Readers’ comments: December 15, 2023

Tree management overhaul should also consider fire risk
Dear editor:
I appreciated the very thoughtful proposals by the ten signatories to the Viewpoint article [“Group proposes improvements to city’s tree policies,” December 8] on how to improve Claremont’s policies regarding our urban forest. However, there was one glaring omission to the list of suggestions: what about tree removal due to forest fire risk?
I live in the Padua Hills area of Claremont adjacent to the Wilderness Park. In 2019 I requested that three non-native Canary Island pines be removed on the slope below my lot. The response by the tree committee was to prune the trees up on the mistaken notion that fires move along the ground looking for a way to climb trees. Having witnessed the 2003 fire from my backyard, I can confirm that fire comes from the ground and the air with a shower of cinders. I watched those pine trees explode like Roman candles. What saved my house was a swimming pool pump and 100 feet of fire hose.
So let’s preserve and develop our tree canopy but also be mindful that we live on the edge of the urban/forest interface. If a new stand-alone tree committee is created, how about asking the fire department to provide a member?
James Manifold


Bike lanes, continued
Dear editor:
I ride my bicycle by Doug Lyon’s house four times a day. To work in the morning, back home for lunch, back to work after lunch, then home at the end of the day. I use the Foothill bike lanes each time.
Perhaps Mr. Lyon doesn’t know what a bicycle is?
Matt Magilke


Bike lanes are a colossal waste of money, redux
Dear editor:
In his letter response [“Do better, Courier,” December 8], Kevin Dettmar declares the Courier should not even have printed my last letter. He might be interested to learn (or, more likely, he’s probably not interested) that there have in fact been many letters printed in the Courier with which I disagreed. But never once did it ever occur to me to gripe at the Courier for printing those letters. And I will not gripe at the Courier for printing Dettmar’s letter either. I will, however, reserve the right to disagree with him.
Nor will I call Dettmar “ignorant” or “inconsequential” as he did me, even if I thought so. It’s a great shame, Kevin, that you cannot tolerate a diversity of opinion and expression.
Then there was Dave Smith [“The ‘reality’ is people do want improved bike safety,” December 8] who wrote, “My kids used to ride their bikes to school, but I no longer want them to because of lack of safety.” So, his kids “used to” ride their bikes, but no longer do? Hmm.
And Mills Avenue is apparently bad too, according to Mr. Smith, especially as it now has dedicated bike lanes which idiotically deleted 50% of the car lanes (all for the sake of nonexistent bicyclists).
Honestly, Mr. Smith, it will be impossible to ever please you.
But this “lack of safety” now seems to be the go-to excuse trotted out by the bike lane fanatics to explain why no one is out there bicycling. A fact which they now accept. Yet, these same folks will still claim there is a huge pent-up demand for bicycling. Which, of course, there isn’t! Which is why there’s no one out there bicycling.
And yes, bike lanes are a colossal waste of money.
And yes, no more “road diets.”
Douglas Lyon

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