Letters: 10/5/17

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Cyclists must take better caution

The article “Crash Course” [Re: News, Sept. 28] omits some issues relevant to bicycle riders’ safety in Boulder. A significant fraction of bicycle riders — and not just a few “bad apples” — simply and flagrantly ignore the laws, riding the wrong way on one-way streets, etc. Boulder has long prohibited riding bicycles on sidewalks in the downtown Boulder business district, but the law is largely unknown, not advertised and never enforced. Maybe the law doesn’t even exist anymore. A few years ago I questioned two Boulder police officers who were themselves riding bicycles in the mall; they were aware of the law but told me they had no interest in enforcing it.

Boulder bicyclists ought to realize that there are many drivers here from out-of-town or out-of-state where laws often require that bicyclists obey motor vehicle laws when they are on their bikes and obey laws pertaining to pedestrians when they are not (riding on special bike paths excepted). I couldn’t find the law mentioned in the article, that it is OK for a bicyclist to ride across a pedestrian crossing at up to 8 mph. Whether it is legal or not, it is stupid to do so when such practice is totally unexpected by most drivers. It is true that Colorado bike laws are less rigorous than in many other states and communities. They should be changed to better conform to the sensible laws most Americans are familiar with.

Whether laws are changed or not, if Boulder bicyclists want to be safe, they should obey motor vehicle laws when riding bicycles on or across roadways and they should walk their bicycles across crosswalks… or at least ride at an urban walking speed of 2 mph.

Clark R. Chapman/Nederland

Fight proposed cuts to the United Nations

On behalf of the United Nations Association of Boulder County, I am writing to express concern over proposed cuts to the United States’ funding of the United Nations. Our world is facing a growing number of challenges, from heartbreaking terrorist attacks in Europe, to the Syrian refugee crisis, to more than 20 million people facing starvation and famine in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria, plus over 60 million displaced persons around the world.

Despite these challenges, the Trump administration presents a budget proposal that takes a hacksaw to foreign-affairs funding and significantly decreases U.S. support for the U.N. If enacted it would eliminate U.S. funding for the World Food Program, the Green Climate Fund and UNICEF; slash U.S. contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions by 37 percent; and cut our participation in vital global health programs by a quarter. Various agencies and programs of the U.N. have made substantial advances against world poverty, hunger and disease, ameliorated conflict within and between nations, and promoted economic development, education and human rights. The proposed cuts to U.S. support of U.N. programs would cause a serious setback to these achievements.

As you may know, although the administration proposes a budget, the Congress ultimately has the power to decide how much money gets allocated to each program. So it is incredibly important that we ensure programs for counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, health and development programs continue at a time of increased challenges to global security and stability.

We call on our Boulder community to ask Sen. Cory Gardner (202-224-5941), Sen. Michael Bennet (202-224-5852) and Congressman Jared Polis (202-225-2161) to reject the proposed budget cuts to the United Nations, which would severely jeopardize American national security and foreign policy objectives. Please urge the Congress to fully fund the U.N. to protect our world and ourselves.

Robert McNown/President, United Nations Association of Boulder County