Opinion » Letters

Cycletracks and ageism


SLO's current City Council, with the exception of Andy Pease who's a totally decent person, inherited the happiest place in America and quickly turned it toxic.

Mayor Heidi Harmon, who calls herself a community builder, is a community splitter, pitting her tribes against everyone else.

This council's heartless disdain for the old and infirm is well illustrated by their approval of idiotic cycletracks through the Anholm district that Harmon's city-subsidized bike tribe demanded, no matter the harms to residents. In fact, they knowingly chose the design that maximizes resident harms.

Anholm is an early 20th century subdivision lacking the off-street parking of recent subdivisions. Many residents are old, frail, or disabled, and they depend upon on-street parking, seven blocks of which will disappear.

When residents told the council this, the city said they could park within 1,000 feet of their homes and carry groceries. For the disabled, the city said this could be "inconvenient." Really?!

Councilman Dan Rivoire, a fox-in-henhouse-lobbyist for his old employer, BikeSLO County, had no qualms promoting tracks experts have called more dangerous to bikers than the status quo of bikes mixing with traffic, dismissing resident concerns as "rhetoric" from those "fearful of change."

Sure, he said, elderly and disabled people will suffer, but it's a "trade-off worth making."

This is called ageism, and it has no place in a good city. We need a new mayor who gets that, not one who promotes tribalism and strife.

Richard Schmidt

San Luis Obispo

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