Letters to the editor: 12-26-2013

December 26, 2013 

Bicyclists

I find it interesting and somewhat disturbing that so many motorists are anti-bicyclists, as in Don Adair’s letter and to a lesser extent Trudy Day’s letter Dec 4. They, along with many licensed drivers, do not appear to know the Idaho Code. Cyclists ride by the same rules of the road as motorists, except that cyclists can pass through a red light after stopping and only have to slow for a stop sign, assuming it is safe with no traffic, in both cases.

If you ride a bike, you know why these exceptions are made. Additionally, cyclists have to stay as far right in the lane as “safely” possible and ride not more than two abreast in traffic, along with lights for night riding. Cyclists are supposed to ride on the road, not sidewalks, and cyclists have the option of becoming a pedestrian by walking their bikes.

Motorists should be more respectful of cyclists and bike commuters as they help keep gas prices down and do not take up parking spaces, along with not creating air pollution. Cyclists also pay their share of taxes. If more folks rode bikes, we could eliminate this constant complaining of cars vs. bikes.

JOHN SWYERS, Ketchum

Climate

Tony Patterson’s 12/10 letter puts atmospheric concentration of CO2 at 380 ppm. Wrong, it’s 395 ppm. Try to keep up, Patterson.

If Patterson read the referred-to methane study, he’d have read that “methane (CH4) is the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG), with approximately one third the total radiative forcing of carbon dioxide.” “Global warming gas” refers to anthropogenic GHGs, not all GHGs. (“Greenhouse gas” would include water vapor.) Such misinterpretations are typical of climate deniers. The lesson: Read the study; don’t rely on MSM reporting.

Patterson hypothesizes that CH4/CO2 concentrations, because they are “less than atmospheric water vapor,” are insignificant. The necessary inference is that low ppm levels, given other relatively higher concentrations, render those substances harmless. This is irrational, illogical and scientifically illiterate. Sarin, mustard gas and chlorine, just to name a few, will result in rapid death at far lower concentrations than atmospheric water vapor. Even ppbs of some airborne chemicals can kill. Insignificant? Hardly.

The basic premise of all climate denial arguments is that mankind can emit infinite amounts of GHG’s into Earth’s thin layer of atmosphere with absolutely no effect. Spewing denialism, as Patterson does, helps no one, least of all humankind.

JIM SEVERSON, Boise

Eagle terrain park

Jeanne Pauls wrote recently regarding the proposed Eagle snow park. The city addressed all her concerns in five public meetings.

Lighting will be similar to a few streetlights. The new snowmaking machines are quieter than a dishwasher at 50 feet, and a whisper at the border of the park.

The park will use one million gallons of water, or the same amount it takes to water one acre of lawn per year. The pond will be below surface. There is no dam to fail.

No “chemicals” will be used in snowmaking — only water.

The traffic study indicated that the park would add 43 cars per day on Old Horseshoe Bend highway — no more than it is currently zoned for.

The concessionaire is taking 100 percent of the financial risk. Gateway Park will create revenue for Eagle.

Concessions are specifically permitted in the lease and operate on other county land (e.g., Epley’s tube and raft rentals at Barber Park, concessions at the Fairgrounds).

Eagle held public input meetings on the park, unlike the Ada County commissioners, who approved gambling machines at the Fairgrounds before holding a single public meeting.

Pauls should have done her own “due diligence” before making unsubstantiated claims.

MARK F. ANDERSON, Boise

Signaling

I keep seeing articles about motorists getting stopped for failing to signal five seconds. The statute appears to apply only to folks pulling into traffic from a stopped position along an interstate, which are the only “controlled-access highways” in Idaho. Signaling for five seconds before pulling into high-speed traffic makes sense. But from a practical standpoint, signaling for five seconds in almost every other situation is uncomfortable and counterintuitive, and seems dangerous. Nobody does it, including police. The statute says “and” — not “or.” It seems pretty clear to me.

Part two of Idaho Code 49-808 reads:

“(2) A signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously to warn other traffic. On controlled-access highways and before turning from a parked position, the signal shall be given continuously for not less than five seconds and, in all other instances, for not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.”

This raises several questions, but an important one in particular. Is this statute being deliberately misapplied in violation of citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights in order for police to make illegal traffic stops in Idaho?

DAVID FREIBERG, Gooding

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