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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    Fence suggests solution to immigration problem
    The fence that has been constructed has served to be a great thought-provoking tool. It brings to the forefront of everyone’s mind the needless deaths that are occurring so often to people on our land.

    This is a travesty and shouldn’t be carelessly pushed aside. One possible action that can be taken, has clearly been represented by the thought-provoking barrier in the midst of the university campus. A fence barrier is a perfect solution to help prevent these needless deaths and injuries to those who are able to cross into the U.S. illegally. There is a legal and safe way to enter into the U.S. that has been made available to many people. How can we continue to allow easy illegal access to our country when it is obviously very unsafe?

    A comparison of the entire land of the U.S. to my own personal property comes to mind. If there is a hazardous obstacle on my property, then it is my duty and responsibility to prevent others from coming into contact with that known hazard. I would put up a perimeter fence to protect my neighbors and others from getting hurt. If for some reason people chose to become criminals and illegally entered my property, they should be held responsible and hopefully arrested before they came into contact with the known hazard, for their protection. If there is a known danger outside of my property that could possibly make its way in, then it is my duty and responsibility to protect my family from that known danger. I would put up a protective barrier: perimeter fence, electric wire, barbed wire, security system and anything else that I could afford. I would do everything possible to separate my family from that outside danger because my family is my most valuable asset.

    I would like to thank those who erected the fence on campus to help everyone think about the situation at hand and possible solutions to keep the American family and all of our neighbors safe.

    Ryan Tidwell
    mechanical engineering junior

    Accident shows necessity for crosswalk, speed bumps
    Leaving a family of three in the hospital, the recent car versus pedestrian accident on campus illustrates need for a marked crosswalk at the East Helen Street and North Mountain Avenue intersection. Walking or riding a bike to campus daily, I hesitantly ease into that same intersection with the hope that one of the many cars flying by me will slow down so I can cross safely. Although Mountain is a fairly large thoroughfare that sees significant traffic during the day, the safety of campus users and the public should be the UA’s highest priority. The limited police presence in the area that I have seen has done little to enforce traffic laws, slow down cars and make that area safer. Additionally, no marked crosswalk or speed bumps exist in the intersection that sees hundreds if not thousands of pedestrians and bicycles daily. In addition to hoping for a speedy recovery for the family injured, I hope that this tragedy serves as a wake-up call to the UA to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety on campus.

    Tobias S. Piering
    law graduate

    Bike safety article presents slanted view of situation
    The article, “”Off-campus streets danger to cyclists,”” (Sept. 19, 2008) was a bit too one-sided to be considered objective or well researched. The facts and numbers presented seemed shocking, but they lacked context. The Tucson metro area has a population over one million people; however, Tucson does not keep stats on how many of those folks are cyclists. Given the population density, the number of car versus bicycle accidents that result in treatment of a cyclist at a trauma center is not surprising.

    With respect to the fatal bus versus bicycle accident at Mountain Avenue and Fort Lowell Road last week, citations haven’t been issued to the bus driver, so it’s hard to attribute any blame, yet, to the bus driver. Having gone through that intersection while the ambulance was still on scene and the bus was still in the location it was at the time of the accident, it’s difficult to see how the bus driver could have done much, if anything wrong: the bus was turning right to head west on Fort Lowell, and the accident occurred on the northwest side of the intersection. That seems to suggest the cyclist was either riding on the sidewalk or headed the wrong way on the street. If that were the case, it would have been difficult for the bus driver to see the rider.

    From a purely subjective point of view, the roads near and leading to the university are some of the least safe, at least from what I’ve seen. I commute 17 miles from Oro Valley and have been doing so for most of the last three years. Mountain is the road that causes me the most stress. Between the propensity for cars to blow through side street intersections, cars parking in the bike lane, cyclists riding the wrong way, cyclists riding abreast and blocking the bike path, cyclists plugged into their MP3 players and drivers, pedestrians and cyclists with their brains sucked into cell phones, I hardly find Mountain a bike-friendly street. There are very few streets elsewhere in the county that make me worry about my safety more.

    Your article neglected to mention just how bad it is riding on and around campus. Between classes, bike lanes on campus are clogged with wandering bovines whose faces are impaled on their cell phones and who apparently are incapable of looking to the left and to the right before walking through a bike lane. A lot of cyclists on campus are just as dangerous, apparently lacking the skills to slow down when approaching pedestrians or when trying to clock their personal best on the pedestrian slalom. Also it seems a lot of cyclists have failed to notice that the north side of the UA Mall, between Cherry and Old Main, is not a bicycle path. The UA, too, shares blame for campus cycling hazards. The UA has done precious little to educate the campus population regarding safe cycling on campus and how to use your brain to safely walk across campus. The UA certainly hasn’t done anything to reinforce such ideas.

    The UA’s “”facilities”” also create problems. Is there a competent architect anywhere that actually believes that a shiny, near friction-free surface is safe for cycling? Those surfaces exist in some cycling lanes on campus, and even with a history of accidents, the UA leaves that teflon, non-stick pavement in place. In the last year, I’ve seen three cyclists crash on those surfaces. In all three cases, the cyclists were riding safely, and there were no weather conditions that could have contributed to the crashes.

    Lastly, I think a little perspective is in order. Having lived and pedaled in several places in the U.S., Tucson has, by far, the most cycling aware and cycling courteous drivers of any place I’ve pedaled my bikes, including the cycling nirvana of Boulder, Colo.

    Riding and being safe is largely a function of a rider’s awareness, caution and safe riding habits. With that in hand, a rider can, in many cases, mitigate or avoid threats caused by the inattention or stupidity of others.

    Robin Seibel
    optical sciences alumna

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