Redesign Broadway to put pedestrians first
Redesign Broadway to put pedestrians first
Re July 3 article: “Study Aims to Curb Traffic Congestion along Broadway” : Although I am pleased that Saratoga Springs officials want to address traffic congestion on Broadway, there is an opportunity to do so much more: make Broadway a model of a people-friendly main street.
For this to happen, we must look beyond symptoms and details (e.g., difficulty making a left turn at this or that intersection; confusing signals) and focus on the underlying issue: street design. If you design for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic; if you design for people and pleasant places, you get those.
1) Put Broadway on a “road diet;” change from four travel lanes to two travel lanes and a left-turn lane.
2) Use the space freed up by No. 1 for wider sidewalks and bike lanes.
3) Eliminate on-street parking wherever possible; this will reduce traffic when people stop trying to find parking spaces there, improve visibility for all, and create a more open feel; use the extra space for better local delivery options so trucks no longer block traffic.
4) Enhance safety and enjoyment for shoppers and other pedestrians with more and better (raised, highly visible, signalized) crosswalks and a lower speed limit.
5) Start now to find a way to get big trucks off Broadway.
With these and other steps, Broadway can become a more welcoming place for shoppers, diners, pedestrians and bicyclists — and, yes, drivers too.
Incentives now are to stay on welfare, not get off it
Although I was born during the Great Depression, my older sister informed me of living conditions during those terrible years. Every month, recipients had to go to city hall to pick up their welfare checks. Since many people were on welfare, the lines were very long, requiring an hour or two to get your check. If you felt ashamed to be seen on welfare, waiting in line solved that problem very quickly.
If you wanted a pair of shoes, someone from the welfare office would come to your home, check if you were still poor enough to stay on welfare, and evaluate your old shoes before giving an OK to buy new ones. We had no car, no TV (TVs weren’t invented yet), just a radio/phonograph to play records and listen to our favorite programs. The incentive was to remove oneself from the embarrassment of being on welfare.
Fast-forward to 2013. I recently read an article by an emergency room doctor who had to treat a patient with expensive tattoos, $200 Nike sneakers, and an iPhone. The information sheet stated the patient was a smoker, occasionally drank alcohol, and was on Medicaid.
The June 23 Gazette editorial spoke on this topic. I was surprised to read how the present system has credit card-like vouchers that Medicaid recipients are supposed to use to purchase daily necessities. The editorial told how cardholders abused the system by asking for cash from the card to purchase drugs and alcohol and to gamble. I commend the Gazette for pointing out this abuse, stating that there should be laws on the books to stop it.
The act of spending other people’s money (taxpayers’ money) without any restrictions lends itself to the above abuses. Today’s welfare system is so user-friendly that it does not give anyone the incentive to leave the system and become self-supporting.
Until the government makes the decision to change the welfare laws, based on eliminating abuse rather than getting votes, the abuses will continue to spread like a pandemic, and we will soon be known as the United States of Greece.
Boat safety knowledge a necessity in summer
It’s that time of the year when many people are able to get out and enjoy the wonderful recreational opportunities that exist in New York state.
Our many scenic lakes, rivers, roads and trails are being used now more than any other time of the year. With the increase in traffic comes the risk for accidents that can destroy a vacation. Accidents are usually caused by: lack of education and training, carelessness, or operating equipment while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol.
The United States Coast Guard reported that alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in boating fatalities last year. Remember that the same laws for drunk driving on land apply to driving on the water.
Everyone that is going to operate a boat should take a safe boating course. For New York state safe boating courses and youth certification, contact the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Defender of abortion had it all mixed up
Rita Redlich’s June 29 letter contain two important omissions and a rather silly parenthetical comment.
Left unsaid is: Why should decent people have much concern about a women who dies as a result of acting on a choice to kill her unborn child, rather than live and give the child up for adoption?
Also left unsaid is that today it’s public policy to fund single-parent households. So the argument about not being able to afford a child that you want to keep does not stand in the current reality. Thus, the choice for the pregnant woman is motherhood, adoption or oblivion for the child.
If the letter writer gets out some, she will find that parents think that their unborn child is alive, and should there be a miscarriage they think their child died. This notion that life begins at birth fails the reality test!
As an aside, how do pro-abortion parents explain their beliefs to their children?
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