Yes, Max Brown (Letters, July 17) the cycle law is indeed silly. But the fundamental problem with allowing cyclists to ride all the way onto and across pedestrian crossings is that it introduces a significant hazard, but there is no significant benefit.
Cycling at 10km/h over a six metre crossing takes around two seconds. Walking takes around four seconds.
What's the cost of the two seconds gained? A cyclist entering a crossing at 10km/h is a metre into the crossing in roughly a third of a second, and that is not enough time for a driver to react. Eventually it must end in tears.
The solution is to require cyclists to stop before entering the crossing. After that it makes little difference whether they walk or ride. The stop signs that we are accustomed to on the road are to ensure that drivers are able to take proper stock of the situation, and enter intersections slowly.
That is what cyclists need to do on crossings.
Terry Werner, Wright
Cycle sense sought
By all means let's have a discussion about the mix of pedestrians, cyclists and cars in our city. But instead of assuming that cars come first in the hierarchy, let's think a bit differently.
Instead of thinking that pedestrians and cyclists are crossing the road, why don't we think that cars are crossing the foot/cycle path? A compulsory "stop" sign at each crossing should help those motorists who currently don't have time to slow down enough to check the paths on either side of the crossing.
I know that any talk of slowing down vehicle traffic is akin to heresy, but if we want to live in a cleaner, healthier, less energy consuming city, then we have to start thinking differently. And yes, I have a car, pay for registration and insurance, so don't bring that argument up again.
Anne McCourt, Lawson
Cycle crossing danger
I was interested seeing Max Brown's letter on cyclists (Letters, July 17).
As a recent visitor to Canberra I was intrigued, while driving down Masson St, (Haig Park) when a cyclist shot onto the pedestrian crossing at some speed without (it seemed to me) checking the road for cars.
I'm from Brisbane where the same thing happens, but it's illegal.
Under my breath I say, this is a pedestrian crossing, not a cycle crossing.
So, I've learnt something new about the ACT, as I always do on my visits; but this one was a heart stopper.
Hilary Scarce, Geebung, Qld
Bill's 1969 Christmas with Bob Hope and Neil Armstrong
Stephen Holt (Letters, July 19) comments the moon landing meant nothing to those afflicted by poverty.
On Christmas Day 1969, my small group of Australians arrived at Bob Hope's show just before it started before an audience of about 15,000 US Army soldiers and Marines in Central Vietnam.
We were fortunate enough to be ushered to a spot on the ground right in front of the stage from where we could look up the great man's nose.
Bob was as usual accompanied by a number of celebrities, one of whom was Neil Armstrong, who gave a talk about his experience and then sought questions from the audience.
First up was an African American who asked Armstrong what benefits accrued to black people from the moon landing. I can't recall details of the astronaut's reply but he was sympathetic towards his questioner - I should imagine he had been frequently asked the same question - and the gist of his response was that the technological advances made during preparation for the moon mission would benefit all mankind.
I recall a cynic later complaining it was all an expensive way to develop the non-stick frying pan.
Bill Deane, Chapman
A matter of fact
In my letter of July 19 I regretfully made a significant error in calculating the number of generations of Indigenous Australians, adding two zeros to the correct figure of 2600.
My key point, however, remains valid; the timeline of occupation by Indigenous Australians is still vastly greater than the comparable number for non-Indigenous Australians since settlement (which barely reaches double figures).
Proper recognition of the first Australians is therefore is not only the right thing to do, it is considerably overdue.
Eric Hunter, Cook
Just who is Ms Ardern to tell us what we should and should not do? Mr Dutton is right. We should deport criminals. This is one of the most resonable policies in Australia.
Mokhles k Sidden, Strathfield, NSW
Did the levy work?
Could the ACT government publish details of the 2018-19 success rate of the $30 "safer families levy" applicable to all households except, laughably, exempt public housing tenants?
Greg Cornwell, Yarralumla
Lake study flawed
Regarding the scientific study taking place in Lake Tuggeranong in an attempt to determine the cause of blue-green algae, it is hardly surprising that those conducting the study have failed to come up with any substantial conclusions.
The ugly, floating contraption used for this study has become a roosting site for hundreds of seagulls and cormorants every evening.
One can only imagine the amount of poop being dumped into the lake each night, directly into the research zone, thus making any worthwhile scientific conclusions impossible.
Taxpayers money would be saved by wrapping up the study immediately and the floating contraption should be removed ASAP.
Jeff Day, Greenway
All their own work
I was interested to learn from the television news that drug detection dogs are responsible for drug taker deaths at music festivals. Silly me; I thought that the credit should go to those taking the drugs (and also that they should receive a Darwin award).
