Signs not enough
Thank you for your coverage of bicycle transportation issues (“Bike boulevard becoming a Berkeley reality,” Feb. 21). As mentioned in the article, Palo Alto implemented the Bryant St. bike boulevard and other bicycle improvements during the 1980s. Sadly, Berkeley’s initial Hillegass/Bowditch bicycle boulevard differs greatly from Palo Alto’s successful model. Palo Alto installed motor vehicle barriers and bicycle-activated stop lights, and eliminated some stop signs in the bicycle direction of travel. These improvements make Bryant St. and other informal bike boulevards, such as Park Ave., faster, safer, and more pleasant for bicyclists.
Berkeley’s Hillegass/Bowditch bike boulevard consist of numerous signs. It provides bicyclists no advantage over nearby side streets other than the possibility that motor vehicle drivers will be more deferential when driving on a street with bike boulevard signs. I commute once a week by bicycle through Palo Alto and always use the bike boulevards. I see no reason to use Hillegass/Bowditch.
As Berkeley implements more bike boulevards, perhaps it can learn from Palo Alto’s time-tested success. I hope to see fewer purple signs and more real improvements such as bicycle-activated stop lights at busy intersections.
Editor’s note: City planners say signs are only the first step. Vigilant citizens will make it so.
Uncivilized are us
“We are bombing Japan back into the Stone Age” - General Curtis LeMay, March 9/45 (before Hiroshima)...
“We are bombing Vietnam back into the Stone Age” - General Curtis LeMay, over 20 years later...
“We have bombed Iraq back to a pre-industrial society,” - Pentagon, after our first bombings of Baghdad.
In view of our latest bombings, one is entitled to wonder if we have ever left the stone age.
Both bushes bomb to boost popularity
Toward the end of his presidency, George Bush Sr. tried to boost his popularity with an incomplete war on Iraq.
At the start of his presidency, George W. Bush also tries to boost his popularity with a war on Iraq. It needs to remain incomplete to be called “compassionate.”