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Insulation can muffle noise of planes over Safety Harbor

Re: Airplane noise in Safety Harbor.

I have lived in the flight path of the airplanes crossing over Safety Harbor for about 20 years, in two houses. I have never heard an airplane while indoors. Assuredly, I have heard them outside and seen them fly directly overhead many times.

I have puzzled over this difference from my neighbors many times in the past year. My hearing is acute, so deafness is not the reason. Ambient noise in the house is not, either. I am usually up at 5 a.m. and often enjoying the peace of the early morning, as I do much desk work before the rest of the family rouses. Between home and work, I am often in Safety Harbor 24 hours a day.

I think the difference is that my home and office are inordinately well insulated in the attics. The purpose serendipitously has been protection from high cooling bills. While the power company advises up to R-30 insulation, I have installed the maximum insulation my attics can physically hold. A guess is I have R-45, perhaps R-60. The blown insulation is stacked from trusses to rafters.

If one follows this train of thought, the answer is not to attempt to stop the noise at the source. Rather it is to provide noise insulation in the less well-insulated homes. Just as Pinellas County serves the public weal by subsidizing water-saving toilets and the energy company subsidizes energy conservation, perhaps the airport authority ought to offer insulation retrofits for homes of people disturbed by plane noise.. Perhaps engineers could perform decibel testing for objective measures of need.

I think the cost of retrofitting every objecting person's home would be less than any alteration in the airplanes or any loss in economic benefit of airport expansion.

Dr. Owen Linder

Safety Harbor

No rhyme or reason for underpowered planes

Re: City votes to crimp airport's expansion, story, Jan. 22.

As to this item in the Times, I respond poetically:

As I have stated, repeatedly,

I loathe the prospect of a jumbo jet falling on top of me!

A big jet pilot has few getting-airborne options, you see

And one of them is definitely not taking off underpoweredly!

Joseph P. Corell

Safety Harbor

Tell bicyclists not to ride against flow of traffic

Re: Bicyclists have rights and responsibilities, column by Diane Steinle, Jan. 21.

Does the St. Petersburg Times realize that it may have the power to save lives? The method has never been utilized. It may not be traditional, nor will it cause large sales numbers for that particular edition, but who knows, it may put the Times on the national news and it may increase overall awareness and respect for the newspaper.

North Pinellas Editor of Editorials Diane Steinle inspired me to submit this idea with her opinion column about cycling risks. While I believe her debate is weak and her conclusion flawed, she posts several valid and poignant issues and facts. The most pertinent point and important statistic is buried in the piece: her complaint about cyclists riding against traffic. This has been the No. 1 cause of bicycle deaths nationwide for many years.

I propose that instead of putting the responsibility of education on neighborhoods, churches, schools and local governments, the St. Petersburg Times itself would be the most effective and meaningful agent for this education. Take that information from Page 2 of a small section within a crowded Sunday paper and post it with a banner headline. Cyclists wrong to ride against traffic; go with the flow! would certainly be a unique headline in the trade. It would get people's attention, inform them, change their outlook, and yes, save lives. Is there an industry award for profound public service achievements?

Kevin L. Hughes

St. Petersburg

Transit planners fail bicyclists, pedestrians

Pinellas County is the capital for pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the nation. This shameful label was reinforced by three deaths in three days. On Jan. 17 John Hitch was killed when hit by a street racer. On the same day, a bicyclist was hit by a Largo police officer in a construction zone. On Jan. 20, Dennison Rusinow was run down in broad daylight.

Why? Because the Pinellas County Commission has no comprehensive transit plan. Everything is focused on the use of autos, fostering a speed-and-rush consciousness that creates a total disregard for the more vulnerable means of transit.

The county has its head in the sand when it comes to a comprehensive plan for transit. We need enforcement of pedestrian rights and traffic rules.

It would also help if the bus system was funded by a mandated fund like the fire and police departments so there would be a free transit system.

Stefano Longinotti

Largo

Your voice counts

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Letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, city of residence, mailing address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be printed.

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