It’s not surprising that large cars are associated with an increased risk of death and injury (“Car Obsession Rises Health Risks,” Aug. 6). Pedestrians in school areas are most at risk from these vehicles. At a school near me, students are dropped off in a safe zone on campus while others walking through the school are not so safe. Most vehicles entering the school are SUVs. The speed limit of 10 km/h is not always respected and the right of way for pedestrians is rarely respected. I suspect big cars contribute to aggressive driving. Graham Lum, North Rocks
The threats to democracy that Amanda Taub enumerated (“Trump is no Nixon when it comes to impeachment,” Aug. 6) will not exist here for two reasons: compulsory voting, which gives all citizens a say, and a non-political electoral commission. This ensures that elections are conducted according to strict rules and that the electorate is adjusted according to objective criteria. Andrew Macintosh, Cromer
Developers in this patch of woods have been given free reign over the past few years, and have consistently received zero out of three on the Parnell Palme McGuinness criteria of affordability, build quality and desirability (“I’m a YIMBY and proud of it,” August 6) . They buy up nice old houses in big blocks, tear them down and build at least two new dwellings, all of which are hideous blocky structures devoid of any aesthetic appeal. Development proposals always claim that the new buildings would “fit seamlessly into the existing streetscape,” but when finished, they stick out like Mandrill’s ass. They are built from plastic boxes: one at the end of my street actually collapsed in the middle of construction. Hardly affordable, they cost at least $2 million each. One, three doors down from me, recently sold for $2.75 million. Unfortunately, this is the case when you let market forces run wild. Our suburbs are being ripped apart by predatory developers, and the local authorities and government seem to be fine with that. That’s why I’m a NIMBY. Ryszard Linkiewicz, Caringbah South
YIMBY advocate McGuinness claims people live in “glass-fronted Harry Seidler cages with no balconies… (with) the best views in Sydney.” She mustn’t see that the glass facades of the Blues Point Tower form “French” balconies (like on a cruise), with a glass door opening behind a balustrade. Seidler’s earlier 1958 tower design had standard balconies, but (unlike today) planning codes at the time included the size of the balconies as part of the floor area ratio (FSR) for what could be built on site – so the developer required a redesign to accommodate the Interior space to enlarge size of each unit. Only when balconies were exempted from the FSR did the few Seidler apartment buildings all have standard or porch balconies. Polly Seidler, Darlinghurst
It was nice to see the issue of illegal, unregulated electric bicycles and throttle scooters making it onto the letter page (Letters, August 6). Four years ago, our new pedal-assist electric bikes allowed us to sell our second car and make huge savings on registration, insurance and fuel. Now we’re both in our 80s and our bikes keep us fit, active and entertained. We drive to the ocean pool for a swim, to local shops, explore our region and couple our bikes to the car when we travel. However, the recent proliferation of cargo bikes and ‘beach bikes’, ridden (without pedals) at well over 15 mph on footpaths, bike lanes and roads, often by teenagers with no helmets and at a double angle, poses an unacceptable danger to us and us dar to these drivers. Unfortunately, this behavior has caused all electric bikes in our area to fall into disrepute. There is an urgent need to classify these non-assisted bicycles as motorcycles and subject them to the same road rules as other motorcycles and scooters. Alternatively, speed limit enforcement and helmet wearing must be enforced somehow to avoid the inevitable tragic accidents. Lyndall Dawson, Austinmer
Prioritize mental health
Growing up in the 1950s, I suffered from extreme anxiety because of my home situation (“Mental Health Issues Require a Minister,” August 6). When I started school at the age of 4½ I would bite my nails until they bled, have a nervous tic and keep clearing my throat. Back then, there was no psychiatric treatment for kids like me, so I underperformed at school and carried my untreated fears into my 70s. It is imperative that treatment is initiated for children between the ages of five and twelve, as these are important years in a child’s development. A minister should be appointed as soon as possible to oversee this situation. Christine Tiley, Albany Creek (Qld)
- Submit a letter to The Sun Herald, email to Letters@smh.com.au. Click here for tips on submitting letters.
- The Opinion newsletter is a weekly roundup of opinions that challenge, advocate and inform. Login here.