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Mailbag: Sharrows aren't safe for cyclists

September 13, 2010

I'm a bit confused over the thanks to the City Council for the bicycle sharrows on Chevy Chase Drive that seem to be placed in the middle of the street ("Bicyclist appreciates council move," Sept. 7).

If Scott Peer is sincere and does in fact commute to work on a bicycle, he must be one of the only ones. I drive that road multiple times daily and can honestly say I've rarely seen a bicycle on that part of Chevy Chase — maybe these sharrows were meant for him.

I'm all for pedestrian safety, but the placement of the sharrows doesn't seem to provide any new area for bicycles. If the placement of sharrows in the middle of the lane of traffic is meant for bicycles, then the City Council should consider a new fund for body-bag dispensers along that same route. Glendale still has some of the worst drivers in the U.S. ("Nationwide survey of safe driving cities ranks Glendale near bottom," Sept. 8)!

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Mark Walcoff

Glendale

A pleasant day at Brand Blvd. of Cars

I did not want to spend my Labor Day Weekend shopping along the Brand Boulevard of Cars. I know that this is one of the busiest times of the year for car dealerships, and I was worried that avaricious salespeople would be in full stock, even if the cars we wanted were not.

I did not want to deal with the hazy negotiation process where a manager sits in the backroom like the Wizard of Oz, coming up with new finance numbers that seem to confound even the salespeople — because they are giving us such a great deal!

As we visited various car dealerships, however, I was pleasantly surprised by the courteous and responsive salespeople. Most understood that letting a person test-drive a car and allowing for a few minutes of silence are worth more than any sales pitch. Most understood that they could let the car do the talking if it is a car worth purchasing.

In only one case did we run into a salesperson who was overbearing and gruff, who would say things to my wife such as, "the black model looks good on you" or "your shirt is the nicest I've seen all day." Not that these are inappropriate comments, but you can tell they are just butter-me-up type of statements in an attempt to win over a customer — and it clearly comes off as insincere.

I know it is difficult to be a salesperson. Spending all day without a sale must be torture. Nevertheless, I am pleased to see that professional customer service is not a lost art in my city.

In the end, we decided upon a Toyota Rav4 and drove away content. I would highly recommend shopping for cars in Glendale. And I do not even need a commission to say that.

Marcel Hovsepian

Glendale

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