Comments on the Best/Worst
(re: Cover, Dec. 27-Jan. 2)
You got it right with your comment on the Occupy movement. And you're unbiased with your letter selection. You blew it with your Guts Church comment. After that, well, let's just say that years ago I was happy to tell folks in other cities with comparable publications that our good ole Urban Tulsa was properly rational and therefore conservative, with hardly a trace of the parasitic artsy-fartsy loons whose nebulous ideas revolved around various mutations of "what's yours is/should be mine." But not so recently you've joined the herd. Infantile humor in your cartoons -- calling it sophomoric would promote it way too far in school. Have many of your staff--and readers--remembered that the "tea" in "tea party" is an acronym for "taxed enough already"? Or maybe you think you're not? You seem to want more government, and most of that centered in Washington. I remember that at the end of the Eisenhower administration a dollar was worth at least seven times what it's worth today, and only government can devalue the currency; not any power of business can do that.
I believe in individual responsibility on the one hand and charity (which, remember, proverbially begins at home) on the other. Progressives? YUCK! Liberals? Democrats? ICK! Republicans? Pretty much the same.
Anyway, I say the philosophy of such a progressive is some combination of miseducation, stupidity, and evil. I leave it to individuals to evaluate their particular proportions of these characteristics in which they operate.
Do you remember that great Peanuts cartoon in which Linus says, "When I grow up, I want to be a great philanthropist!" Charlie replies, "Then you're going to have to work really hard to get your fortune."
Linus thinks about it for a moment, and then says, "I want to be a great philanthropist with somebody else's money."
I'll pick up your paper for the crosswords, but I have better things to do than to spend any more time on your mostly goofy columnists.
All sincere best wishes and Happy New Year.
Editor's Response: You may be suffering from Selective Columnist Disease, reading articles from one side to get your passions up while ignoring those from the other. You might have noticed that in the Best & Worst we said nice things about Jim Bridenstine, Blake Ewing, and Dewey Bartlett -- conservatives all. We even talked up Cardinal Raymond Burke, the churchman who famously said he would deny Holy Communion to John Kerry. So if we offend your conservative sensibilities, take comfort in knowing that we offend liberal sensibilities too. Our job is to make our readership think, not take sides. Here's to a more open-minded new year.
Fix Our Streets ... Please!
(re: "On the Road," Dec. 27-Jan. 2)
Yes, fix our streets and design them to discourage impatient motorists from criminally speeding just to catch the next red.
Within city limits, there are 564 signalized intersections, aka red lights, all conspiring to limit the effective speed of all vehicles to approximately 25 miles per hour.
Even though the maximum posted speed limit on major arterials is 40 mph, motorists jamming on the accelerator will only get to the next red light fast, with negligible reduction in travel time.
Perhaps the more nuanced approach is to pop a really big chill pill and time the speed for the greens.
Part of the blame can be placed on traffic engineers who insist on long, wide, 4 and 5 laned city streets, which could easily substitute for jet runways.
With all due respect, the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee recommendation calling for 50 miles of "on-street bikeways," and bike lanes is contrary to both State Statutes, Title 47, and Tulsa Revised Ordinance, Chapter 37, Section 100.
Neither State Statutes nor Tulsa Ordinance define "on-street bikeways," or bike lanes. Therefore, they would not be recognized as legitimate, conforming traffic control devices. The Oklahoma Drivers Manual makes no mention of such roadway treatments.
Without legal standing, the short bike lane on Delaware, between 11th and 6th, and the planned 4th Street bike lane project, may create murky legal issues for parties involved.
Well-documented in "bike-friendly" cities such as Portland, the major safety issue with "on-street bikeways," and bike lanes, as they are currently implemented, auto-centric traffic engineers, is the right-hook collision.
An impatient, inattentive motorist turning right broadsides into bicyclist, going straight, through the intersection, while in the motorist's blind spot.
Responding to Councilor Ewing's remarks about justifying the 7 percent bicycle earmark to the general public, there is no need to line-item bicycle-specific roadway treatments.
Listen to your local friendly and fearless bicyclists. With relevant, but simple, education, bicycling in traffic is not a death sentence, contrary to popular motoring misconceptions.
But we have to be 100 percent right, every day, on every ride. One wrong move might result in a big bad ball of bone, colon, and intestines, especially on the Broken Arrow Expressway.
Instead of yet another over-inflated $300,000 INCOG bicycle master plan, traffic engineers should simply design all city streets to discourage criminal speeding by motorists just to catch the next red.
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