What’s the issue?

14

To the Editor:

We are writing regarding a letter in the March 23rd edition (Safe Highways?). The letter from Mt. Sterling refers to, “. . . Wagons with slow moving horses in our roadways…” (and a growing number of bicycles). The letter ends with, “. . . If this issue concerns you or your family, help solve this problem.”

Well, my family is concerned. However, what concerns us is that the letter is a mean and vicious attack on a particular group of people.

What also concerns us is that the letter is primarily about wanting to travel across the county “quickly” and with “good speed.” Is the letter about safe travel, or is it about the desire for speed and about not wanting any inconvenience or “snags?”

The letter doesn’t point out the many aspects and perils of rural travel, but has chosen only to attack a particular group of people and their chosen mode of transportation.

the letter also states that . . . wagon speed will “set the pace” and defeat millions of dollars spent by taxpayers to move traffic quickly . . . .

How can alternate forms of transportation “defeat” dollars spent? Is the letter suggesting that tax “dollars” (rather than laws) should dictate who can and cannot travel the roadways?

Those who travel by “. . . wagons with slow moving horses (and) bicycles . . . “, have as much right to travel the roads as anyone does.

Plus, those who the letter refer to, are an asset to this community. Like so many in this county, they bring with them a dedication to God and family, with values and morals, so often missing in these “modern” times.

The letter refers to the county and state roads as “our” roads (our, used four times). Aren’t the roadways theirs too?

The letter states that taxpayers spend millions of dollars on roadways in this county. This is true. But, those who choose to travel by horse drawn “passenger wagons” and bicycles (as the letter refers), are also taxpayers.

They pay income taxes. They pay property taxes. In fact, with their new seven bedroom homes, new huge barns and farm buildings (for their horses, wagons and bicycles) they probably pay a whole lot more property taxes than our family does, for our home and modest size barn.

By the way, if we are not mistaken, we believe it’s called a horse and buggy, not a (horse drawn) “passenger wagon,” as the letter calls it.

The letter also refers to “an ‘animal’ in our roadways” (the letter referring only to horses). This is a beautiful rural community, with the potential of all sorts of different types of animals in the road, such as deer, wild turkeys, chickens, geese, cattle crossing, and the occasional farm animal that has gotten loose. The letter doesn’t mention these.

Also, the letter doesn’t mention that in a rural community there are a lot of other things traveling the road that move slow, such as mail carrier vehicles, tractors and farm implements, which by the way, also have the right to be on the road.

The letter doesn’t mention these. Instead, it singles out only the “. . . wagons with slow moving horses in our roadways . . . .” If one is concerned about safe travel, then speak about safe travel, don’t viciously attack a certain group of people.

Suggest such things as traveling within the speed limits, and when you have to slow down or stop because of a horse and buggy, tractor, or geese in the road, turn your flashers on, to alert those coming up behind you, and when it is safe, carefully pass.

A few moments of inconvenience is a part of life, and thinking that it isn’t, is suggesting that one is above it.

Also, regarding the letter. Please, do not exploit the image of children for personal gain. The “solution that needs to be formed,” as the letter states, is simple and is already in place. Obey the written laws of the road, drive within the speed limits, don’t pass in a no passing zone, adjust your driving for the environment in which you are traveling.

As for the letter inquiring whether the (horse drawn) “passenger wagons” carry collision insurance like an auto; all we can say is this. When we drive to Vevay or East Enterprise in our “modern type of travel” (as the letter refers to it). We are not in fear of a horse drawn “passenger wagon” colliding into us. We are, however, in mortal fear of the two-ton horseless carriage passing us on a double yellow at 70-plus mph.

John and Diana Donley

Jacksonville