Letters to the Editor June 12: Active Transportation Program

Don’t see benefits from reducing lanes
Re: your June 5 editorial, “Vision for transportation equity,” about the Active Transportation Project:
I am struck by the phrase "… with more students riding their bikes.." to Nordhoff High School. I don't know how many students would ride bikes from Creek Road, Mira Monte, Skyline, East End, or Upper Ojai. Nordhoff is adjacent to only one neighborhood to the east and backs up to another neighborhood to the west. Is this enough to warrant a change on a highway from four lanes to two? Before a change occurs, perhaps NHS students and families should be surveyed.  
In addition, I don't understand why a hospital cannot front a four-lane highway. Common sense tells me that most patients arrive and depart by automobile. I don't eschew change or improvements in our valley. I simply don't see the benefits of reducing lanes on Maricopa Highway.  


Safer transport is needed
We’re writing to express support for the Active Transportation Project, along with our gratitude for the years of hard work that have gone into making this a reality for Ojai. Nothing in our community could be more important than the safety and enjoyment of our citizens, especially children. 
There’s no stopping the skyrocketing trend gripping the bicycle industry and communities all over the world.  Bicycle sales have recently increased by a whopping 121% with pedal-assisted e-bike sales climbing even higher. People are cycling now more than ever before, while the transition to safe, bicycle-friendly infrastructure is occurring in cities all over the world.  
The fact that Ojai is positioned to stand as a leading example should be a source of enormous pride for our community and is testament to the great vision of our City Council and staff.    
While we certainly respect the opinions and concerns of other community members who may oppose this program, we feel strongly that the ATP should proceed urgently, as presented. It may never be perfect, but the plan we have offers an excellent solution that will benefit Ojai for years and years to come. Rather than be stalled further, in an attempt to satisfy each and every individual and address personal complaints, we must act now in a manner that best serves the community of Ojai as a whole.  
There is no justifiable reason for a four-lane “highway” in front of the high school in our little town. This stretch of road was constructed to accommodate development that never occurred. Safe transport for pedestrians and cyclists should far outweigh the desire and efforts to preserve an engineering mistake that has scarred our city’s infrastructure and continues to undermine the safety and enjoyment of our citizens. 
We would ask everyone, especially the growing number of bicycle riders in Ojai, to support the ATP and help make Ojai safer, greener, quieter, cleaner and more fun for all of us!  


Unintended consequences
Your June 5 editorial — “Vision for transportation equity” — discounts the respectful and rational participation of all who are privileged to comment on the Active Transportation Project. Unfortunately, the editorial has an uncomfortable aroma of hostility toward select public participation. Not what the democratic process thrives upon.
The editorial is a discombobulated text revealing a shortfall of logistics knowledge for a project that is a complex logistics study, with a capital "L"!
Ojai needs to know the consequences, including the unintended consequences that have yet been studied, disclosed or assessed — that may change the very culture of Ojai as experienced by all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
All can be addressed with open communication; NOT what people are commenting: as a misplaced editorial that has a strong hint of journalistic bullying that tests the professional stature we expect from our OVN. That editorial requires a mature, professional response; meaning a FULL RETRACTION!

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