Regarding Christopher Reynolds‘ “Is My E-Bike Legal Here?,” Feb. 9: I’m 72 years old. Like millions of seniors, I’m not quick on my feet, my gait is uneven and I can drift across the pavement. I can’t jump out the way.
Seniors in my neighborhood have walkers and wheelchairs, we pull our groceries behind us in small wagons, and we walk our dogs and our grandkids way too slowly for those riding the sidewalks and pathways on electronic gear.
I’ve been knocked down from behind by a traditional skateboard on a Westwood sidewalk. Hit me wrong, at sufficient speed, and I might not be able to get up without a paramedic.
Pedestrians don’t stand a chance. We’ve lost our crosswalks to cars that brush back pedestrians while turning right on red. Now we’re losing the sidewalks.
Please keep on this topic. If we don’t get this under control before the Olympics, a lot of visitors could get hurt even if I’ve managed to survive.
Christopher Reynolds, what were you thinking? Mountain biking and trail-building destroy wildlife habitat. Mountain biking is environmentally, socially and medically destructive. There is no good reason to allow bicycles on any unpaved trail.
Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There also is no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996.
It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have exactly the same access as everyone else: on foot. Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking.
A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. It’s not true.
To settle the matter, I read all of the research they cited and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking effects. (See mjvande.info/scb7.htm.) Of the seven studies they cited, all were written by mountain bikers, and in every case the authors misinterpreted their data to come to the conclusion they favored.
Mountain bikers also love to build new trails. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat, not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath on both sides of the trail. Mountain biking, trail-building and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing animals’ full use of their habitat.
Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is OK. It’s not.
The common thread among those who want more recreation in our parks is total ignorance about and disinterest in the wildlife whose homes these parks are.
The parks aren’t gymnasiums, racetracks or even human playgrounds. They are wildlife habitat. Activities such as mountain biking that destroy habitat violate the charter of the parks.
Wildlife must be given top priority because it can’t protect itself from us.
San Ramon, Calif.
Thank you for the interesting article about e-bikes in national parks. One line could cause some confusion in readers: “But it was quiet, used no fossil fuel and emitted no pollution.”
It is true that e-bikes do not burn fossil fuels where they are; the electricity comes from the grid. The grid in California is pretty clean, and getting cleaner all the time, but it is nowhere near being free of fossil fuels.
Currently, 46% of what we generate in the state is from natural gas (overwhelmingly), coal or other fossil fuel. When imported electricity is included, it is a similar fraction. Although e-bikes produce zero air pollutants, they will contribute to climate change until we get to a 100% carbon-free electric grid.
I am not suggesting this is a reason not to endorse e-bikes; the more people on e-bikes or regular bikes the better. Especially if they get people out of cars, even electric cars, and out on bikes, they do so much good.
On that topic, electric cars, although they also cause emissions of carbon from fossil fuels by way of their electric generation, the carbon they emit is equivalent to driving a car that gets a bit more than 100 mpg.
Again, thanks for an overall great article.
Suzanne E. Paulson
professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
director, Center for Clean Air
Why do I have to prove who I am?
Regarding Christopher Reynolds’ ”Californians, Learn From my DMV Fiasco in Pursuit of Your Real ID,” Feb. 5 online: I recently had to renew my license, and appointment times were three months out for offices near me in Valley Village. I booked an appointment in Bakersfield that was one month out, just to expedite the process, but that cost me a day’s work and the gas and mileage to get there
Even with the appointment, walk-ins were being served first and my appointment was easily 30 minutes late. In fact, the Department of Motor Vehicles employee manning the front entrance and routing people based on their requirements said, “Makes no sense to have an appointment when they’re already overbooked.”
I have a valid passport and purchased the passport card so I wouldn’t need a Real ID California drivers license, but even though you can renew your driver’s licenses on the DMV website, this option wasn’t available for Real ID, which forced me to go to the DMV office. It felt as though I was being blackmailed by the government to show up and prove who I am.
My wife and I both recently renewed our licenses (Real ID). We both went to the office in Ventura several weeks apart.
We had made appointments and had all the required docs. In both cases the experience was a breeze. The office was crowded but not packed. Each time we were in and out in just under an hour. All the clerks were courteous, patient and helpful.
My California driver’s license was set to expire at the end of year. I had tried to schedule an appointment with my local DMV in Orange County, but no appointments were available for the rest of the year or the time slots didn’t fit my work schedule.
I have been teaching in Alhambra. One student asked to be excused to get that coveted Real ID. The next week, he shared his amazing story of how he was able to do business with the Pasadena DMV on Rosemead Boulevard. I followed his great example.
I went into said Pasadena branch of DMV in mid-November after I was done teaching for the day, and got into the no-appointment line. I was finished in 45 minutes. As this student had advised, the key is to visit a more remote DMV branch that does not have heavy traffic. Go in mid- to late afternoon.
I recently read a letter in the Travel section about a woman’s positive experience at the Glendale DMV in acquiring Real ID.
I too had a great experience and would like to share.
I go directly to the appointment line only to find out I missed a step and should have gotten an appointment slip from the man with the rolling desk.
I learned this after I reach the window.
After I’d obtained said slip, the nice people in line let me back in. Wow. People are so nice.
Then I go to a computer area to fill out the form.
The nice DMV man — long on patience and very polite — was helpful.
Now off to another desk to get yet another slip that says “No. 50"; they are on 49.
Could this day possibly get any better?
I go to Window 7 and get another lovely Glendale DMV employee. Then I get my picture taken and I’m done.
I am out before an hour has passed. I had brought snacks and water just in case, but there is no need.
I am singing the praises of Glendale DMV. They see hundreds of people and keep their composure and — wait for it — actually are nice.
It gives me faith in humanity.
Serve all winners
All Systems Go, by Yomi S. Wrong (“Las Vegas Gets Easier to Navigate,” Feb. 9) covered how to get around Vegas when one uses a mobility device.
The casinos also have accessible slot machines and poker tables. What I’ve not seen, however, are lowered cashier windows should some of these mobility device users wish to cash in their winnings. Do the casinos think that just because these people are rolling around on wheels they don’t have win streaks now and then?