Letters for August 14, 2008

Off the road
Re “TRPA sides with cars” (News, July 31):

There seems to be a missing element to this article which, in my judgment, reflects the concern of those who voted against the “improvement” of narrowing the highway. That is to be able to maintain the existing and future increase of traffic. The states, counties and highway departments need to offer alternative transportation. This is not a unique situation. California is very familiar with park-and-ride and light rail. Let the ride be public, offer it often enough with sufficient stops, and family pricing that it would enhance one’s experience of the Lake. A bus from Reno to the Lake would be an exceptional experience year-round. Everyone could enjoy the ride, less traffic up and down the mountain, make it affordable which would be rather easy with current gas prices. Casinos could offer regular shuttles. I wouldn’t want to be a homeowner in one of these impacted communities. Gridlock is no fun; it is unhealthy; it is an experience in waste. As stated in the article, there are many examples of cities with light rail, bike paths, and shuttle buses. And to [county commissioner] Jim Galloway, look beyond the box that you know and with which you feel comfortable. There is always an alternative to the norm, and with clear and honest intent at change, solutions become abundant and doable.

Marigael Morris

For more information
Re “The Bike Issue” (The whole damned issue, July 31):

It was really nice to come home this summer to the RN&R Bike Issue. It’s especially great to see that you believe there should be stronger commitment to the promotion of bicycles as an alternative to the private automobile. In Amsterdam, where I’ve been living most of the year, their local weekly paper has a column devoted to cycling issues—maybe the RN&R can follow that example? (I would just hope that someone other than Cory Farley be assigned to write it. I understand his point, but two articles dedicated to lamenting the behavior of a minority of cyclists around here was an exaggeration and tainted what could have been a more positive edition of the RN&R.)

A few points I’d like to make: 1) On the RTC website, plans for an extensive bike network are posted (www.rtcwashoe.com/planning-7). It will put bike lanes all over town by 2030, which is definitely something to be happy about. But since all it really amounts to is striping paint on the roadside, why do we have to wait 22 more years? It would be great to see them painted in time for my friend’s 2-year-old to be able to ride his bike more safely in a few years; 2) In Holland, they go a lot further than striping bike lanes to encourage bicycling. The Interface for Cycling Expertise (www.cycling.nl) publishes a design manual that, if Reno were to follow it, would REALLY make us a leader in the West. Take a ride around Amsterdam and see for yourself how the Dutch do it at www.pedalinginbikecity.org.

Pete Menchetti

Cory’s clothing hangups
Re “The Bike Issue” (The whole damned issue, July 31):

It’s great to see Reno News & Review publicize bicycling and bicyclists. What I don’t understand is why you allow Cory Farley to have anything to say on the subject. I seem to recall an article in the RG-J a few years ago expressing his desire to run over cyclists with a pickup truck because he didn’t like their matching outfits. He seems to have toned it down for this recycled article for the RN&R audience, but his words still reek of disdain, and he’s obviously still hung up on the clothing issue. It’s either ride one way—within his approved criteria—or else. I’m 41 and have used the bicycle as means of transportation since age 13 (pre-Lance Armstrong days). My father, not a fitness freak, is 87, has arthritis and poor eyesight but still rides around the neighborhood three or four days a week. That said, I encourage anyone to see how much fun riding a bike can be, and those that don’t to live and let live. Don’t let age or Cory Farley dissuade you!

Mary Johnston
Via email

Car facts
Re “Options for gas-guzzling cars,” (Green, Aug. 7)

Your story was another example of why newspapers need to have someone on board with at least a modicum of knowledge about science. Hydrogen boosting is fraud. You can’t increase the efficiency of an internal combustion engine this way. Your reporters should have done some research before you ran this story. Your readers deserve better. Read this consumer affairs article: www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/07/water4gas.html. I have a doctorate in biochemistry and am a medical doctor. Quackery is one of my interests. We have the same problem in medicine. From herbal diet pills to cancer clinics in Mexico, fraud abounds. If this works then why hasn’t Ford or GM or Volvo, put one of these in their cars? The proponents of this stuff, who are almost always selling something, will tell you it’s a conspiracy. Yeah.

James Jones
via email