Opinion

1/16 Letters: Why do we prioritize bike lanes over sidewalks?

Jose Gomez has to walk in the grass beside a busy highway in southern Durham on his morning commute to work because there are no sidewalks.
Jose Gomez has to walk in the grass beside a busy highway in southern Durham on his morning commute to work because there are no sidewalks. The 9th Street Journal

Within the past year Durham has added bike lanes in various areas of the city. I am not opposed to bike lanes, however I think additional sidewalks should take priority over bike lanes. I frequently travel Broad Street, where I first noticed the bike lanes, and can honestly report that I have never seen a bike rider in that lane. Lots of pedestrians and cars use the roadway, which was narrowed for the bike lane, but no bikes.

In my neighborhood there are no sidewalks but lots of pedestrian traffic. The highway is five lanes with heavy vehicle traffic. Our sidewalks consist of worn grooves in the ground; mostly from students walking to and from the schools. The lack of sidewalks continues south over the Eno River Bridge as far as Duke Street. In many areas along this route, a pedestrian must walk on the top of the curbing, and that appears dangerous. It is not uncommon to encounter pedestrians actually in the roadway.

I am sure that these areas are but a couple of the many that exist in our city, so I really believe that sidewalks should have priority over bike lanes.

Kent Fletcher

Durham

Historical proof

Re: “Best incentive: End corporate taxes,” Jan. 12. Anything calling itself the Civitas Institute should have a better grounding in history. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 cut corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent and corporate profits soared, yet the S&P 500 declined 4.4 percent in 2018. Trump GDP growth forecasts of 4 percent for 2018 ended at 2.9 percent. Yet the far right clings to the illusion that lower taxes yield greater prosperity. They try again and again to make this work, only to see it fail.

The authors advocate for reducing NC’s corporate tax rate to zero. Cost is only one criteria in corporate site selection, and probably not the most important one. NC experienced its greatest prosperity in the 1960s and 1970s when tax rates were higher, public education was better, the governor and legislature worked together and voters weren’t discriminated against. A progressive NC consistently won out in corporate recruiting over the more conservative states of the deep South. Did we learn nothing from that?

If NC wants to attract high paying jobs, we need better public education and infrastructure. This probably means higher taxes, not lower. Unlike trickle-down economics, it will lead to greater prosperity.

John May

Chapel Hill

Chicken little

President Trump’s wall and border crisis reminds me of the childhood story of Chicken Little. Trump is running frantically around the country crying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Yes Mr. President, it is and you are the crisis.

Edward Walsh

Princeton

Vape epidemic

As a high school student, I am concerned about the use of vape products among my peers. Every time I walk into the bathroom, I anticipate someone using a vape. I think schools can do a lot better at trying to stop and educate students about the effects of nicotine. A lot of students are ignorant to what is going into their lungs, such as carcinogens, or simply don’t realize the ramifications. I know a lot of kids that steal others’ juuls or steal their parents money to go illegally buy pods at a smoke shop in Raleigh with a fake ID. It is utterly ridiculous the number of people that I know that are addicted to nicotine. Hopefully Wake County decides to take more initiative to stop this epidemic.

Jackson Kluttz

Holly Springs

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