3/7 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Pedestrians, cyclists are entitled to safely use streets

Re: Bill Torpy’s Feb. 27 opinion column, “The endless debate over cars, streets and bikes carries on,” Torpy misses the mark.

Cyclists — and other non-drivers — are not the almighty political force he seems to see them as. They’re only looking out for their physical safety. Narrow or non-existent sidewalks, infrequent public transit and the city’s lattice of five-lane or wider roads make Atlanta’s built environment actively hostile to anyone not in a car.

These problems are exacerbated by many Atlanta drivers, who treat pedestrians and cyclists as nuisances or trespassers rather than as being equally entitled to use our streets. If Atlanta had city planning that considered literally anyone other than drivers, or drivers who gave cyclists’ and pedestrians’ safety more than a passing thought, drivers wouldn’t face the inconvenience of separated bike lanes created from current car lanes.


Injustices of poorly controlled development must end

Chronic problems are caused when development costs are shifted from investors to taxpayers and customers. The most obvious injustice is disproportionate growth in corporate profits relative to wages, especially unfair to consumers suffering high inflation.

In recent years, 53.9% of price increases were attributed to corporate profits, nearly five times the average profit-rate increases documented over the previous 40 years. Meanwhile, recent labor costs were only 7.9% of price increases, yet they accounted for an average of 61.8% of rising prices in prior decades.

Profits contributing to inflation have soared while labor costs shrunk to about one-eighth of their previous portion of price increases.

Likewise, when businesses pay less than their fair share of taxes, added infrastructure costs are imposed on consumers and taxpayers.

Similarly, inadequately controlled pollution compounds health costs, worsened by heat-trapping climate-change emissions.

To protect our citizens, Georgia’s corporate proposals must be rigorously evaluated instead of being irresponsibly promoted, regardless of the consequences. Reversing the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision would also improve outcomes.