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Heavy-handed U

  • This artwork by M. Ryder relates to changes in voter ID laws.

EDITOR: Measure U in Cotati wants to ban some traffic features forever. As a civil engineer, son of a construction worker and resident of Cotati, I think this is a short-sighted idea.

I acknowledge that the recent plan for a small section of downtown was controversial. However, this measure is another example of politics clashing with science in an awkward and counterproductive way. If I were a planner or engineer for the city, this would be taking some tools out of my toolbox. Just because I preferred another tool for a particular time and location doesn't mean that same tool wouldn't be the perfect answer for another problem down the road.

In fact, banning roundabouts goes against a national trend. As an article in the Economist magazine (not known for frivolous opinions) this summer pointed out, roundabouts are growing in number because they increase safety and reduce gas and car maintenance costs. We've seen that trend in California and locally in towns including Petaluma.

So if someone came along with a new survey tool, <NO1>maybe an app on a smartphone, <NO>I might not run out and use it today. But I wouldn't prohibit it for all time.

MARCIN WHITMAN

<i>Cotati</i>


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