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  1. Opinion

How to stop the carnage on the streets and sidewalks of Tampa Bay

Here’s what readers have to say in Tuesday’s letters.
About 100 people gathered on Bayshore Blvd in remembrance of George Gage who was tragically killed at Bayshore Boulevard and West Julia Street. Organizers of the event asked attendees to bring a single shoelace to be tied together to symbolize their unity and honor George. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
About 100 people gathered on Bayshore Blvd in remembrance of George Gage who was tragically killed at Bayshore Boulevard and West Julia Street. Organizers of the event asked attendees to bring a single shoelace to be tied together to symbolize their unity and honor George. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
Published Jan. 13

Traffic cameras may end carnage

Mourners rally for safer design on Bayshore following fatal accident | Jan. 12

It has now become routine to read in the Tampa Bay Times about Tampa Bay’s national reputation for pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. The recent tragic death on Bayshore Boulevard was simply the next fatality statistic for busy roads, where citizens take their lives into their hands when they attempt to navigate sidewalks, crossings and bicycle lanes. While government leaders have made many useful environmental changes — for example, speed bumps, lane narrowing, lighted pedestrian crossings — many drivers continue to operate vehicles recklessly or while impaired or distracted. In thinking about additional measures such as roundabouts or increased police monitoring, leaders should consider the proven effectiveness of camera systems, which monitor speed and errant lane maneuvers and automatically register legal infractions and issue fines. These systems reliably and cost-effectively result in reduced illegal driving behaviors and consequent fatalities in places like England. The threat of meaningful fines and possible loss of driving rights can save lives, including those of the next victims of our inadequate transportation matrix. Will one of those lives be yours?

Alex Rodriguez, Tampa

Assign officers for safe streets

Mourners rally for safer design on Bayshore following fatal accident | Jan. 12

The discussions about improving the protection of the people using Bayshore’s park-like setting seem to ignore one simple tool: a constant police presence. No manner of crosswalks, barriers, etc., can prevent the random drunk driver or teenage speeder from causing havoc. But assigning two or more police officers to full-time traffic control duty to monitor Bayshore would go a long way toward deterrence. South Tampa may have the lowest crime rate area in Tampa; therefore, a few needed officers should be available without depriving citizens of the normal police presence.

Arthur Eggers, Tampa

Environment is issue No. 1

Florida lawmakers convene in Tallahassee next week. Here are the issues to watch. | Jan. 12

The Florida Capitol. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]

Here we are, ready to welcome another legislative session, and the biggest issue will not be able to compete with guns, abortion, immigration, etc. The one real issue that should dominate every agenda is taking action on our environment. That should be the headline all day, every day. Every other issue, “fervid” or not, is moot if we lose our habitable city, state, country, planet.

Christina Aikman, St. Petersburg

Education is what matters

Tap lottery to raise teacher pay? | Jan. 12

You can research and you can brainstorm all you want, but you won’t find an occupation that is more important to a society than teaching. If our youth are our future as everyone says, how can our representatives in Tallahassee continually justify underfunding education?

Tom Reid, Seminole

Time to clutch those pearls

Royal family gathers for emergency talk | Jan. 13

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew, Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry stand on a balcony to watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. [MATT DUNHAM | AP]

My guess is the last time the words “emergency” and “royal family” were used in one sentence was when the queen misplaced her purse. Oh, the drama of it all. While the world is in complete turmoil and peace talks are a thing of the past, the royal family is in a kerfuffle over Harry and Meghan hightailing out of there. Good for you both, start your own family and don’t look back. Grandmama will get over it.

Darryl David, St. Petersburg

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  7. Mac Stipanovich
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  9. A rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation this week would allow airlines to crack down on personal pets that are carried aboard as so-called service animals. [MARK SCHIEFELBEIN  |  AP]
    Trained dogs are fine. Pigs and turkeys—uh, no.
  10.  [Andy Marlette -- Pensacola News Journal]
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