'Bikes only' car on BART trains

I agree wholeheartedly with Ann Carrick's letter in the March 2 Times, in which she recommends a "bikes only" car on BART trains.

As a bike commuter, I generally detest taking my bike on BART except during extremely early hours at the start of service. Even during the hours allowed, it's crowded and the glares I get from fellow passengers are disturbing.

In addition, not being able to take my bike on the escalators means carrying it up the extremely narrow stairs at the end of downtown San Francisco stations to avoid more glares from those walking up the stairways.

A "bikes only" car would at least alleviate the conflict in the cars themselves. I only take exception to Carrick's apparent anti-bike attitude implied in her closing statement, "But the end result would be that the bikers will only be bumping into, running over feet and scratching ankles of other bikers and not the general public."

Most of the time, I avail myself of the Caltrans bike shuttle running from the MacArthur BART station to the Transbay Terminal. It's much more convenient and I get in a little, five miles daily ride as well.

Richard Sheng

Kensington

Schools teach kids what to think


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In a recent letter to the editor, Harold Mantle lamented the lack of critical thinking skills shown by college students. Schools used to teach kids how to think through issues, but now tend to teach kids what to think.

Let's take the teaching of evolutionary theory as an example. In my college years back in the late 1970s, I became a Christian. As a result, I started to question the things I had been taught about how life on Earth began and progressed.

Instead of being encouraged to carefully examine the evidence, my questions were discouraged by my professors. In their minds, evolutionary theory was fact and, therefore, as incontrovertible as the theory of gravity.

I was told that no credible scientist would argue with its tenets. In other words, don't question it. It is this tendency of our schools to push certain viewpoints, while suppressing others, that has resulted in the lack of critical thinking skills lamented by Mantle.

Just as the old bumper sticker used to say, "Question Everything." It's as important now as ever.

Bob Humphrey

Pleasant Hill

Affordable housing foes

This is regarding your March 7 article, "Housing plan foes sound off."

"Relatively" affordable housing in Danville? Oh my God, what is this world coming to?

Next thing you know, the town will have a 99 cent store -- but it will call it a $9.99 store.

Cathy Turney

Concord

Address the real issues

This is in response to all the cries regarding gun owners and the National Rifle Association citing the Second Amendment.

If one recalls history, the militia of the Revolutionary War was composed of men who farmed land and worked in newspapers, shoe stores, markets and the like. They were not soldiers trained by the government's military. They were you and I.

You coattail riders, trying to hitch a ride on the bandwagon, should write letters addressing real issues -- the health of our children, corporate criminals, pharma crime.

I agree that any item that can be used as a weapon should not be in the hands of those with the intent to cause mayhem and harm.

As to writers referring to Australia's strict gun laws enacted in 1997, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology: The murder rate by firearms rose to its highest, at 16.3 percent, and overall crime rose to 42.2 percent.

What most fail to see is how these killers were raised. I'm not speaking only of mental health as a result of physiological trauma but how nutrition plays a vital role in the well-being of an individual. All of it is relevant.

Michael Greene

Pleasanton