section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send
us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.
Solving the road dilemma
Mr. Sands' recent
editorial ("On the Road," Feb. 19, 2004) makes some good points
about the difficult problems we all face in an effort to share the
roads of La Plata County, unfortunately he missed a great
opportunity to call for some real solutions to these problems. We
can all rant about the situation, but if that's all we do, we will
lose a great place to ride, and the conflicts we are experiencing
today will be the tragedies of tomorrow.
County roads 203 and
250, known fondly by the cycling community as the "Valley Loop," is
arguably one of the best road rides in the state, if not the
country. Every year people from all over flock to Durango to enjoy
such great riding, sadly we are failing to take simple steps to
head off growing problems with traffic, reckless driving (by
cyclists and motorists), and simple unawareness.
An easy first step, that
Mr. Sands should have pointed out in his article, is the lack of
signage in the valley warning motorists of cyclists presence on the
roads. Simple "Share the Roads" signs on either end of CR 203 and
250 would go a long way to raising awareness. Signage has made huge
differences in other areas, and we need it in the
Next, we need to start
thinking more long term when we are improving the roads in the
valley. Some of the recent improvements made to CR 250 have been
great, unfortunately there are very few areas with large enough
shoulders for cyclists to move completely out of the lane of
traffic. We need to start improving the roads in the valley with an
eye toward accommodating all the users.
We also need to consider
lowering the speed limits on CR 203 and 250. These are secondary
roads, which are essentially residential roads. Motorists don't
need to be going so fast on these roads. Let's not forget there is
a highway up the middle of the valley for drivers who are in a
Finally, cyclists and
motorists both need to take some responsibility for the future
safety of the Valley Loop. Cyclists need to single up when in
traffic and use the shoulders of the roads where possible. They
also need to remember to share the roads. That means all of us.
Motorists need to slow down. CR 203 and 250 are country roads, and
we should slow down and enjoy the view. Motorists also need to get
off the phone. More often than not cyclists are almost run off the
roads because motorists are talking on the phone and not paying
The Valley Loop is a
valuable resource that we all need to protect. We can rant all we
want about the conflicts and who's at fault, but we all need to
take steps today to deal with the problems in order to avoid a
tragedy in the future.
A lesson in the leash law
To the Editors:
I am writing in response
to Brian McGill's letter in the Feb. 5 Telegraph. First and
foremost, I sympathize with the trauma of having a child attacked
by an uncontrolled dog. Indeed, leash laws and animal control do
provide an effective deterrent to the problem of human aggressive
dogs. However, the majority of our citizens strive to be
responsible dog owners. They maintain voice or leash control of
their dogs at all times. They train their dogs in a nonaggressive
manner. Citizens who do not have human-aggressive dogs have a right
to reasonable freedoms, rather than penalization for the wrongs of
a minority of dog owners or their dogs. Freedom is a just reward
for being responsible.
However, the main point
is that in Ms. McCord's letter (Jan. 29), there is not a strong
debate being presented as to the validity of Durango's leash law.
If her letter was presented to kids at Durango High School as a
reading comprehension test, I believe they would almost certainly
describe it as being about HUMAN INTERACTION, with the issue of
whether or not one can play fetch with their dog in Durango's parks
being a secondary point! Our society is increasingly becoming one
that imposes reactionary restrictions on our rights and freedoms in
order to "protect" us. I can't help but surmise that Mr. McGill
must be a big fan of the Patriot Act. Perhaps he should quell his
hysteria and reread Ms. McCord's letter this time a little more
thoroughly or ... go back to high school.
Do hard time for the government
We've a federal budget
deficit of $500 billion and many trillions more of long-term debt.
Yet tax cuts amount to only about $75 billion a year. Beyond the
fairness of letting people keep what they've earned, tax cuts
stimulate the economy and actually increase the amount of tax
dollars. They do so by increasing incentives for new investment,
not directly stimulating demand. That unleashes new innovations and
risk-taking. That creates jobs and profits, which is the only place
incomes and taxes come from.
Taxes on the other hand
are simply transfers, they help some and hurt others but, on net,
do nothing to help the overall welfare of society. However, the
larger the percentage of income taken by taxes the greater the
deterrent to tax-generating private enterprise and employment.
Currently, federal taxes amount to almost 25 percent of GDP, near
an all-time high. And since 2000, Congress has increased spending
by 24 percent. Add in state and local taxes and so-called user fees
and the total taxes amount to 40 percent of GDP. That means us
taxpayers must work almost five months a year just so bureaucrats
can take and spend our earnings.
Government has no end to
what it'll spend! When it ends up with a shortfall, it simply takes
more, often justified by deviously threatening to cut only
essential services. The only solution: Less government.