Common-sense guidelines for responsible motorcyclists
To the Editor,
As a person who has ridden motorcycles for over 55 years, much of that time lane splitting, here’s what responsible motorcyclists do:
1. Never ride more than 10 miles per hour faster than traffic. If traffic is stopped, a motorcyclist’s top speed should then be 10 miles per hour.
2. Never lane split at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour.
These common-sense guidelines are considered reasonable and prudent under the basic speed law in California. They may not be written in the California DMV manual/website, but our law enforcement officers pretty much agree with these guidelines.
Unfortunately, like a small contingent of reckless auto drivers, a similar contingent of motorcyclists, who seem not to care for their own safety or the safety of others, violate these guidelines. Since we generally and vividly remember the actions of this smaller group of motorcyclists, most of us are judged by the actions of the few.
I can also recall dozens of situations where I have been safety lane splitting and automobile drivers have tried to impede my passage by swerving onto the Botts’ dots, even occasionally opening driver doors in order to prevent passing. In one instance on northbound Highway 1, a truck driver purposely squeezed my wife and I (on a BMW motorcycle) into cars in the passing lane, and continued to drive on (without stopping as prescribed by law) as the motorcycle, my wife and I were left sprawled across the freeway.
I apologize on behalf of the few, and am appreciative of the majority of auto drivers and motorcyclists who exercise good judgment and safety when encountering and performing lane splitting.
An incident of Watsonville neighborhood watching
To the Editor,
There is no official organized neighborhood watch on the street which I reside. No neighborhood watch warning signs posted. There should be.
And my residence is tailor made for neighborhood watching. I can see what is happening on the street from the kitchen. And from the living room I can see through a large window, and a smaller side window where you can see down the street. Also through the little window in the front door where you can get even a better angle at the goings-on on the street. Not all homes are like this. It’s difficult to neighborhood watch if your kitchen, dining room and living room give you only a view of your backyard.
A few nights ago as I walked from the kitchen to the living room, I noticed a young man wearing a white T-shirt walking on the sidewalk. A few paces behind was a young woman wearing a hoodie without the hoodie pulled over. In the instant I looked I observed her look into the vehicle parked on the street. She was smoking a cigarette and maintaining a few paces behind the young man. I found what I had just witnessed suspicious, and continued to watch.
Next, the young man crossed the street to the other side. The young woman continued walking and looking into vehicles parked on the street. Soon they were out of my eyesight. I went back into the kitchen for a moment and returned and they were back. The young man and young woman were crisscrossing up and down the street. The young man by now was talking on a cell phone. I noticed on him a small backpack, and I noticed that on the young woman too.
I combined their brazen actions, the totality of it all and decided, “I’m going to call the police. Something is about to happen.” As I looked for a phone book I again noticed the young man returning back, and right then, a sheriff vehicle drove by. At that moment it was comic. When I got the police receptionist, she asked if any of the subjects was holding a weapon. I said no, but simply yet animatedly said, “Something does not smell right here. These people are up to no good. And a sheriff just drove by.”
This budding Bonnie and Clyde might very well be thinking home invasion or just stealing a good old car. The police receptionist said a cruiser would be sent by. She said thank you for calling. Several minutes later I heard sirens blaring, but have no idea if those were connected to the subjects of my concern.
To the Editor,
Trump and Giuliani certainly follow the belief that, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.” King Midas and His Court have built a house of lies, filled with a lack of ethics, that is coming crashing down on them.
So many must be so disgusted with so many aspects. Such an “expert on everything” (especially billionaires exploiting others through bankruptcy abuse), one would think that our “leader” would at least close inappropriate loopholes. Too bad he won’t release his taxes ... but he won’t because … ? What is he hiding? He must have a lot of ties (beyond “just his ties” made in China) to Russia!
HUD smoke-free policy to be applauded
To the Editor,
As of July 31, all public housing agencies are required to be 100 percent smoke-free. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been laying the groundwork for this sweeping policy implementation since November 2016.
Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance applauds this decision which will offer yet another layer of protection from secondhand smoke exposure for more than 2 million people living in public housing. No longer will residents in public housing worry about the effects of secondhand smoke if their neighbor is a smoker. Additionally, this may be the inspiration for a smoker to become a former smoker!
HUD’s website, www.hud.gov/program_offices/healthy_homes/smokefree2 offers resources and assistance for agencies and residents. The California Smoker’s Helpline, 1-800-NO-BUTTS, or www.nobutts.org offers support and assistance for folks who wish to quit using tobacco products.
Gina Gallino Cole
Senior Policy Analyst
Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance, Inc.