope as long as people continue to put ease and convenience above all else. Heaven forbid the children should walk out of their way to safely cross the street. No wonder so many people are being killed crossing roads like U.S. 19 in the middle of the street rather than "going out of their way" to the crosswalks. And heaven forbid the kids get three more minutes of exercise by walking "out of their way." No wonder there is an obesity problem among the young.

Also, heaven forbid our children understand the consequences of their actions. If they do not understand that being hit by a car can kill them, they should not be left alone to walk home at all. But then, I had parents who put age appropriate restrictions on my behavior. Thank heavens!

-- Mary McGarvey, Clearwater

New military flags will be flown with pride on Armed Forces Day

As the residents of Palm Hill Mobile Home Park in Largo gather on Armed Forces Day on Saturday to enjoy a Celebrate America dinner, they will be displaying newly purchased service flags. All branches of service - Army, Navy, Merchant Marine, Air Force, Marine and Coast Guard - will be honored with flags. These flags have been rented in the past for the annual Memorial Day program, but now, with their emphasis on Veterans Day and Armed Forces Day, as well, the residents have chosen to own and display these beautiful flags.

Many of Palm Hill's residents, both men and women, are veterans of these branches of the service. It seems a fitting time to pay tribute to their service and to honor those who sacrificed their very lives for our nation to remain free and those serving today.

In these times of added stress for our service people in 120 nations around the globe, it is the residents' intention to pay tribute to our young men and women serving their nation today.

With the bright colors and designs on each individual flag, having its own motto and history portrayed, we can, in our small way, give a lifting tribute to all who have served. To each of our troops serving today for freedom's cause, we salute you and recognize you have a formidable task. Our hearts are filled with hope and pride, and we keep you in our hearts and prayers. God bless our troops.

-- Shirley J. Reynolds, Largo

Bright colors don't get the attention of all motorists

Re: Lighter colored clothes might keep bikers safer, letter, April 28.

In response to the letter that those who ride motorcycles should wear colors other than black, I do ride a motorcycle and, in the summer, I choose not to wear black because it is hot. I ride a bike that is painted "lemon twist" yellow, which is very bright. Almost every time I'm on the road, there is someone in a four-wheeled vehicle who still doesn't see me.

You're always taught when you are young to "look out for the cars." They never tell you to "look out for the motorcycles," so I've come to the conclusion that most people have been programmed to not see them. And yes, I've encountered the ones who look you dead in the face and still just about hit you.

People who drive in four-wheeled vehicles need to always remember there are other people out there on the road with you. You don't own it, and it isn't all yours; you need to share it with us.

I'll always be on the offense and defense as I was taught to ride. My love of the wind hasn't changed, but my view of the people who drive around me has.

-- Kim McMullin, St. Petersburg [Last modified May 14, 2004, 01:02:21]

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