Pedestrian safety crucial for city staff

Many residents in the Rockridge and Upper Rockridge neighborhoods along and near the Broadway corridor are expressing concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety. I very much share those concerns. That is one of the reasons why the city is exploring a "road diet" along that stretch of Broadway that can dramatically enhance pedestrian safety for those who live in or visit the area.

Several specific elements of this proposed transportation safety project have been discussed with neighbors at various community meetings over the past several months. One neighbor contacted my staff and the city's Transportation Division staff in late June with concerns about the preliminary design of the so-called 'bulb out' proposed for Ocean View and Broadway and received a timely response stating that my staff would follow up with the Transportation Division staff regarding his concerns.

Also, this resident received multiple responses from Victoria Eisen, project manager of the Alameda County Transportation Committee, who represents the city. Eisen did clearly state that the concerns were received and would be addressed by the Transportation Division staff at the appropriate time. She also communicated that no new information would be available until at least September of this year when an updated set of proposed designs would likely be available.

It is important that the city work together with neighbors when exploring options to implement city projects that can enhance pedestrian safety for residents. Ultimately, the city staff will continue to listen to neighbors in the area, as well as traffic safety experts, and do what they think is best to enhance safety for all our residents.


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Dan Kalb

Oakland City Councilmember, District One

Israelis' necessities of survival not racist

An Aug. 15 letter writer perversely complains about racism in letters that support Israel in its lifelong struggle to survive in a sea of Arab hostility.

Her comparison of the amount of foreign aid that Israel receives versus how much is received by Arab nations is irrelevant. Rather, it is about whether we support or oppose the hateful ideologies espoused by much of the Muslim world (and their supporters on the far left here) against the Jewish state and other free, non-Muslim societies.

The word Hamas is an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah or Islamic Resistance Movement. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), currently slaughtering its way through Iraq, is a similar Sunni Muslim terrorist group. Does the letter writer support embracing and negotiating with them -- or talking and listening, as she puts it -- as well? Hamas has clearly stated in its charter that its purpose is to destroy Israel, not negotiate with it.

The letter writer's statement that "If Israel would end the occupation, most of its problems would also end" is almost correct. In fact, all of Israel's problems would end because all of the Jews, and no doubt many Israeli Muslims and Christians, would be dead, and we all know dead people don't have any problems.

The letter writer may be willing to sacrifice the lives of every Jew in Israel to find out whether she is right, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Others might be reluctant to do that -- which doesn't make them racist. May a true voice of peace and reason arise among the Arab and Muslim populations of the Middle East to open the door for real progress.

Abe Leider

Oakland

Muslim coexistence wasn't all that rosy

The Aug, 22 letter, "Israeli oppression what's really hated," alleging Israeli oppression needs some true history.

While probably faring better than European Jewry during the middle ages, all was not sweetness and light in Muslim lands. Christians and Jews in Muslim countries were always dhimmis, second-class citizens with many restrictions and forced to pay the jizya tax.

Muslims first imposed distinctive dress codes for Jews. Despite the examples of the Golden Age of Spain and the Ottoman Turks, Jews in Muslim countries lived in less than admirable circumstances, with pogroms and forced conversions. Ask the Jews who lived in these countries. World War II? The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem sought refuge in Nazi Germany, collaborating with Hitler as did Arabs all over the middle east

As for all the complaints of check points, etc.: why does all this exist? The answer is very simple: give up the terror, suicide bombings, etc., the constant Arab aim for Israel's total destruction. Decide to live in peace with the Israelis, and the occupation will cease.

As for Arab love of Jews. On what planet does this letter writer live? Has she not seen the anti-Jewish riots in cities here and around the world, the anti-Jew hatred that spews from Arab media, the terrible hateful ideas taught to their children? She should read the Hamas Charter.

I know of no Israeli dancing or cheering for Gaza attacks, but the memory of Palestinians dancing and giving out candy in celebration of 9/11 is forever etched in my memory.

Marvin L. Engel

Piedmont

How dare newspaper publish that letter?

The Aug. 22 letter, "Israeli oppression what's really hated," is full of blatant misrepresentations and should have been fact-checked before publication. The paper contributed to the slandering of a people and a nation by publishing such grossly contemptible trash.

The paper has lost credibility and my respect. I'll never purchase another publication and I will share my disgust with a large network of influential professionals in the Bay Area. The Bay Area News Group is now on my boycott list.

Akiva Kalev ben Avraham

Oakland