Pedestrian safety

Dear Editor:I read that Mr. Steve Perez has asked our city officials to seriously consider lowering the speed limits ("Task Force Studies 20 MPH Speed Limit on Residential Streets," 3/29/12). They have already come up with an initial cost of $134,000 to do this and our Green Task Force has been diverted from making our city better for future generations by educating us on ways to conserve our water and natural resources into looking at speed limit changes. I am baffled as to why we are looking at this; are there too many pedestrians being hit by cars? Which city officials "concede the safety benefits" of a 20 MPH speed limit? Can we see their statistics? Maybe the reports are based on 45 and 50 MPH instead of Downey's 25 and 30 MPH. School zones are 20 MPH when children are present and our residential streets are 25 and 30 MPH. What advantage does a 20 MPH residential speed limit have and why is the Green Task Force involved with this? Mr. Perez said, "we are probably too young to remember we used to play in the streets." Maybe he meant we are too old and can't remember. As a child I saw my 8-year-old friend who was running across the street to play ball with me hit by a speeding car that did not stop. He was knocked out of his shoes and rolled at high speed like a rubber ball for a long way. I am sure Mr. Perez's heart is in the right place but it's different today; there are parks, skateboard parks and school yards for kids to play at. Streets are made for cars to drive on safely. What mom or dad in their right mind would be foolish enough to let their kids play in the streets, no matter what the speed limit? There are too many cars parked on the streets to play on anyway; sometimes it's hard to drive between them on the more narrow streets. Our radar motorcycle officers do a terrific job slowing down traffic where it needs to be slowed. I might be wrong but I think 25 and 30 MPH are safe speeds and it helps too if the drivers are responsible. Let's start a program that will teach everyone - including adults - pedestrian safety. Teach them to walk facing traffic, don't wear black clothing at night, wear white, wear some type of reflector on their clothing when walking or riding a bike, look both ways before stepping into the street, look at the person driving the car because they might be picking up their cell phone or on drugs, maybe drunk driving, and they can run you down and not even know they hit you, especially at night. School kids: you have the right of way but don't challenge traffic when you cross the street, speed up your walk and look up and around. Protect yourself. Maurie Thomas, Downey

Dear Editor: We have a Green Task Force in Downey? Really? Here I see a Mr. Perez lobbying the city for 20 MPH speed limits in Downey. Previously in the Patriot I remember somebody from the Green Task Force wanting to ban plastic bags. Recently a group was pressuring the City Council to ban smoking outside. Must I, as a Downey resident, take the time perhaps to seek membership on one of these task forces to voice my opposition to these, pardon my frustration here but frankly, nut job proposals? I've lived in Downey since the late 1960s and I'm over 70 years old. One of the best things about Downey, as a city and a place to live, has been the fact that nothing happens here. People pretty much mind their own business and aren't trying to make Downey into a mini Santa Monica or San Francisco. Fred Dickinson, Downey

********** Published: April 5, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 51