1. Archive

Red light runners are getting bolder

Unfortunately, we have all gotten used to drivers crashing through red lights, well after the lights have changed from yellow. The other day I saw something new: A driver who was stopped at a red light decided he had waited long enough and simply drove straight on through the intersection despite the light being red! Amazingly, at the next intersection, a different driver duplicated this trick, making a left turn on red, evidently deciding his red light was for others.

We could save considerable energy costs by turning off all traffic lights and saying, "Let the best man win!"

David Wladaver, Palm Harbor

Honk all you like; I won't break the law

To my fellow Pinellas County residents:

I am the person in front of you going the speed limit. I am the person in front of you at the stop light or stop sign waiting for traffic to clear so I can make my turn. You may flash your lights at me or honk your horn at me, but I refuse to speed or take a risk of getting in an accident for you.

Why is everyone in such a hurry? Why do you have to be the car in the lead? Ninety percent of the time I am in my car with my two children; why would you want me to risk their lives for your impatience?

Recently there was a three-car accident. My husband was one of the drivers. Luckily, he walked away from it. However, the impatient driver who had to cut off the other two cars to make a turn now has the burden of knowing he caused serious injury to his passenger. Was it worth it? I can tell you that wherever he was rushing to get to, he was late.

So, to all you impatient drivers, I will not move over for you. I will not speed up for you. I will not cut other cars off just so you don't have to sit behind me and wait for your turn.

One last thought for you impatient drivers: Do you have insurance? Shame on you if you don't.

Liz Chapman, St. Petersburg

Yellow light changes to red too quickly

We're the bad guys, we're the speeders. We don't care.

Not so. We're the everyday John or Jane going to work or coming home.

We try to obey the law, but there are times that it can't be done.

At 35 miles per hour, the caution light comes on for five seconds. Make a panic stop? No way, it isn't safe. Not enough time to make a safe controlled stop.

So, what's the problem?

The timing of the caution signal should be lengthened to 10 seconds. This, I guarantee, would reduce accidents and reduce frustration and at a much less cost than cameras, as proposed.

Give us a break! We'll prove where the fault lies.

George W. Kauffman, St. Petersburg

Obeying traffic laws will avert disaster

Re: Bumper to Bumper, July 8.

This article provided a great public service in pointing out the most dangerous intersections in south Pinellas County. Paying heed to such information can make drivers more alert and more able to avert an accident. Speeders and red light runners compound the problem in our vehicle-dependent culture. Drunken drivers are especially dangerous, especially at accident-prone intersections. If folks would just be more mature and obey traffic laws and absolutely not drink and drive, many potential disasters could be avoided.

We really need a mass transit system to cut down on traffic congestion. Car pools should be encour-

aged, and traffic control priorities by police should be stepped up at dangerous intersections countywide.

Robert Flemming, St. Petersburg

Wraparound ads turn bus into dungeon

Recently it was my misfortune to ride on a PSTA bus with the latest of the wraparound advertising on the outside. The effect is that of riding in a dungeon. I realize the need for revenue, but this approach becomes similar to punishment for the riders _ and I thought we were to be commended for riding the buses instead of driving a car!

It has been suggested that each member of the PSTA and County Commission should be required to ride a bus once a month _ on a different route each time. I heartily second the idea!

Elinor Kreinheder, St. Petersburg

Public shouldn't pay for dog parks

Re: City may wait on additional dog parks, June 24.

By establishing dog parks at Coquina Key and Crescent Lake, the city is rewarding those citizens who have been using our beautiful parks as animal toilets, rather than those who have been using them properly.

I can understand that dog owners wish to distract themselves from their true reason for being in the park _ it can't be any fun to cap a walk by picking up feces (assuming they do so) _ but the public purse should not be opened for this purpose. Public policy should encourage dog owners to maintain their animals on their own property, or if they can't, to re-evaluate dog ownership. Others should not be burdened by private pets, "cute" as they sometimes can be.

Dog owners who wish to "socialize" in the park should try doing so without dogs as intermediaries.

James Brennan, St. Petersburg

Keep high-rises off Beach Drive

Re: Block may give way to high-rise, June 27.

No, no, a thousand times, no _ no more high-rises on Beach Drive NE. I was afraid it would start a trend when the city disregarded its own height restrictions on Beach Drive and permitted the Cloisters and the Florencia to be built.

A street of high-rises will effectively block the rest of the city from the waterfront. Just look south to Sarasota where this has already happened, along with impossible traffic congestion on downtown streets.

Mayor Rick Baker, please don't let this happen here in St. Petersburg. Keep our beautiful waterfront open to the entire city. Let Beach Drive (with the current three exceptions) remain a charming street of human-sized structures. Build the high-rises farther back from Tampa Bay.

Jim Studdiford, St. Petersburg

Naming school would be a fitting honor

I agree with Pinellas School Board member Linda Lerner, who asks why the rush to name a new school still under construction, which won't even open until 2003 (2 schools named while 1 waits, June 27). The dilemma seems to be over naming one school after the late Doug Jamerson and the board policy that a person must be deceased one year before his/her name can be used (Jamerson died April 21).

By the time the school opens, Jamerson will have met that criteria, so what is the problem? Jamerson taught in the local school system, was a state legislator and state education commissioner _ outstanding credentials when you're selecting someone after whom to name a school. This should be a no-brainer: Rightfully honor the man and get on with the real problems facing the school system.

Rick Carson, St. Petersburg