When it comes to contact between a car and a pedestrian or bicyclist, the car almost always wins. But that doesn't mean that the driver of that car is always at fault.
Many drivers don't give the respect or space that bicyclists have a right to and heaven knows there are too many drivers who apparently never learned that a person crossing the street between two parallel white lines has the right of way. But that said, we're seeing a growing number of people darting across the streets mid-block when it would only take a minute to reach the corner and cross safely. Likewise, too many bicyclists ignore stop signs and red lights and put their lives in danger by changing lanes and crossing all the way across, too often in dark clothing with no light. Pedestrian and bicycle safety is, pardon the pun, a two-way street.
Please be safe out there everyone.
We regularly call lawmakers to task for lavish spending and inability to reach reasonable compromises. It's only fair that we also point out when they display some common sense.
We applaud two of our state legislators for deciding to share office space for their district offices in Modesto. Sen. Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton and Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced have moved into the fifth-floor office at Tenth Street Place that formerly was used by Rep. Dennis Cardoza.
This came together more easily because Galgiani and Gray are Democrats and their staffers know each other and some used to work together. Regardless, the shared office will reduce costs and be easy for constituents to find. The doors opened this past week; the phones and computers should be installed within a few days. This is a satellite office for both state legislators. Gray's main district office is in Merced and Galgiani's is in Stockton.
Previously, we reported that two Republican legislators are sharing a field representative in the northern part of their Mother Lode-Sierra districts. Sen. Tom Berryhill and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow rely on Dana Jorgensen, who works out of an office in Jackson.
Efficient use of resources we like that.
The Modesto City Schools continues its tradition of naming facilities for longtime educators. This week the school board approved naming the new Gregori High School football stadium for longtime Davis High School teacher and football coach Don Lanphear. Lanphear taught at Davis from 1972 to 2008. During his 15 years as Davis' varsity football coach, the team made the playoffs 12 times.
We support the city schools' naming practices, with a caveat: Each school needs to make sure that future generations are introduced to the men and women for whom their campus and facilities are named. We're not sure that is happening. How many current students know about Thomas Downey or Fred Beyer or Grace Davis or Peter Johansen?
Meanwhile, Gregori High named for longtime Modesto educator Joseph Gregori, who worked as a teacher, coach, vice principal and principal before his death in 1998 will host its first home varsity football game Aug. 30 against César Chávez High School of Stockton. It will be in Don Lanphear Stadium.
The Modesto school board has reduced the amount of time it will give people to comment on agenda items from five minutes to three minutes. The shorter time still falls within the Brown Act, which only requires that people be given an opportunity to speak. The Modesto Irrigation District recently increased its speaking time limit, from three to five minutes.
The school board made the change about 10 p.m. Monday long after most members of the public had left the meeting. As we've said before, we don't think that there's a perfect time limit. Some people can say a lot in three minutes; other don't say much in five. Our recommendation to parents and others: Collect your thoughts, put something in writing to distribute to board members, and then be concise and clear in your oral remarks.