Readers’ comments: September 15, 2023

A third alternative for Mountain Avenue redesign
Dear editor:
At the recent Mountain Avenue Complete Streets Safety Assessment neighborhood meeting, the city presented citizens with two options: the first would have three lanes (two plus a center turn lane), including painted bike lanes and parking. A second option would have the same three lanes, no parking, and protected bike lanes. Naturally the removal of street parking did not resonate well with residents along Mountain Avenue.
However, the city did not disclose another alternative, which we believe would be preferable to almost all interested parties: two vehicle travel lanes (with no center turn lane) would retain parking and add protected bike lanes — meaning barriers protecting children from cars, rather than relying on paint on the ground. This alternative was also provided by the design consultant, KOA, and is the safest option for all road users.
Transportation safety research clearly shows that unprotected bike lanes, which sandwich riders between parked car doors and speeding cars, are less safe than protected bike lanes. A recent study also concludes that two-lane roads are safer than three-lane roads for all users because of their effect in calming traffic. The roads studied were Los Angeles streets where the center turn lane had been removed to make room for bicycle infrastructure.
Mountain Avenue is a quintessential multi-use neighborhood street, with numerous schools, churches, and community centers. More than 2,000 students attend school on Mountain Avenue on a daily basis. Safety and vehicle speeds should be the primary criterion for the chosen street design.
Ross Pringle, Paul Steinberg, Buff Brown
Claremont Streets for People


Police building improvements appear on the way
Dear editor:
The city manager has stated the Claremont Police Department building will be reviewed by an engineering firm to pinpoint areas in need of retrofitting, and a review, possibly within two months, will identify safety measures necessary to protect workers during an earthquake.
Other cities in Southern California have already completed retrofitting, some starting in 2015. Others mandated retrofitting and have completed the work. California has seismic retrofit grants available, in fact, homeowners may apply to retrofit their houses.
The Claremont PD women’s locker room facility, used by our 40-plus female workers, is awaiting the selection of an architect and plans. In the meantime, our female police officers continue to use the original tiny, single-stall bathroom and alcove for a locker room. They can also go out through a boiler room to access a small modular unit in the parking lot.
The new women’s locker room will not be a modular unit. It will be attached to the main facility. This blatant, longtime problem is in violation of Title VII and parts of Title IX. Our city is fortunate that the situation has not been reported to the federal government.
Hopefully, a women’s facility will begin to be addressed and solved post haste. Our city PD facility has been in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act for over 30 years. The city manager has said this will be addressed. Again, it’s fortunate that Claremont has not been reported.
I want to thank our City Council members, who have continued to address these issues, our city manager and city staff, the police department personnel who have been concerned with these issues for many years, and all the residents who have championed these endeavors for the past 20 years. Thank you!
Joyce Sauter


California sucks, football is dumb, and the Claremont Institute
Dear editor:

One newspaper recently provided its readers with “6 Bay Area sports bars to suit every type of football fan” [San Jose Mercury News, September 6]. Need I remind Californians that your state is going up in cultural, political, and economic flames every day except alternate Tuesdays, and yet the cream of your college educated citizenry are encouraged to abandon the homestead and the public square for the better part of every Saturday afternoon?
It seems an obvious truism that California media, business, and political leaders are way too interested in the forward pass and the backward fumble to make any effort to unite the country around any other principle than, well, football. They seem unable to figure out how to engage the citizenry the rest of the week either, other than entertaining them with the exploits of a surfboard riding otter. A better idea might be to link up with university-affiliated think tanks working to upgrade general knowledge of our political system, like the Claremont Institute, where I find a stimulating civic environment.
The fact that fentanyl is the number one cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45 seems not to have even entered our thought processes, the exception being Mr. DeSantis, who promises if elected President he will make sure to leave drug dealers “stone cold dead.” In that event, the Constitution may be reclining six feet under as well.
Kimball Shinkoskey
Woods Cross, Utah


Riddle’s positions are a mystery
Dear editor:
Notice that in Phalana Tiller’s letter [“Vote Riddle for California Assembly,” Readers’ comments, September 8] in support of Phlunté Riddle for our Assembly seat she asserts that Riddle is not “an ideologue” and does so as a reason for electing her. That is a signal that Riddle is not interested in big ideas, in thoughts about where California is and what needs to be done.
Remember that in the Assembly she will be called upon to vote on matters pertaining to climate change, to providing sufficient housing, to ensuring sufficient water for the state’s people and its economy, to encouraging our human diversity, to defending democracy and on and on. We need to be told where Riddle stands on those big issues.
Her career has been in law enforcement. That puts her in an excellent position to show her possible constituents how we should re-imagine our police and law enforcement practices. Does not being an ideologue mean that she will not engage in that discussion?
A historian has said that America is entering the “age of re-evaluation” and we as a nation (and a state of the nation) are being called upon to think about where we are, how we got here and what must be done in those circumstances. Riddle’s campaign and the candidate herself are like the car owner who has deferred auto maintenance way past the due date and yet worries only about the scratches on the bumper and what can be done about them.
The race for the Assembly seat is for us to choose the person we want to represent us in discussions and votes for the future of California. Tiller’s letter gives us no reason to suppose Riddle has any interest in the issues facing Assembly members.
Merrill Ring

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