Letters to the Editor

03/13 What you're saying: Scott Neidich, Anne Havisham and Stanley Robboy

Bad plan for South Roxboro Street

Hope Valley North residents are in for a nasty surprise if a plan from Durham’s Transportation Department moves forward. At a meeting last Wednesday, dozens of concerned citizens gathered to express disapproval of the city’s plan to reduce the road from two full lanes of traffic to a single lane plus bike lane. The restriping plan would change how the road is painted, coinciding with the road’s repaving.

Citing the city’s Vision Zero (Crashes) initiative, DOT claims cars travel this road too quickly, and that the lane reduction will decrease speeds, increasing safety for pedestrians and drivers.

What the city has failed to address, however, are any of the major concerns skeptics have about the proposal. On Wednesday, citizens expressed fears that cars would get stuck behind school buses and slow-moving traffic, especially at rush hour. Others fear the wide-single traffic lane will lead to more illegal passing and more reckless activity.

The city also has no reversal plan: If this proposal makes traffic intolerable, they won’t know and they’ll have no plan to fix it.

More traffic lights and pedestrian-activated stoplights were popular alternatives.

In a poll taken on Nextdoor, 76 percent of the 151 respondents opposed the city’s proposal to reduce lanes. City Council members have been receptive to feedback, and the city is accepting comment until March 15..

Scott Neidich

Durham

Blind to history

In his letter, Mr. Markatos responded with a visionary plea while seemingly blind to history ("UnJewish? Yes," March 3). The great hope if one speaks to Israelis, and I have to many, and almost certainly to the Gazan populace, is the wish for peace. All fear annihilation.

Some years ago, teacher friends in Jerusalem in a little-publicized program asked the enrolled Palestinian youths from East Jerusalem and Israeli children to draw pictures of what was on their minds. Both sketched bombs dropping from the air. This occurred when the Gazan leadership was shooting thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israel. Without question, peace is desirable. We all who are readers or writers wish fervently for peace.

But then comes the obstacles. Bill Clinton, when president, brokered an extraordinary proposed agreement where the Palestinian Authority achieved virtually everything requested, including East Jerusalem as its capital. Arafat turned this down. Clinton fumed. Other negotiated deals highly favorable to the Palestinian governments were also turned down. Why?

Many Palestinians distrust their leaders. The “Green Prince,” the son of a Hamas founder, became an Israeli spy after becoming disenchanted with how Hamas tortured its own people. Hamas abuses today!

And why isn’t Mr. Markatos concerned about Syria killing its own with outlawed poison gas, or from 1948 to 1967 when Jordan swept in and occupied all of Jerusalem, either killing or forcing every Jewish inhabitant out (ethnic cleansing?)

The Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign, which Mr. Markatos says fosters peace, actually promotes PIECE, in other words, unabashedly, all of Israel should become a piece of Palestine (from the River to the Sea).

Last week, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called out Hamas as extremists. Another article headlined: “Punished for Not Chanting "Death to America, Israel, Britain.” Yes. We do need peace. Please, Mr. Markatos, do something constructive to help the process.

Stanley Robboy

Chapel Hill

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