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Readers Write: Aug. 13

Certain measures can make roads safer for cyclists

I want to write a positive response to the reader who wrote with concerns about bicycling safety (“Cyclists need to find safer roads for rides,” Readers Write, July 30). I am one of those cyclists and have been cycling in Atlanta for the past 25 years. While I agree that many roads have little shoulders and safety concerns, those of us who cycle here feel that with certain safety measures (head and tail lights, mirrors, riding single file), and with the state “three feet” law, it can be done safely, and the benefit far outweighs the risk.

However, I want to give big kudos to DeKalb County, Commissioner Jeff Rader, and the PATH Foundation for the construction of the beautiful new South Peachtree Creek Trail. I experienced this for the first time recently, and they have done a fantastic job of creating a concrete and boardwalk path that allows people off the busy roads for at least a short while. It has opened up land that had little or no use or access prior to the path’s creation. It shows a priority for outdoor space that is commendable. Thank you, DeKalb County and the PATH Foundation.


Politicians spend too much time campaigning

Greg Bluestein’s article this week about newly elected Congresswoman Karen Handel was very informative “Handel preps another 6th District campaign,” News, Aug. 3. Handel has been in office less than two months and what is she working on? Fundraising for her next election! Bluestein makes readers realize what a problem it is that politicians spend so much time and energy to remain in office.


Investigation should shine light on college spending

“Student loans soar” with a 42 percent increase over 10 years? That is not “soaring.” You know what is soaring? Average college costs rose 77 percent in 10 years, according to “Georgia’s rising cost of college detailed in auditor’s review,” News, Jan. 2. I wish the AJC would do an investigation on universities, their administrative costs, instructors and teaching hours, etc. HOPE scholarships are doing just fine, and it would be a terrible mistake to fund 100 percent of any college education. What costs nothing means nothing.


Congress should do more to support SNAP

I always considered SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, to be a crucial economic development program that supports those struggling to make ends meet, but I never imagined that Georgia’s police officers would be recipients (“Hundreds of low-paid Georgia cops are on food stamps, report says,” News, Aug. 3).

In every classroom across the country, there has always been a kid who when asked, would say that when they grow up, they want to be a police officer, so it’s incredibly disheartening to learn that the people who risk their lives for us are having a hard time making ends meet. While the circumstances surrounding this are due to low wages and the ongoing fight for a living wage, it puts into perspective the importance of economic development programs like SNAP.

SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger, and in 2015, more than 700,000 Georgians were recipients of SNAP. This program is often temporary and helps to support working families, like our officers.

I urge Congressional leaders to protect and strengthen basic assistance programs like SNAP.


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