Bike-friendly city leaves out pedestrians
Your editorial “America’s most bike-friendly city” and accompanying letters showed zero concern for pedestrians [see Opinion, Vol. 4, Issue 20]. Yet, even if University Avenue were cut down to two lanes (which ain’t gonna happen), adding bike lanes wouldn’t protect people trying to cross the street, even those with marked lanes and pedestrian signals.
I speak from experience. A few years ago, when I was in my low 70s, an elderly lady and I were crossing University Avenue on the east side of 10th and University, having waited for the pedestrian light. Suddenly a biker travelling east on University blew through the 10th Street red light, fortunately missing the lady but hitting me squarely in the left leg. No bones broken, but I had a painful bruise for a week.
I will stipulate that all not bikers act as if traffic laws and lights don’t apply to them; merely that all too many do. Adding dozens of bikes to streets already crowded with cars, trucks and buses will simply put pedestrians, especially elderly ones, at greater risk.
The larger issue is not making San Diego “the most bike-friendly city,” it is making San Diego no longer “the most pedestrian un-friendly city.” I already have to put my life in the hands of idiots who blow through stop signs at a high rate of speed while yammering on their cell phones. Now I’ll have to watch out for rogue bikers as well? No way! Not without a law forcing bikers to take a course and exam on the traffic laws, qualify for a license, and get tougher law enforcement on busy streets for both drivers and bikers.
By the way, the day I read your editorial, I had been on a #2 bus that passed the Linkery at its busy lunch hour, in order to see their much-touted bike station. Guess what? Not a single bike was using it!
—William A. Koelsch, Bankers Hill, via email
Bike advocates needed for Balboa Park project
Thank you for your editorial on bike friendly city in the Sept. 28 – Oct. 11 edition [see “Are we really ready to be ‘America’s most bike-friendly city’?” Vol. 4, Issue 20].
Here’s something the city can do to encourage safe biking: ensure there are bike advocates providing input to the Prado bridge redevelopment in Balboa park.
I ride my bike through North Park, Hillcrest and Balboa Park almost daily, and think the Prado bridge project is a great opportunity for the city to encourage, support and ensure the safety of bicyclists. The Prado bridge redo should take the needs of bicyclists into account.
I would love to see your editorial board encourage this opportunity in print.
—David Osborn, via email
Electric cars good? Crime down?
The truth about cars and guns
By Bill Gunderson, Gunderson Capital
The stock market works two ways and everyone knows the first: use current information to guess the future price of a stock.
But the opposite is also true, and probably even more useful: financial information from stock reports can give us insight into current events. What we learn here is often better for one reason. If a CEO lies about his stock on his quarterly reports, he can go to jail.
Let’s look at news about cars and guns as two recent examples.
The airwaves are full of happy horse apples about electric cars, especially the Chevy Volt. After the Obama administration loaned or gave General Motors (GM) $100 billion, reporters could not tell us enough about what a great car this is. The spin continues today.
CNN recently told us the Chevy Volt may have had a rough start, “but those concerns are beginning to fade.” Sales are up by 700 percent over last year. Hooray!
Then some wisenheimer at Reuters checked the real numbers and figured out that GM was losing $49,000 on every car. And the two biggest customers of the Chevy Volt are also its two biggest stakeholders: the federal government and GM itself.
Take away the subsidies. Take away the artificial purchases. Take away all the rosy forecasts about the millions of electric cars that will soon dominate the highways. All that is left is a company betting its future on a car few people want; depending on subsidies more and more people are less and less willing to tolerate.
The stock is down about 33 percent over the last two years since GM zeroed out its stock price and issued a new IPO.
Economists like to look at what people do. Not what they say. That’s why financial information is so important.
Public information connected to GM’s stock is the only reliable source about what is really happening with our federal experiment making electric cars, and it is a different picture than most stories in the mainstream media.
Let’s look at guns.
After a recent spate of violent crime in downtown Baltimore, Md., much of it caught on video, a crime reporter lamented at the over reaction, saying “crime statistics are down” but people just don’t know it.
To quote [Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man”]
“Something is happening here
but you don’t know what it is
do you, Mr. Jones?”
The “something” here is crime. There’s a lot more of it happening than reporters know or write about.
Occasionally this information escapes through the politically correct veil. The New York Times is just one of several large papers in the country to write a story about how police are refusing to take reports on some violent crimes.
A recent federal report says more than half of violent crimes are not reported, 20 percent of which are because people do not believe the police will do anything about it.
In Oakland, using a technology for pinpointing urban gunfire – the ShotSpotter – only about 10 percent of gun shots are reported to the police.
Even so, governors like Martin O’Malley of Maryland slough off complaints of rising crime: “Baltimore had cut its crime rate more than any American city of comparable size.”
But gun owners have their own sources, their own eyes. They see lots of violent crime and lots of people ignoring, excusing and condoning it.
Gun permits and sales are exploding to record levels. So much so, I wrote an article about it last year in the August 21 issue of the stock market news site, Seeking Alpha, called “Guns are Better Than Gold.” Six months later the company I wrote about, Sturm Ruger, had to stop taking orders for new guns because they could not make them fast enough.
Some of the political people say it was because they felt threatened by potential pending gun and ammunition control out of Washington, D.C. Maybe that was part of it.
But looking at the quarterly reports of Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger paints a more complete picture. Most of the increase in sales for Sturm Ruger is guns for self defense, reports Investor Daily.
The politicos and papers may say crime is down. But gun owners are seeing a big increase in mob violence in cities throughout the country, and also wondering why the newspapers are so eager to ignore it and the police to willing to explain it away.
Some are using that information to buy a promising stock. Others are using it to protect themselves from what many papers and politicians say does not exist. But what quarterly stock reports tell us is real.