Three Letters To The Editor Opposing Narrowing Car Lanes to Build Bike Trails In Front of Hospital

Below are three letters opposing narrowing of car lanes in order to construct bikeways in Jonesboro and other Arkansas cities.  These letters were sent to the Jonesboro paper and published on the dates indicated below.  

(Footnotes/documentation are included at end of this email that were sent in to the editor with the letters. The  title of letters are the ones given them by the paper.)

Letter One -  Printed May 14 with title "Sinister Bike Trails"

I'm sure citizens of Jonesboro are just thrilled with the city using taxpayer money to narrow the streets on Matthews to make room for the biking/walking trail in the area of the hospital.  On KAIT, Director of Recreation Huffstetler is quoted as saying they are narrowing the lanes to make it SAFER.   Where has common sense gone?

In other words they are going to inconvenience and even endanger 99% of the citizens with narrower streets for the less than 1% that want to come to the hospital on bikes!    There has to be, and is, a more sinister reason for the bike trails.

If it is to slow the traffic for safety reasons, as asserted, why not pass out speeding tickets to slow the traffic rather than combine motor vehicles/ joggers/walkers/bikers on an already crowded roadway? If people are driving over the speed limit now, won't they do so after the streets are narrowed, adding to the danger?  Some bikers say it is not even safe to ride their bikes there. So the city's wonderful plan will make a street dangerous that has been very safe in the past. 

" Perrin said the project began after the community showed interest in building a trail." Why should taxpayers have to dish out chunks of  $15 million for the hobby of a small minority of bikers. Fifteen million is the grant amount for the bike trail across the Memphis bridge -  and this is going on across the nation.

The Mayor knows the biking/walking trails are really being built to eventually take the place of cars in order to save the planet. He has been shown this information several times.  EPA created the Smart Growth organization which promotes complete streets that "fight climate change"  by "allowing people to leave the car at home."

Radical environmentalist Dan Burden, one of the experts for the US Dept. of Transportation, whose training session Jonesboro  Director of City Planning Otis Spriggs attended,  says he wants to take our cities back 100 years where people walk and bike instead of drive. This is what the liberals call "progressive."

Our Mayor has done some good things for Jonesboro, but this is certainly not one of them.  At a time when citizens are having an extremely hard time trusting our national leaders, shouldn't our Mayor level with the citizens? We desperately need to be able to trust our local leaders. Debbie Pelley, Jonesboro

(For six footnotes see the end of this email "Footnotes for Letter One"

Letter Two -  Printed May 17 with this title, "One More Step"

In reading the story and watching the video on KAIT where the city is narrowing the lanes on Matthews in the Medical Mile St. Bernard area in order to have space for a bike/pedestrian walkway, I heard no mention of the city council members' input.

So my question is, "Did the city council vote on this change?" Or did the Mayor and the unelected city employees make this decision without a vote by the people's representatives? The trend in our society is to move toward letting unelected officials make crucial decisions.

The Mayor put the original 700 page Jonesboro Vision 2030 on the shelf, but one thing is clear; the city is still implementing it - just like the liberals do when they don't have the support of the public. And the narrowing of the street lanes on Matthews and building the bikeways are lifted right out of Jonesboro Vision 2030 which perfectly mirrors the leftist's United Nations Agenda 21.

The following quotes used by the Mayor and the Director of Parks and Recreation Huffstetler mimic some of the exact words of the California militant environmentalist Dan Burden whose workshop our city planning director, Otis Spriggs, attended.

Burden says he wants to take streets back to where they were 100 years ago where people bike, walk, or use mass transit, and that "Town and portions of towns identified as neighborhoods must be planned and assembled to walking scale, " and "Design conflicts 'should be resolved in favor of the non-vehicular users'". Jonesboro Vision 2030 referred to walking scale as "pedestrian scale."

The Mayor said, "our engineers were very careful that it wasn't too tight, Once they re-stripe it I don't think you'll have a problem at all." At the end of one of Dan Burden's presentation a mayor asked him, " What changes bring the most results?  Burden's answer: "Re-striping - changing streets by re-striping - adding bike lanes and walkways."

