Editorial

Central Avenue has a safety problem. Between 2008 and 2012, 21 bicyclists and nine people walking were hit by vehicles between Encinal Avenue and Main Street. Crossing Central on foot can be perilous due to poor visibility, long crossing distances and four lanes of fast-moving traffic. Bicycling along Central is equally daunting for similar reasons.

It puzzles me that tenant activists should push for private enterprise to subsidize housing through the support of rent controls, and "just-cause termination" laws. Housing is a "very basic human right," tenant activists argue, a "human service" fulfilling a vital societal need. Aren’t those just the sort of vital services we expect government to provide? Air traffic control, for example, is something so important that we entrust it only to the government. Public health services are another example. It’s no wonder that landlords push back when asked to subsidize this basic human right.

As a lifelong moderate Democrat, I have always supported the unions. Their protective oversight of the working class has created a negotiating force that has ensured a degree of fairness and provided a collective power that could thwart the overreaches of the corporate sector.

Reading Alameda Public Works Director Bob Haun’s commentary, ("The City Does Employ Engineers for Its Projects," May 21) reminded me of the old adage, "Saying it’s so doesn’t make it so." Haun does a fine job of laying out the "facts," as he wants you to believe them, but when you scratch the surface of his claims, you uncover the telltale glint of fool’s gold.

The recent commentary ("City Must Employ Licensed Engineers," April 30) argued that the city must employ licensed engineers on transportation projects such as the Shore Line/Westline Cycle Track. The Public Works Department heartily agrees. Not only does the Department employ nine engineers with 238 years of collective engineering experience, the Public Works licensed civil engineer who designed the Shore Line Cycle Track brought 38 years of experience to that project.

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