Letters to the Editor - January 23, 2020
Roundabout “Works” or “Needs Work”
Roundabout issues underline the need for pedestrian and driver safety improvements at the roundabout at Seven Farms and Daniel Island Drives. Uniquely with eight crosswalks (two crosswalks per road separated by an island), the design assumes the crosswalk button at roadside is used to activate the oncoming lane warning lights, and the island button for the second lane lights.
My own personal observations of pedestrian usage at the roundabout reveal that design assumptions are different than actual pedestrian usage. Only a small percentage of pedestrians use the street-side crosswalk button. A smaller number use the center island button. Pedestrians favor eye contact with drivers as the safe indicator to cross. I have also observed that safety lights as deployed are not adequate. When activated, only the oncoming lane-specific drivers are alerted to pedestrian traffic, no further crosswalk alerts activate if the island buttons are not used.
I’ve also observed that drivers elsewhere within the roundabout are not alerted to pedestrian activity.
I believe the current design fosters an increase in the probability of an incident during times of higher pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic. There are also in excess of 40 signs – signage covers signage and impedes roundabout and pedestrian visibility.
My recommendations made to the City of Charleston Department of Traffic and Transportation include:
1. Four crosswalks, NOT eight. Caveat – west side as it is.
2. Street-side buttons should concurrently activate lights across the entire crosswalk.
3. Lights should face two directions to alert roundabout drivers to pedestrian activity.
4. The island infrastructure should be removed.
Our one-cent tax referendum dollars should be used to validate the safety-specific recommendations. I call on Council persons Delcioppo, Whitley, and Director Benjamin to ensure that these issues are addressed with appropriate updates to Daniel Island constituents about progress in making the roundabout safer. Additionally, the property owners association needs to focus their efforts on pedestrian safety and crosswalk protocol, which has become lax.
Cunningham’s impeachment vote may hurt his re-election, but it was the right thing to do
It seems people are getting caught up in the less meaningful political details of this impeachment reality. Many votes in D.C. are more morally or legally-motivated, but it’s just too tempting for some to throw the politics accusation, like many are doing with Rep. Cunningham. Strip away the politics on the procedural questions for a moment and simply examine the question: did our president conditionally withhold Congressionally-approved funding to a U.S. ally to get dirt on a political adversary running against him for president? There was enough evidence for Congress to move forward. Full stop.
These editorial arguments started when Nancy Mace claimed Cunningham’s vote for impeachment proves he is putting “party over Lowcountry.” First of all, the impeachment vote has little to do with the Lowcountry per se. Some issues transcend locality. Furthermore, if one thinks deeper about the issue, you will realize Cunningham risked his political future by voting in favor of impeachment. Voting to impeach Trump will not sit well with the right and center-right people who voted for him, but nearly all center and left voters will favor his decision. Thus, he has much to lose by voting for impeachment. And to claim he is beholden to “Pelosi’s money” is ridiculous. Barely 3% of Cunningham’s contributions in 2018 came from the Democratic Party.
Cunningham voted his conscience and exercised the checks our Founders engineered into our democracy. Some politicians will vote in ways that might cost them votes they had previously earned, all in the name of doing the right thing.
Is anyone surprised that it took this long for Trump’s base instincts to come up against the law? I, for one, am glad we have a Constitution that allows for checks and balances. Thank you for your vote, Joe.
In Defense of Joe Cunningham’s impeachment vote
Here are the documented facts according to the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) which stated on Thursday, January 16, 2020: “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.”
In other words, President Trump broke the law by once again, putting his own self political interest ahead of the U.S. in withholding aid to Ukraine. Ukraine desperately needs the U.S. military aid to help it fight off Putin and Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine. In fact, since Putin’s invasion, 13,000 people have died in Putin’s war on Ukraine.
I am a Reagan (Bush Sr., Dole and McCain) Republican! Joe Cunningham is a breath of fresh air; a moderate who looks out for the best interest of the U.S. and Charleston. It is obvious that the Trump supporters, like Trump himself, are desperate to smear a patriotic passionate USA/Charleston first American like Joe Cunningham. God bless the USA and God bless Joe Cunningham.