Mailbag: Gatto can't get it all done immediately

This good-government proponent was more than a little shocked to see your editorial, in which you essentially stated that Assemblyman Mike Gatto's pension-reform efforts had not happened soon enough ("Gatto bill is a little late," Sept. 12).

Gatto has been in office for only three months, and he has already succeeded in helping to get the Legislature to focus on an issue that has been ignored for three decades. Yes, taxpayers want relief — now — from runaway pensions, and Gatto's legislation will do just that.

But to criticize him for holding a public hearing on the bill, or because the entire problem has not been solved during his first 90 days in office? That is biting the hand that is feeding Sacramento a strong dose of reform. And a little unrealistic.

I realize everyone has high hopes for our new assemblyman, but let's not expect him to solve all of our state's problems instantaneously.

Sean Blakely


Bicycle sharrows are clearly working

Mark Wolcoff must not be paying very close attention to cyclists on Chevy Chase ("Sharrows aren't safe for cyclists," Sept.13).

One morning, a week after the sharrows were painted, I counted three cyclists in 15 minutes at Chevy Chase and Maple. Last September, the Bicyclist and Pedestrian Count recorded 70 cyclists passing through Chevy Chase and Maple during three two-hour periods.

While bicyclists have a right to ride on all city streets, sharrows reinforce the safe and legal lane position of cyclists and safe riding practices taught by the League of American Bicyclists.

Sharrows guide cyclists to ride 3 feet away from parked cars outside the "door zone," where they could be hit by an opening car door — a common incident cyclists call "getting doored." For their own safety, cyclists also have a right to "take the lane" when it's too narrow to share with a vehicle. A motorist needing to pass should approach the cyclist just like any slow-moving vehicle and pass only when safe.

Adding bike lanes on Chevy Chase Drive would have required the removal of a travel lane or on-street parking, which the city chose not to do.

Sharrows represent the next best option for bike routes in Glendale. They provide a physical representation of what it means for motorists and cyclists to share the road.

While I understand Walcoff's concerns for the safety of cyclists (thank you), street design, including the use of sharrows, we must always assume safe and legal driving behavior from those on the road.

Walcoff should be speaking out against uninformed drivers, not the implementation of infrastructure like sharrows.

Colin Bogart


Editor's note: Bogart is the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition liaison to Glendale.

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