Work with Your Limits

Why do people reflexively suggest traffic lights or curve straightening for traffic problems? Why don’t they define the problem well before proposing solutions?

There was a crash at a 90-degree turn at the intersection of NYS Route 311 and 164 in the town of Patterson. I’ve almost hit other cars there. What causes the accidents is that the turn is approached at too high a velocity for the turn. The curve is further constrained by rock and earth on both sides. There is nowhere to go if an oncoming driver enters your lane. The solution is to widen the road, right? To straighten the road to improve the sight lines? To add more warning signs?

How about putting in rumble strips to slow the vehicles, thus enabling the drivers to maintain control — and stay in their lanes — as they go through the turn.

Lesser of Two Evils

We live about five miles, 11 minutes, by car from the Kindergarten, but the Big Sister rides the bus for 30 minutes or more.

Last night residents in the Mahopac Central School District voted on a bond proposition. The question before the people was whether the district could raise funds to purchase six new buses by issuing a five-year bond not to exceed $500,000. The proposition was approved, by 502 to 309. The rest of the population abstained, and accepts the majority decision.

The Journal News asked a couple of voters what they thought.

Kevin Dunn, however, voted against the plan because he feels the cost of running the district has grown out of control.

“They need to cut, not increase spending,” said Dunn, a business analyst, whose three elder children graduated and whose youngest is a second-grader at Lakeview Elementary School. “I want to see cuts. They can do plenty on the administrative side, I’m sure.”

I voted for the proposition because it was the lesser of two evils. Were the bond to be denied, the district would have leased the same number of buses, and the tax burden would have been higher. We could not tell the district administration to find the money elsewhere, but only how much they could remove from our pockets. I expect the district to retire the oldest buses, those with less efficient engines and which generate more pollutants, and replace them with the new equipment. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t.

If the citizens do not want to support a large fleet of buses, then school buildings need to be built near the students, and the towns must be laid out so that the children can safely walk to school.

Quack!

“Our new logo is one of the most articulate symbols of the new Quark, and I feel proud to have led the team that worked on it,” said Susan Friedman, senior vice president of strategic relations at Quark.

That’s really sad. You couldn’t find anything to articulate, could you?