N.J. law gives bicyclists

same rights as motorists

Regarding the Sept. 5 letter, "Bike-a-thons pose a danger on the roads":

Stating that "cyclists are supposed to ride single file" is incorrect. New Jersey motor vehicle law (39:4-14.2) states that "cyclists are permitted to ride two abreast unless traffic is impeded, in which case they must ride single file." As an avid cyclist, I can tell you that the vast majority of us follow the rules of the road, even when riding in large groups approaching 30 mph. We drive motor vehicles too, so assuming that we all spontaneously ride haphazardly once we're on a bicycle is a gross exaggeration.

The law also states that we are afforded the same rights and privileges as cars on the road, whether drivers like it or not. If a storm drain, debris or other obstacle is in our path, we are permitted to ride in a traffic lane as far to the right as necessary, as well as to make a lefthand turn at a traffic light, or when there is no available shoulder. That's the law, and the reason why we don't get arrested when we follow it.

Regarding bike-a-thons - this is most definitely the safest ride for a cyclist because hundreds of us are more easily seen by drivers, and for one great day we outnumber motor vehicles in a given area.

Bike-a-thons and road races are also not daily events. Organizers and law enforcement do a great job in keeping everyone safe and make it abundantly clear that for a few days out of the year, we can enjoy the road without the constant fear of being run over.

As someone who routinely rides 30-60 miles on any given day, I can assure you that motor vehicles many times come dangerously close to us in the shoulder, whether we're single file or two abreast. We're much more worried that drivers won't see us because they're talking or texting on a cell phone than you are of us riding too close to your car. I believe the larger issue is that many drivers feel entitled to the road and don't know the law.

ALEX TJOUMAKARIS

Linwood

Four years too long

to keep Ventnor mayor

Regarding the Aug. 23 editorial, "Ventnor's recall movement/

Needlessly divisive":

We don't need Atlantic City politics in Ventnor, and that's what we're getting. Mayor Michael Bagnell is the architect of the rampant cronyism in city hiring and the muzzling of voters at public meetings.

Have you heard the "ding, ding, ding" of the mayor's bell that cuts off debate? We never had that before. Why now? Too many questions?

It's not only the wrongdoing; it's also the wrong style for Ventnor. We've seen enough to know we're in a hole. Why keep digging?

It's time to move the mayor and his buddies out and to put the voters back in. Four years is way too long after what we've already seen. Bag Bagnell.

SONIA LOADENTHAL

Ventnor

Dunes aren't needed

to protect Margate

This is for anyone in Margate ready to say yes to the Army Corps of Engineers dune salesmen:

Walk down any beach block in Margate to the bulkhead and observe what you see. Then do the same thing in Ventnor where the dunes are.

In Margate, I see the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. I hear the waves breaking, and I feel the ocean breeze. In Ventnor, I see a wall of sand covered by weeds, surrounded by fetid water. No wave sounds. No sea breeze.

And you want that? All of us, not just beachfront homeowners, will lose our ocean views and have our summer temperatures raised.

Hurricane Sandy, like virtually every storm we get, was almost completely a flooding event and affected, almost exclusively, properties built to a low elevation. If you want flood protection, build your home to a higher elevation of 12 to 14 feet.

Dunes can make flooding worse by preventing the water from receding. Dunes are protection from storm surge and wave action, but we already have bulkheads for those very rare events.

Why block out the very thing that brought your grandparents here in the first place and brought you back after college? If you want to be separated from the ocean, move to Linwood ... or Kansas.

CHUCK CAVANAUGH

Margate

Many still suffering,

and FEMA's no help

Am I alone in my feelings of deep disdain for our friends at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and associated organizations helping us rebuild? We are closing in on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and only now are many, like me, finally beginning the rebuilding process.

They asked us to be patient. We tried. But listening to the news, watching our governor in his wonderful commercials, or reading articles about how strong we are and how we are back better than ever makes me wonder if these agencies really know what the people affected by the storm are going through.

It has been more than 120 days since FEMA gave my wife and me rental assistance. Meanwhile, the agency has come up with redundant requests for information already supplied to them. In her frustration during her last phone conversation, my wife asked if FEMA would need her first-grade report card next.

We assumed for 28 years that we were well insured for the risk we undertook by living at the shore on a barrier island. We had always paid for the full $250,000 coverage that flood insurance allows. As it turns out, we overinsured ourselves and overpaid for coverage that we would never receive.

Now, in our golden years, with my wife suffering from an autoimmune disease that has rendered her extremely weak and unable to walk up steps without much difficulty, we are forced to build a rancher at least eight feet in the air. But FEMA deemed our damage was due to the unstable ground that our house was built upon, not the floodwaters that shifted the house, caused our walls to bulge, our floors to buckle.

So, I ask: Am I alone here in not getting sufficient help from our insurance companies, from our governmental agencies, or any of the other so-called organizations that have pledged their assistance to those in need?

PETER VAN NEST

Brigantine

Many questions

on attack of Syria

The Geneva Conventions are international treaties that contain the most important rules limiting the barbarity of war. They outlaw the use of poison gas and biological warfare. Now it has been determined that more than 1,400 civilians in Syria were killed by poison gas supposedly inflicted upon them on the orders of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But why won't other countries support us in an attack on Syria?

How accurate are the missiles to be used? Will they not kill other Syrians?

Since when does our leader feel he must save the world by ordering a watered-down war? Americans are entitled to know these answers.

MATT RENDINO

Egg Harbor City