'Countdown' crossings won't make difference
Why spend more than $2 million to change crosswalk lights to "countdown" signals by 2012 (Star-Bulletin, April 28
) when the problem is urgent and the "fix" actually will do little if anything to correct it? The countdown and flashing red hand both signify the same: DO NOT ENTER THE CROSSWALK. This is exactly the same thing that the steady red hand means!
The problem has been that pedestrians tend to interpret a flashing signal as being similar to the yellow vehicular traffic signal, a warning that the green light is about to go red. The solution, then, is to avoid confusion by changing all the crosswalk signals to show only steady white for walk, steady red for don't start to cross, eliminating all flashing signals.
The visual message is thus simple to interpret with no need for a re-education campaign because pedestrians are already aware that the steady red hand means "don't cross."
Red-light cameras proven to save lives
Yes, yes, yes, please pass the legislation to install the cameras over intersections to catch red-light runners. It works in Oakland, Calif.
Oakland sends bills to the owners of the cars -- they do not specifically pinpoint the driver. I don't know why people in Hawaii are so against passing legislation that actually has been proven to work in other places. It seems they'd rather have humans buried because of red-light runners than to prevent the deaths. Rep. Joe Souki has the right idea. Unfortunately, it seems that no other legislators agree with him. I guess none of these people have had anyone that they love killed because of red-light runners.
Irene F. Lance
SB 1642 would hurt first responders
The city Department of Information Technology strongly opposes Senate Bill 1642 and backs the governor's veto.
The bill would seriously affect the life safety provided by our first responders. There is another, equally strong reason against this bill becoming law: its effect on other agencies such as the Department of Information Technology.
My department is not considered a "first response" agency, but is responsible for much of the support provided to the first responders. We maintain the 800 MHz public safety radio system presently used by Honolulu's Police and Fire departments and 20 other agencies, and the microwave tower facilities that are key to its operation. We also provide support for many other vital systems including but not limited to 911 dispatch, Enhanced 911, wire line and wireless communications networks, the city's motor vehicle licensing system, driver licensing system, dispatch and more. We support all them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
This bill would severely limit my department's ability to provide not only daily support for these systems, but pivotal emergency support. It would have far-reaching harmful effects on the delivery of life safety services.
I strongly encourage any legislator who cares about life safety to sustain Gov. Linda Lingle's veto of SB 1642.
Gordon J. Bruce
Director Chief information officer
Department of Information Technology
City and County of Honolulu
Visibility helps more than loud pipes do
Alex Messier makes the point ("Letters," April 29
) that loud, bombastic motorcycles are a safety measure. I think this is a silly justification for a chauvinistic self-indulgence. Thousands of motorcyclists ride motorcycles that don't destroy peace and quiet and invade other people's homes, and they aren't in intensive care. To wit: My father rode a HondaMatic for 22 years with but one accident -- rear-ended at a stoplight.
It is entirely possible to ride safely simply by being visible. And any loud noise to ensure safety would have to be at least 135 decibels, since many cars these days insulate at least to that level. Any motorcyclist who depends on noise to stay safe is just a poor (and irresponsible) motorcyclist.
Missing woman's parents in agony
My prayers to Mr. and Mrs. Watanabe, parents of Masumi Watanabe
, in their hour of despair and hopelessness. Since April 12, the day of her disappearance, I have followed the daily news about Masumi, always hoping for the best, as she moved from a missing person to a suspected homicide victim (Star-Bulletin, April 29).
No parent should go through what both of you are feeling at this moment.
Hopefully, at a later time, both of you will have the strength to share more stories about your beautiful daughter Masumi. Hawaii must never forget her story.
Until then, I beg the people who might know the whereabouts of Masumi to come forward and do what is right: help Masumi's parents bring her home.