Cyclists aren't the problem on our roads

I was taken aback by Phillip Pilgram's letter (“Police should cite errant bicyclists,” May 12) which concludes by stating that bicyclists who break vehicle codes should “finally grow up and act like responsible adults.”

Like Pilgram, I don't like seeing bicyclists who break traffic regulations. However, unlike Pilgram, I have been cycling to work and on errands in and around Glendale for decades, totaling about a thousand miles a year. Bicycling reduces pollution, benefits health and also reduces traffic and road surface wear and tear.

But those are not the issues that motivate me to write.

The big issue is who is doing what to whom. When a car ran the stop sign at the intersection of Chevy Chase Drive and California Avenue and struck me, I was thrown in the air and spent more than a year in doctor's offices and physical therapy getting healthy again. Years later, I still need to do special exercises to keep my foot from hurting.

My wife's brother was not so lucky when he was struck by a car running a stop sign in New York. He died. When a co-worker of mine was struck from behind by a car, he died. When my brother's friend was hit by a truck from behind, he died.

If Pilgram were to ride a bicycle, he would understand how many drivers recklessly endanger bicyclists by driving too close to them, running stop signs and not watching where they are going.

All of us in the bicycle community know victims of vehicular manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon (a car). No matter who is at fault, it is always the cyclist who is injured or killed.

The priority of law enforcement should not be trying to make cyclists behave more responsibly; it should be enforcing laws that reduce the violence against cyclists.

Scott Peer


Anti-war presence is strong locally

Dan Evans’ column (“Start the Presses: What a tangled Web we weave,” May 8) states correctly that ugly comments on the Glendale News-Press website come from cowards “who would never sign their name to a letter to the editor,” but can use the anonymity of your website to hide behind.

Am I missing something? Why don't you eliminate anonymous comments on your website? Make people register with their full name and then post it. This could help elevate more of the comments to a level worth reading.

Given the amount of traffic I've seen there, even asking for a phone number for verification doesn't seem out of the question, as you do for Mailbag letters. (I know, how retro — meaning intelligent and civilized.)

In the same column, Evans speaks of being an “accurate reflection” and a “true mirror” of our city. This also gives me pause.

I am not an impartial observer, having founded one of them, but it is an accurate observation that Glendale has not one, but two, long-standing, every-Friday-evening, peace vigils. Is this not noteworthy, perhaps unique, among cities the size of Glendale?

Yet years have passed without any documentation, even in the Calendar, of organizations as much a part of our community as the parent-teacher associations, just for an example.

The Glendale Peace Vigil began in 2002. In the case of the younger Montrose Peace Vigil, your paper even editorialized against the removal of the American flag at the vigil corner. It is still being taken down, which in my opinion is an embarrassment for our community, displaying ignorance of the principles and traditions of freedom of expression in the U.S.

Why no follow-up by the Glendale News-Press on your editorial stand?

Reputable polls across the board show that the majority (by huge margins in some cases) in the U.S. want the occupations and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to end sooner rather than later, and we know from the support we see and hear at the peace corners that Glendalians agree.

Yet to read the Glendale News-Press, these local signs of highly visible anti-war sentiment don't even exist.

Roberta Medford


Students need more information on smoking

As a non-smoker, I agree with Glendale Community College’s tough penalty on smoking (“College enforces new smoking policy,” April 27), but when we take a glance through college areas, still we see many people violate the campus smoking rule.

As studies show, tobacco use most commonly leads to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, emphysema and cancer. It does not matter whether you are smoking or just inhaling the smoke exhaled by a smoker: The consequences are dangerous.

It’s time to install some useful notes and pictures or statistics in public areas, especially around libraries, classes, dining places and hallways to draw students’ attention to the issue.

It would also be useful if there was a column in Glendale News-Press to inform students on up-to-date information concerning the subject.

Vanik Sarkisian


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