To global warming advocates, being progressive means riding bikes and walking rather than driving cars. A citizen admitted that at the ASU bike meeting May 8th. That is what he called the good "quality of life."

Accomplishing their goals will take some time; gradualism is the key. The Matthews bikeway is just one more incremental step in attaining their goals. Bobby Hester Jonesboro

(See "Footnotes for Letter Two"  by Hester at the end of this email. 

Letter Three - Printed May 22 with this title, "Agenda 21 here"

I was interested in a story about narrowing the lanes to make room for the bike trail, but after being caught in traffic on Matthews Avenue, I was furious to realize that the bikeway would be extended all the way to the hospital.

I have kept up with Agenda 21 plans and their experts' recommendations, just as I did the educational reforms, and know exactly what they are planning.

It is bad enough to take our taxes and build bikeways all over the country used possibly by 1 percent of the population, but it is detestable to slow the traffic on major streets through the city and cause more traffic jams for the other 99 percent.

Bicyclists contribute nothing to the cost of our streets. They pay no gasoline tax or license fees, so why should taxpayers pay for the bikers' hobby? They don't pay for mine.

 

And why do experts state that "Design conflicts ‘should be resolved in favor of the non-vehicular users'" when, again, cyclists pay nothing? Because the experts have an agenda!

 

Unless the mayor and the city council get some real backlash on narrowing lanes to slow traffic, we will soon move to the next phase of the extensive and pervasive global warming "solution" of Dan Burden, EPA's champion, to reduce the use of cars.

 

Burden, the planner used in Harrison and North Little Rock, stated in newspapers, "Instead of making the street wider to accommodate more cars, the crew reduces it from four lanes to two in a project called a ‘road diet.'" Burden's real goal is to take those two lanes and make them into bikeways, and gradualism is the key.

 

Mayor Harold Perrin is so enamored with grant [tax] money he can get for these projects that he gave the city's grant writer a 25 percent raise. Also, he's apparently impressed enough with Agenda 21's goals to have just joined the Local Leaders Council, a group that promotes Smart Growth [Agenda 21] concepts.

 

The ultra-liberal Michael Moore said, "Cars may have been fun to drive; but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature." Arkansas liberal John Brummett wrote about Moore's comments, "They think cars are destructive to the earth both in what is required to run them and in what they emit."

 

How does it feel to see the gradual implementation of Agenda 21 right here in Jonesboro?

Iris Stevens, Jonesboro

 

Footnotes for Letter  One 

KAIT story  - Medical Mile becomes narrower with new walking trail.

http://www.kait8.com/story/25443555/medical-mile-becomes-narrower-with-new-bike-path?autostart=true

 

EPA and Smart Growth: See "Concerns with Jonesboro Vision 2030" at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Agenda%2021%20-%20Jonesboro%20Vision%202030%20compared.htm  See footnotes 4, 5, 6, 6(a),  6(b), and 6(c)

 

Dan Burden's philosophy:  See footnote 12 at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Agenda%2021%20%20Jonesboro%20Vision%202030%20compared.htm

And also this link: http://www.walkable.org/assets/downloads/trbpaper.pdf

 

Dan Burden, expert for US Dept of Transportation:  See the introduction at this link: http://www.walkable.org/assets/downloads/trbpaper.pdf

 

Jonesboro Director of City Planning Otis Spriggs attended Dan Burden's training.  See Jonesboro Sun article "Walk this way: Volunteers to study walking access in downtown" June 5.

Footnotes for Letter Two

http://www.kait8.com/story/25443555/medical-mile-becomes-narrower-with-new-bike-path?autostart=true KAIT story and video on Matthews bikeway.

Dan Burden quotes on http://www.walkable.org/assets/downloads/trbpaper.pdf

Page 5, under Principle 2

Mayor & Dan Burden quotes on Re-striping and about taking our cities back 100 years: Video http://fora.tv/2008/07/14/Dan_Burden_Building_Livable_Walkable_Communities (there was an older link and version of this but this one looks like it is about the same.)

Posted by Women Action Group May 22, 2014