Editorial

We welcome the Tour, but what of the crowds?

letters@thetribunenews.comNovember 30, 2012 

Amgen Bike Race

Cyclists head to San Luis Obispo in the fourth stage of the 2008 Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race.

ORVILLE MYERS — AP Photo/The Monterey County Herald

We’re glad the Tour of California is stopping somewhere in San Luis Obispo County, and we agree that Avila Beach will be a beautiful backdrop for the fifth-stage finish. And, hey, TV exposure in 200 countries is bound to be good for tourism, right?

But before we move from gushing to gloating (take that, Turlock!) let’s acknowledge that Avila does have some constraints that should make this an interesting —but not insurmountable — challenge.

We’re talking, of course, about space — or lack thereof.

Call us worrywarts, but it can be tough enough maneuvering around Avila on Farmers Market day … and this is the town that’s going to accommodate the crowd that will gather for a world-class cycling race?

True, the cyclists themselves aren’t going to stay in town, but what about the rest of us? Where are we going to park, and set up our beach chairs, and buy our sunscreen and our french fries, and how long is it going to take us to get out of town after the finish?

Then again, as some intrepid online posters have been saying, this is a one-time, one-day event that will be over almost before you know it.

So we’ll stop with the negative waves (for now, at least) and toss spandex-wrapped, wish-you-the-best bouquets to organizers; may you silence the critics and make this a Tour to remember.

If it’s rainy or dark, drive extra safe

We love the rain, but we don’t love drivers who fail to slow down and turn on their headlights. The next one we see gets soaked with a deluge of brickbats.

While we’re on the subject of safety, brickbats also are en route to cyclists who ride at night without lights, and pedestrians who insist on wearing dark clothing — then wonder why they’re almost hit as they dash across the street.

Pledge to make no pledges

We pledge to present fiscally responsible bouquets to Republican lawmakers who turn their backs on Grover Norquist and his no-new-tax pledge.

Elected representatives at every level have a duty to their constituents — not to a bully who threatens political ruin for any politician who fails to sign a pledge and whose mantra is to shrink government to a size so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.

We urge our elected officials to pledge to make no more pledges — unless, of course, it’s the Pledge of Allegiance.

COLAB has right to call for action

We don’t often see eye-to-eye with COLAB, but we can’t fault the group for sending out an “action alert” urging residents to testify at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors hearing on proposed changes to the ag cluster ordinance.

Some who support the revisions accuse COLAB of deliberately trying to delay the process with a filibuster, in the hope that the item will be carried over to next year, when conservative Debbie Arnold replaces Jim Patterson on the board.

“Filibustering” may indeed be the intent. Nonetheless, COLAB has the right to urge its members to “pack the house” so to speak — just as every other interest group does, and often has.

That said, we agree that it would be better for the current board to decide the issue, since it’s familiar with the issue and has already heard some testimony at an earlier meeting.

We see no reason why that can’t happen. As Patterson points out, there are still three more board meetings before the end of the year. We have a cluster of bouquets if the board can soldier on and get the work done.

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