Michael Duffy, Curtin
Act name objectionable
I was interested to learn from the television news that drug detection dogs are responsible for drug taker deaths at music festivals.Michael Duffy, Curtin
I protest at the title of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Relief So Working Australians Keep More Of Their Money) Bill 2019. The language of the title is propaganda. The language is discriminatory to non-working Australians. The language displays greed. The language is devoid of good manners, taste and education. It is an insult to the intelligence of us all.
Jane Rankine, Gowrie
Who is to blame?
I am appalled by the shuffling of responsibility for the supply of so many sub-standard buildings. There has been a serious betrayal of trust.
None of those who were paid to design, finance, engineer, construct or sell them will put their hand up but all seem quite silent on the injustice suffered by the poor purchaser.
Their only mistake was believing the promises/lies from those who facilitated their purchase of defective dwellings. Now we see cladding as the latest distraction from the basic question; why, in 2019, are we finding so many builders who won't/can't build properly and according to plans, regulations and promises.
I don't believe builders are any dumber but quality control is certainly running a distant second to greed too often. And don't fall for the industry being able to be trusted to police itself. Even the HIA was unsuccessful in getting cooperation from our developer - until they eventually left the industry. Future purchasers cannot afford for governments to blink.
If purchasers are hesitant to revitalise the housing industry, is it any surprise?
Ian Foster, Nicholls
More money needed
There are currently several areas that are inadequately funded by governments, resulting in increased human misery.
They include disgracefully inadequate aged care, ineffective responses to the ice epidemic, dangerous building standards, homelessness, underfunded public hospitals, age pensioners living in poverty, and impossibly low Newstart payments.
The Coalition government's response is to give a "refund" to some taxpayers which will eventually result in further cuts to essential services as overall tax revenue decreases, all for the purposes of vote buying and a pseudo-libertarian ideology that purports to give some individuals more "choice" in their spending.
This is what happens when our leaders think we live in an economy, rather than a society.
Steve Ellis, Hackett
America the great
So Mr Trump has come up with his own variation on the Australian right wing slogan: "love it or leave".
It's hardly original and is designed to hit the spot with those who can't handle the suggestion there is room to change their country for the better. While you can't improve on perfection we are a long way from that.
M Moore, Bonython
To the point
TOP OF THE CLASS
Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay deserves a performance award for pompous sanctimoniousness after saying he makes "no apology for ensuring that Canberrans live in the safest and highest quality buildings". Well, that's a nice new interest, Gordon, and I am sure you can know just how far away you are from that grandiose claim.
Alex Mattea, Sydney
WHY INDEED JIM
On Q&A, Jim Molan asked why Indigenous Australians need a special voice to Parliament. It is because Indigenous Australians are much more thoroughly Australian than the rest of us. The country made them what they are. For the rest of us this process is still in train. They have learnt much, and have much to learn, from us. But we have much more to learn from them. Which would you rather be: the white trash of Sky News and One Nation, or the brown gold of Indigenous Australia?
Michael McCarthy, Deakin
C Foley (Letters, July 18) says "professional" protesters, who "probably don't have jobs", should be made to pay for their disruption. He should stop clogging up Letters space with such vacuous notions.
David Townsend, Curtin
GHD SHOULD THINK AGAIN
GHD says its activities "...have a positive social and environmental impact on communities in which we operate". It also has a "...commitment to sustainable development...". How can it square this with its role as the engineering designer for Adani's Carmichael mine which will threaten water supplies, trample on indigenous rights and imperil the Great Barrier Reef?
Ann Darbyshire, Hughes
DOGS IN DANGER
Most areas in the ACT where it is now legal to walk a dog off-leash border major roads. The government is addressing its paranoia about perceptions of major dog problems by exposing more dogs to being hit by vehicles.
Bruce Wright, Latham
Thank you Jackie French for your literary tribute to the people who worked at the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station. The Honeysuckle antenna exists still, having taken up residence as DSS46 at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex at Tidbinbilla. It stands as a monument to the achievements of the moon landings and the part played by Australians.
Ed Cory, Bywong
It is outrageous Adani would question the integrity of CSIRO and Geoscience Australia scientists and be supported by Michael McCormack. Adani has flouted environmental conditions, breached environmental approvals in Queensland and promised "10,000" jobs at its Carmichael mine, later reduced in court evidence to 1464. Whose integrity is in question here?
Patricia Saunders, Chapman
A TIP FOR GEORGE
Celebrity chef George Calombaris obviously forgot the truth of the biblical adage to the effect that one should not bind the mouths of the cattle that tread the corn. Time to cough up mate. You got off lightly. How come nobody ever accidentally overpays their staff? It's a complete mystery to me.
N. Ellis, Belconnen
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send from the message field, not as an attachment. Fax: 6280 2282. Mail: Letters to the editor, The Canberra Times, PO Box 186, Fyshwick ACT 2609.
Keep your letter to 250 or fewer words. References to Canberra Times reports should include date and page number. Letters may be edited. Provide phone number and full home address (only suburb is published).
To send a letter via the online form, click or touch here.