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Letters to the Editors

More bike lanes signal a progressive county

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 1, 2001

Re: Bicycle lanes.

I am thrilled with the county commissioners' recent decision to include bike lanes with every Pinellas County road widening or resurfacing.

People bicycle at different levels and for various reasons. The Pinellas Trail is a wonderful recreation resource for novice to expert cyclists. However, more advanced cyclists travel at higher speeds that are difficult to maintain on the trail because of frequent stops and less-experienced trail users.

Also, for those who want to commute on a bicycle, the trail may not get them where they want to go.

For these reasons, bike lanes are a wonderful, progressive transportation improvement. We are lucky to live in an area where people can cycle all year round. Let's continue to promote this clean, inexpensive and healthy form of transportation and make it as safe as possible.

Now, if we can just get the Florida Department of Transportation to make the same commitment!
-- Geri Doherty, Clearwater

Roads are for cars, bicycles alike

Re: She can't take up the whole lane, letter, March 25.

I was saddened to read the letter regarding bicycle advocate Kimberly Cooper. The letter writer's stand against bicycles on roads is fundamentally wrong on two counts.

First and foremost, the roads are public. That means you can use them even if you didn't pay for them. This makes it very convenient for our out-of-town guests, to say the least.

As for the writer's point about a bicyclist's not paying taxes, I beg to differ: For what the letter writer pays in driver's license fees, auto tag fees and gasoline taxes, we couldn't begin to patch the first pothole. Roads are built with property taxes, sales taxes and federal funding. (That would be personal income taxes and corporate taxes.) We all pay for the roads, no matter how we use them.

If motor vehicle owners paid a user tax commensurate with the cost of maintaining the roads on their behalf, gasoline would be about $15 a gallon, and my property taxes could be cut sharply.

I own and operate four licensed motor vehicles, but choose to ride a bicycle to work. Like Kimberly Cooper, I know I have an equal right to the road under Florida law. But, again like Kimberly Cooper, I know I have to share the road with drivers like the letter writer. At least, until the oil runs out.

Treat the cyclists nice. We are your future.
-- Chip Haynes, Clearwater

New commissioner is refreshing

Spring came to St. Pete Beach at the City Commission meeting in the person of Lolly Krieder, the new commissioner.

What a big, refreshing breath of air she was. On her first day on the job, she gave us a feeling of trust and confidence that has been absent for many years. She has evidently done more homework on the current City Hall fiasco than all her other counterparts put together.

The people of Pass-a-Grille and District 4 must be elated to have her. How can we get her to move to District 1?
-- Gil Migliano, St. Pete Beach

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