Thursday, November 04, 2004

Speeding in Sonoma letter to I-T

Letter printed in the November 5, Index-Tribune

Do we have a speeding problem in Sonoma?

Let’s see. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting we learn that the police/sheriff is yielding us a little more than one speeding ticket a day in the town.

Over the weekend I talk to people on West MacArthur, Fryer Creek, East Napa, all of whom have horror stories about speeders. At other times both 5th streets, both 2nd streets, Bettencourt, and Spain get mentioned as drag strips.

On Monday, I talk to a mother on Newcomb, who sees so much speeding out of the high school ( once when she called to tell them of someone going 70 mph, the sheriffs told her to “call the school”) that she is afraid to let her children play during school’s getting out times in her yard, BEHIND A FENCE. She’s afraid at the speeds they drive, one day they’ll come crashing through her fence. And then Monday night at a public traffic gathering 30 people from my Studley, Curtin, Oregon Street neighborhood all said the same thing: too fast, too fast, someone’s going to get hurt.

So: what I say is: pay for extra enforcement out of tickets given to speeders. Give 10 ( or 20) tickets a day instead of one.

And first, get an agreement that we want to slow the whole town down. Reduce the speed limit to 18 or 20 mph, and take it as a matter of pride to become a town that doesn’t treat the car as one more way to waste our life in a rush, and to create space for walkers, bike riders and children to once again be safe. Who runs our lives anyway, our hearts and intelligence, or our watches and schedules?

Chris Elms 996-1437

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