Cyclists are not above the rules

Please, will someone try to convince today's cyclists that so long as they use public highways they are subject to the rules of the road?

I am a frequent walker and I seldom see any cyclist put his foot down at a stop sign. In the past four weeks, I've seen two sail through red lights. Daily, I see them cycling the wrong way on one-way streets, even in the dark. And on the sidewalk, I've been shouted at from behind to move to the side out of their way. Once, I was nearly hit full-on as I rounded a corner on a pedestrian pathway.

All this lawbreaking is dangerous, not only to surrounding motorists and pedestrians, but to the cyclists themselves. No wonder I found myself less than sympathetic when I saw a young man fly off his cycle while trying to speed across an intersection in front of a car that clearly had the right of way.

Is there no way to enforce the law on this? License plates for cyclists? Registration fees and test drives for cyclists as for motorists? More citations?

Mary Rosenberg

El Cerrito

Finally a dog park in Martinez

A dog park in Martinez? It's about time.

I first approached the city engineer, Tim Tucker, about this 10 years ago and Mayor Rob Schroder about two years ago.


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Unfortunately, the two sites described in the Times article are terrible. There are two other sites that are far better suited for dog parks: One is at the waterfront near the softball fields and the other is across the street from the Kaiser entrance on Center Avenue. Both already have excellent drainage capabilities, parking, and water for both areas is easily accessible.

The site at the waterfront even has a bathroom nearby, which Paso Nogal Park in Pleasant Hill, that Martinez dog owners use, has never had but needs.

Improving the areas Martinez has considered would waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Greg Staffelbach

Martinez

A simple solution to climate change

The solution to climate change is as simple as the science causing it: Reduce heat-trapping emissions and plant trees that absorb carbon dioxide.

The United States could lead the world in reducing emissions by placing a gradually increasing tax on carbon and returning the tax to everyone in equal payments. The price for fossil fuels would then reflect their cost to society -- health, security and environment -- and the marketplace would most effectively direct the transition to clean energy.

Tariffs on imports from countries without similar carbon pricing would provide incentives for adapting carbon pricing because the benefits of new alternative energy jobs, less expensive renewable energy, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and a clean environment would outweigh paying the tariffs.

A United Nations global forestation program, funded by countries according to the percentage of carbon dioxide they emit, is needed to offset emissions.

President Barack Obama and Congress should implement a revenue-neutral tax on carbon to be returned to the public and create partnerships with countries to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with worldwide carbon pricing.

Mark Altgelt

Vallejo

Whites a minority in California

I read the June 6 column by Esther Cepeda, in which she highlighted the lack of respect for "minorities," and the June 25 letter by Erik LaDue responding to that column.

This set me to thinking. I remember quite some time ago a report saying there are four states where whites are the minority -- California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Texas. This is according to official records.

That being the case, if you are a student applying to a university and if you are white, you are the "minority" in those states now. Therefore, the university does not have the right to discriminate against you.

California should update its records regarding diversity in universities and jobs and should, in all fairness, reconfigure the numbers to get the new equation. What used to be the "minority" is now the "majority" in California. And the new "minority" is now at a disadvantage.

R.V. Bean

Antioch