Letters to the Editor for May 8
Reconfigure bridge pedestrian lanes so bikes can share
I support the Gazette’s May 2 editorial, “Make room for bikes on Western Gateway Bridge,” enthusiastically.
I cycle across the Western Gateway Bridge and never use the designated bike path out in the roadway because it is too dangerous. Instead, I very carefully use the pedestrian’s sidewalk. It is too narrow for bikes and pedestrians when they meet or pass. However, it is the safe option.
As a cyclist, I consider myself the guest of the pedestrians and pay a lot of attention to cordiality and safety whenever encountering someone on foot, and we mutually figure out how to make it past each other without grazing or worse. It’s great for practicing smiles and thank yous.
However, now that the Western Gateway Bridge is going to be redone, it is an opportunity to get beyond all that. We could make a big improvement by combining the narrow sidewalks on the two separate sides into one wider one on the downstream side of the bridge [on right heading toward Scotia]. Then pedestrians and cyclists could encounter each other with enough space to pass safely.
I recommend the downstream side of the bridge because much foot and bike traffic on the bridge is heading to or from Collins Park, the Scotia Library and Jumpin’ Jacks. It doesn’t make sense to have these people cross Route 5 twice.
To those with decision-making authority, please consider this minor improvement which would benefit many people.
Chopper still does best by area food shoppers
Re May 4 letter, “Chopper can’t escape truth about ‘free’ gas”: Unlike Neil Nusbaum, I found nothing arrogant at all in Mona Golub’s defense of Price Chopper’s raising the amount of money shoppers must spend in order to get the gas discount.
I never, for one moment, thought there was any wool being pulled over my eyes. Nor did I think the Golub Corp. believed me to be an “ignorant” shopper.
I happen to regard the Golub family as shrewd businesspeople who also have the best interests of the community in mind. I have shopped at Price Chopper since I moved to the Capital Region in 1978 to attend college. I realize that I could save money on some items by shopping at Aldi, Shoprite, Hannaford or BJ’s, but I shop at Price Chopper because I like the fact that it is a “hometown” business that gives back to the community in myriad ways; its locations are convenient; and the products are excellent (if they are not, my money is cheerfully refunded).
Price Chopper accepts other stores’ coupons and matches prices. A careful consumer can feed his or her family very reasonably by being mindful of all the advantages offered by Price Chopper.
The wonderful thing about living in a free-market economy is that we may take our [business] elsewhere if our needs are not met. For me, the gas savings program was a boondoggle — and a very welcome one. Even if the Golubs decided to eliminate it altogether, I would continue to patronize their stores for the reasons enumerated above.
Lori McIlwaine Hammond
Glenville should get started on sidewalk plan
Re Michael Goot’s May 7 article [“Sidewalk plan near Target site raises concerns”] on the planned sidewalks near the new Target store and Glenville Town Center: After so many years of frustration in trying to get sidewalks installed, it is a pleasure to see the town pushing to see this project to fruition.
First National Bank President John Buhrmaster is on the wrong side of this important issue. The amount of risk and added maintenance for snow clearing is probably lost in “smoke,” and insignificant to measure. There is about the same amount of risk involved with one walking across his parking lot and hitting some black ice.
As for “sidewalks to nowhere,” surely he knows there is not a pot of gold that will suddenly come to the town to build all of our sidewalks at once! All one has to do is look at the stretch of Route 146 [in Rotterdam], between Western Avenue and the new rotary near I-890 to realize that town sidewalks take years to build, but won’t get done unless started.
I’ve been watching that stretch of road for over 25 years and it’s nearly complete now. To get where we want to go requires us to start, have a vision of where we want to go — which the town has — and keep at it.
I think many of us have seen people in electric wheelchairs and young people walking along the sides of our roads. We know this is not safe.
Let’s come together on this issue and get this part of the job done. The number of people walking along our roads will only increase. Freemans Bridge Road is next. There will be some obstacles, but none that can’t be overcome.
Gerard F. Havasy
Herrmann’s school board effort worthy of praise
As Schenectady residents head to the polls on May 15 to support their school district budget and elect at least one new member of the Board of Education, they should pause for a moment to appreciate the efforts of someone whose name is not on the ballot: Diane Herrmann, who chose not to seek re-election.
Ms. Herrmann won her school board seat three years ago as the only candidate advocating a top-to-bottom change in the district’s administration. She campaigned — and followed through — on a platform of openness, independence and inclusiveness. She was a breath of fresh air after years of our schools being run by a small, closed group that refused to be accountable for problems that were pervasive throughout the district.
She was also instrumental in recruiting and hiring interim Superintendent John Yagielski who, working with Ms. Herrmann and new board members who came later, has turned the Schenectady school district into one in which we can all have pride.
Ms. Herrmann deserves our thanks. Future generations of Schenectady children and their families will be well served by her brief — but productive — time on the school board.
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