A Dec. 29 letter writer's point about taxing and licensing of bicyclists so that they are paying their fair share has a number of obvious flaws. I commuted to and from work for 20 years on my bicycle. If the writer was using the same road I was that would have meant one less vehicle to slow his own commute.
He also speaks of potholes. It is highly unlikely I created any potholes. Also I had to maintain a vehicle all those years; hence, when I wasn't driving to work I was still paying taxes to support his commute. I paid registration fees and gas taxes and reduced by one the amount of wear and tear on what he thinks I had no right to - a safer commute riding my bike.
It would have been nice to have even one foot of road over the white line for me to have safer access to the road I helped maintain all those years. Plus a small shoulder would be beneficial to drivers, not just bikers.
The lack of road shoulders in South Carolina has been cited in many studies as a killer. The letter writer, while making some valid points, seems to protest too much a viable and beneficial alternative to traditional use of our roadways.
The news in November of more delays for the Gaillard project came as a disturbing shock to those who have followed the project from its inception, particularly as it evidently reflects an alarming development that the city and Skanska are no longer on the same page.
Skanska reportedly believed, and may still believe, that the project could have been completed on time. However, relying on advice of well-paid consultants, the city opted for delayed completion. Skanska will no doubt hold the city responsible for that decision.
As double-shift and weekend work continue into the new year, Charlestonians should likewise seek accountability from the city as this clouded project limps to its conclusion.
One especially telling event occurred November 10. At Skanska's quarterly update meeting for interested parties, high-level managers from both Skanska and the city delivered their usual message of "all is on course," even affirming office move-in dates in February and grand opening of the performance hall on April 17.
The truth was far different: In a press announcement 48 hours later, the city disclosed a completion delay of no fewer than six months.
This project has not operated double-time for months on end, running two shifts and fully operational seven days a week, because the schedule has been moving at an appropriate speed. Rather, the project has been and remains troubled. Only with the city's press conference did taxpayers and residents get a glimpse of how far off course things are.
Can there be any credibility to the most recent guesstimate that the project may be completed by late summer 2015? And at what (and whose) cost?
Unless an amicable resolution is reached, the real chronology and fiscal impact of this project may await formal discovery, with the real story finally told by emails, texts and other communication between and among the city, City Council, Skanska and its subcontractors, Spoleto, the Gaillard Foundation, funders and many other players.
Looking ahead to post-completion, one wonders how to establish trust in the stewardship of public and private funds, the environment and quality of life, not only in the neighborhoods closest to the Gaillard but also for the city as a whole, as the city imposes its massive office structure on a very cramped Anson Street, pursues a fourfold increase in convention and trade show activity, and stages nighttime outdoor events for up to 1,500 people just steps from solidly residential neighborhoods.
If Frank Wooten's Dec. 27 column about "mobility" isn't an embarrassment to the management at The Post and Courier it certainly should be. The article is divisive, inaccurate and illogical. He uses pejorative terms like "Below the Drain," "the great unwashed" and "often impudent newcomers" to create an image of those living below Broad Street, and it is clear that Mr. Wooten didn't read the report.
The truth is that on average 40,000 tourists visit our city every day. That means that as many as 100,000 visitors are here some days.
Many, if not most, are coming to see our Old and Historic District, and virtually all of them find their way below Broad Street. That's 100,000 people in an area of about a half square mile, driving and parking in a residential neighborhood with a 17th century infrastructure.
Add to that residents, students, workers, pedicabs, tour buses and carriages, and it is a problem. In fact, on the city's website, 74 percent of the residents living in the historic neighborhoods say that parking is a problem because of tourists.
Mr. Klein's report and the Tourism Management Committee propose the creation of public parking areas away from our neighborhoods, along with an affordable and reliable public transportation system that will reduce the need for cars, a concept Mr. Wooten is apparently unable to grasp.
These are proven solutions, implemented in cities around the country and beyond. These solutions would provide enormous relief to the people living in historic neighborhoods. They are, for the most part, self-funded and they would have virtually no impact on people living outside of the historic district.
If Mr. Wooten decides to read the report he will find that there is nothing in it about walled cities or border patrols and there is nothing in it about eliminating or restricting people's access to White Point Garden.
So to Mr. Wooten: The right to park wherever you want whenever you want is not a personal liberty.
Instead of fighting for your right to park along the Battery while eating in your car during lunch breaks, with fancy houses on the left, flowing waters on the right and the soothing aroma from the mud and water providing relief from your grinding job at The Post and Courier, may I suggest you fight for something more meaningful, like world peace.
I recently read one of the most inspiring stories I have ever read - Lee McVay's Dec. 26 column titled "Let's start our lives anew in 2015." He gives us all hope in a world full of anger and despair. Mrs. McVay's prayer for a stranger after her own loss clearly follows the teachings of Jesus.
If you did not read this column, please take the time, as you will be blessed.
Happy New Year to all.
Gin House Court
So many people worry about global warming as a threat to humanity, without realizing that there is a new insidious force taking over our children. The force is Minecraft.
It turns our children into zombies and takes them to an alternate universe, where they are killing monsters and trying to survive. They sit for hours with their iPads, not speaking or interacting with the real world.
Maybe Rupert Murdoch should buy out this game as a way to get to our children. The possibilities for brainwashing are immense.
William A. Johnson
We decorate our yard for Christmas so everyone can enjoy it. To our surprise we received a blank envelope with money and this message, "Thank you for bringing Christmas cheer to the neighborhood. May the peace of Jesus be with you this season. God bless."
A letter to the editor is the only way we have to thank the person who gave us the envelope, and may God bless you too. We're glad everyone can enjoy the lights as much as we enjoy putting them out.
Our season is just about over now, but the kindness you showed us will never be forgotten.
Thelma and Bill Bagley