Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Dec. 3

Two-way streets downtown offer own problems

I read with interest the editorial on Nov. 17, "Step on the gas for 2-way streets."

There are things that need to be reviewed before a decision is made.

■ Lexington needs appropriate traffic-signal systems. How often have you been traveling on two-way Third Street when one car turning left (there is no turn lane) caused traffic to back up for blocks? Or seen a left green arrow when nobody is in the turn lane?

■ I don't believe that our one-way streets accommodate faster traffic since lights stop cars at intervals. Take Vine Street. Perhaps drivers are racing to beat the system?

■ It seems one-way streets are safer and easier for pedestrians to cross than are two-way streets.

■ For those passing through the city, I hope a move to two-way streets won't create such a slowdown in traffic (which seems to be a primary reason for the change) that people avoid downtown whenever possible.

■ Remember the Main Street traffic congestion during the construction of the past two summers? How would that be handled on a two-way Main Street?

"Experts" have weighed in on the side of two-way streets, though one-way streets are commonplace in most cities I have visited.

I hope due diligence is used in the process, because the change will require significant expenditures and may lead to unplanned outcomes.

Bill Farnau


Two-way? No way

I am curious about your statement, "A search through Herald-Leader archives finds near-universal support for two-way streets in Lexington's downtown going back over a decade."

Anyone familiar with cities' traffic woes and who understands the advantage afforded by the current relatively easy access through downtown considers the idea questionable at best.

What downtown needs are more people: people to work at a significant amount of empty office space; more people who want the richness of living in an urban environment, including the great restaurants, nightlife and cultural events that downtown offers.

Would making traffic slower result in more people?

Your editorial's hyperbole of "a confusing maze of one-way streets that can turn a ten-minute drive downtown into a half-hour trauma makes it easier to head out to a mall," is simply wrong. If your hypothetical directionally-challenged drivers spend an extra 20 minutes trying to navigate a few one-way streets, I seriously doubt they'd be able to find their way home. However, if you want to waste 20 minutes easily, just imagine the traffic backed up on a two-way Main with left turns being made onto Mill, Upper and Limestone.

Your editorial erroneously states, "Lexington can't have a downtown that's an entertainment, shopping and dining destination without two-way streets. It's as simple as that." Well, Lexington presently has such a destination. More two-way streets will only make it a destination much less convenient to reach.

Phillip Cassidy


Straight to the heart

Three cheers for Eugene Startzman ("Faith is a truth found through grace, not reason," Oct. 31). In a simple and relatively gentle way he has illustrated the truth of the Bible from two verses without even thumping the book in the process.

Hebrews 9:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him." This is the heart of the professor's story, the foundational presupposition of the Christian theist. This is what he did and his story is how it came out.

Psalm 14:1 says, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' " This is the foundational presupposition of the atheist. Richard Dawkins has ruled God out of his universe and determined that the finite mind of man is the absolute standard of all things.

Dawkins is lost in the cosmos, with nothing but the brute facts he can observe, a void governed by time and chance that cancels out the logic he leans on, and no hope of getting the answers he desperately needs to the deepest questions of human beings.

Jerry Sweers


A thank you

We know they worked either for the gas company or were contracted by the gas company to replace our street's gas line. We don't know their names; they worked tirelessly through some bad weather conditions. We just wanted to say thank you to the crew that has been on Idle Hour drive these past months.

Bill and Lorraine Waun


BBBS big problem

Over the last two years, there has been publicity regarding the embezzlement of funds from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. A former office manager was recently sentenced for taking more than $400,000 from the organization over a period of 18 months.

This crime was discovered by an astute bank employee who noticed that signatures on checks did not match bank records.

Starting in November 2008, as a fund-raiser for the organization, I, along with another fund-raiser, vigorously and persistently questioned financial statements and fund-raising reports. In June 2009, we were let go. Three months later, the bank employee uncovered the money problem.

In recent weeks, several staff have been laid off or let go. This means there are fewer children being served, and those who are have lost some staff oversight.

An employee embezzling funds for 18 months shows a lack of board and management oversight. The temptation is to blame that employee for their current problems. Her crime is a symptom of an ongoing problem within BBBS.

The BBBS board is going about this from the wrong direction. You clean house from the top down, not the bottom up. When will the prominent business leaders who are on the BBBS board start asking the tough questions and making courageous decisions for the children of our community? Ultimately, the health of any non-profit rests squarely on the shoulders of its board

Elaine Hammonds


Refreshing correlation

Fascinating, isn't it? The two coaches with the most wins in Division I college basketball, Mike Krzyzewski and Bobby Knight, are also among the coaches with the highest graduation rates of their players. Quite refreshing.

Mike Daugherty