The Berkeley Daily Planet
To the Editor:
Your recent story, "Car-free downtown could be a
reality for Berkeley" (Daily Planet, March 19) was
The car-haters crowd wants to cordon off ten city
blocks in downtown Berkeley at the end of "Try Transit
Week" on Sept 7 and 8. The head of the bicyclists
lobby asserts that "This would return the streets to
the community." I guess that if you have the gall to
drive a car in Berkeley, then you are not "part of the
community." The example of car-free Sundays in Golden
Gate Park in San Francisco is cited. However, many
people go to downtown Berkeley to shop, not to commune
with nature. Unfortunately, this proposed plan blocks
off auto access to four parking garages and one
parking lot. I can see massive confusion and hostility
with a "car-free day" downtown Berkeley with a large
and permanent loss of business customers from Oakland
and other areas. Isn't Berkeley already enough of an
irritating maze for car drivers, with its many one-way
streets and dead-ends?
Maybe the progressive City of Berkeley could also
sponsor a "Bicyclists Obeying the Traffic Laws Week"
at the same time. We could try having bicyclists stop
at stop signs and not run red lights. If that proved
to be a success, then we could institute bicyclists
obeying traffic laws all year round. What a concept.
Bicyclists are, by in large, an extremely
self-righteous lot, asserting that the traffic laws
don't apply to them.
Perhaps our two-wheeled buddies need to grow up and
act like responsible adults instead of acting like
spoiled children who've lost their trainer wheels.
P. S. thank you for publishing Steve Margyary's
brilliant satiric letter on March 20. Let's see more
of his writings.
James K. Sayre
20 March 2002