Scrutinize BART bicycle-use plan

BART has been experimenting with a new bicycle plan to allow bicycles on BART with virtually no restrictions.

I was on BART the other day and it was a nightmare. It is my opinion that BART should maintain current restrictions until it can reconfigure its trains to allow bikes in one section of one car (similar to Caltrain).

Even with restrictions, bicyclists block the escalators, jam themselves into train cars, try and fit their bikes in the aisles between seats, and make it generally uncomfortable for all passengers, especially seniors and those with disabilities who need more space to move to and from their seats.

Unless enforcement of the new bicycle plan is vigorous, it will fail.

I am a longtime proponent of bicycle use of BART and over the years have used BART many times to get into the West Bay for bicycling. With aging trains, increased ridership and the overall climate of rudeness and disrespect on public transit in the Bay Area, without careful craftsmanship of a bicycles-on-BART policy, BART is riding right into a perfect storm.

Michael J. D'Augelli

Antioch

Leaps to faulty assumptions

Larry Waldron, whose letter, "History points to Israel's peace strategy," was printed on April 1, seems to lie in wait for any opportunity to denigrate Israel.

In his current letter, he leaps to two faulty assumptions.

  • That Thomas Friedman is a friend of Israel. Few, if any, see him as such.

  • That Israel's long-term strategy is to make all of Palestine Jewish and unwelcome to Arabs. I think he has confused this with the Arab long-term strategy: To wipe Israel off the face of the Earth (clearly and emphatically stated by them and their governing bodies).

    Arabs hold various positions in the Israeli government and in Israeli society. Israel is co-venturing with Arab companies for economic growth in both cultures. Hadassah reaches out to Muslims and Arabs to deliver health and acute care.

    When Israel gave land to the Palestinians, was that an unwelcome sign of trying to make the region Jewish? Let's be real.

    Perhaps it is convenient to overlook these positive steps, but when there is no outreach for peace from the Palestinians, the road goes nowhere.

    Evie Groch

    El Cerrito

    Time to pass immigration bill

    Recent surveys have been consistent in showing that a majority of America now favor a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in our country.

    This is not surprising. We have always been a generous people and most of us are descendants of immigrants, legal and illegal.

    Now is the time for this majority sentiment to be translated into legislation to fix the problem. A bipartisan group of senators is nearing agreement on a comprehensive immigration bill that would put illegal immigrants on a 13-year path to citizenship.

    Contact your representatives in Congress. Let's pass the law and get people on the right path.

    Daniel Safran

    Pleasant Hill

    Flawed argument on weapons parity

    In a recent letter, Paul Dunton argued that we need more than single-shot guns if we must defend ourselves from our government. He uses the American Revolution as an example of the need for citizens to have "weapons parity" with its government.

    Four reasons -- location, help, arms parity and communication -- make Dunton's argument flawed.

    During our revolution, the British were an ocean away and it took months for them to communicate and longer to reman and rearm. We likely would have lost without help from the French.

    Most governments today have weapons far superior to those of their citizens, especially the United States. That is why rebels in Iraq (with two-thirds of its citizens against the government) and Libya were unable to overthrow their governments; it took the coalition of the United States and others.

    Does Dunton have a Blackhawk that can fire 30 mm rounds at 625 per minute?

    Our government controls and scans the communication infrastructure.

    Dunton has company in thinking the United States can be overthrown, for example Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

    Instead of being delusional, stay informed and vote.

    Bret Beck

    Livermore

    Who pays costs of latest fundraiser?

    TV coverage showed many police cars, motorcycles and uniformed personnel everywhere President Obama appeared.

    As this recent Bay Area visit is a private political fundraiser, does the president or the Democratic Party fully reimburse the various public agencies the actual costs of their services or do the local taxpayers get stuck with all, or part of the costs?

    Cliff Wiesner

    Concord