Mailbag: Paddleboarders must know the rules

My family and I have sailed and motored large and small boats in Newport and nearby harbors for many, many years ("Paddleboarding lanes, military flyovers fizzle," Sept. 27). We know paddleboarding is fun and wonderful exercise. However, if paddleboarders are going to be part of Newport Harbor, or any harbor, they need to know the rules of the road by which boats (power, sail, and ferry) navigate.

I thought Howard Rich's recent letter was well done ("Paddleboard users need guidance," Sept. 19). We too have encountered large groups of paddleboarders strung across all of the channels impeding the proper flow of traffic. Some are oblivious of the boats trying to maneuver through the channels. Sometimes they turn right in front of a boat, or paddle in one direction for a few paddles and then suddenly change course.

Once in a Duffy, I actually had to stop the boat because there were so many paddleboarders coming toward me I had no place to go. I have also been concerned to see very young children (2 years old, maybe) sitting on the front of the boards.

In Dana Point, I had an older man fight me for the right of way! Don't they realize that a 40-foot boat going 3 and a half knots can't stop on a dime or shouldn't steer into a lane where other large boats are approaching?

It's the paddleboarders who will lose in such a situation. We tell our children not to play in the street, because cars can't always stop in time. It's the same in a harbor.

Barbara Rycroft

Costa Mesa


Studying bike safety would be helpful

The city has pledged to match money raised for bike safety, three to one, with a cap of $450,000 total raised by the city and cyclists ("Memorial for killed cyclists," Sept. 27). What is this amount based on?

Rather than set fundraising-budget limits at the outset, the city should complete a comprehensive study of bike and pedestrian safety challenges and proposed remedies, determine the budget and allocate the resources.

There are plenty of examples of projects and funding opportunities. In fact, Costa Mesa recently installed a separated bike-ped lane with landscaping on Harbor Boulevard, across from Home Depot, during the tenure of Kim Brandt, who is now Newport Beach's director of community development.

I choose to look at the city's decision to spend $2 million on the San Miguel Bridge from another perspective ("In light of the cyclist deaths, please invest in safety," Sept. 26). It indicates that the City Council does, in certain circumstances, take pedestrian and bike safety seriously.

The city should apply that same concern to other major roads and intersections with heavy pedestrian-bike use, such as MacArthur Boulevard and Bison Avenue (which has a history of accidents too), San Miguel Drive, MacArthur and East Coast Highway, Jamboree Road and East Coast Highway, Jamboree and Ford Road, Balboa and Newport boulevards, and consider similar measures, such as crossover bridges and dedicated bike-ped pathways.

Laura Curran

Newport Beach

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