We start this Saturday morning with good news for Modesto bicyclists: Some improvements to bike lanes have been made and others are on their way.
As part of the resurfacing of Sylvan Avenue, the city added bike lanes that are more clearly marked and that help make cyclists more visible. And the parking lane is wider, reducing the chances of someone opening a car door and smacking into an unsuspecting cyclist.
Finally, at traffic signals on Sylvan between Coffee Road and Hashem Drive, there are new pressure plates that allow the weight of a bicycle to trigger the traffic light, just like a car or truck triggering the light in the middle of the lane.
Twenty-one wheelchair ramps also were added or rebuilt along Sylvan, making it easier for the disabled and for pedestrians.
Recent work on Needham Avenue also included new bike lines with the bright green markings (shown in black and white above; they really do make cyclists more visible in green). And smoother roadtop is appealing to both motorists and cyclists.
In the spring, the city plans to add bicycle lanes to Oakdale Road between Floyd and Briggsmore avenues. Eventually the Oakdale Road bike lane will extend to Sylvan.
The bike lane improvements are part of a Complete Streets policy that promotes safe movement of people, no matter what their mode of transportation.
Mayor Garrad Marsh wants Modesto to be recognized as a bicycle-friendly city, and so do we.
There are a lot of positives to riding bicycles. It can make you healthier and it makes our streets less crowded with cars which also cuts down on air pollution. But cyclists must be safe, or they won't switch from four wheels to two.
Marsh plans to abandon his car during the first week of October and rely solely on alternative transportation, including a bike. He'll challenge others to do the same. Leadership by example; we like it.
Finally a reminder to bicyclists and motorists: if you follow the law, you can share the streets safely.
There's no doubt that students, parents coaches and others want a pool at Enochs High School in north Modesto. Whether that pool is "needed" is still open for debate.
Many of the arguments put forward by parents, students and school staff at Wednesday's forum were based on emotion and convenience. For example, if Enochs student athletes cannot get into the Johansen pool to practice until 5 p.m., they have ample time to do their homework right after classes end at 2 p.m.
Councilman Dave Cogdill Jr. has offered a couple of reasonable ideas:
First, the schools and city work together on a pool that serves students and is available to the community during the many times the school is not in session.
Second, survey property owners who are paying the Mello-Roos taxes in Village I to get their views on the pool. It would be only advisory, but it could help settle this issue.
Modesto City School officials are seeking the support of business leaders and others for Proposition 30, the governor's tax increase, saying that school year might be cut short if it doesn't pass. At the same time, they insist they building a $3.5 million pool. Apparently they don't see the inconsistency.
Finally, we wish school leaders would quit complaining about the time staff puts into responding to questions about how the Mello-Roos money has been spent, as if it was wasted money. The public expects government agencies, including the schools, to be accountable for handling public money. If it did add up to $200,000, as some claim, that's a pittance compared to the $101.4 million spent to build Enochs without a pool.
Yes, we know it's football season. But we're very happy that baseball season isn't quite over yet in Modesto. The Nuts, our Single-A California League franchise affiliated with the Colorado Rockies, have made the playoffs.
And we're not alone in congratulating the Nuts. The team drew 4,158 on Thursday night, giving them 175,918 for the season the third-highest total in 66 years of minor league baseball in Modesto. As we've said before: