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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about telecommuting, more efficient traffic design, and accountability in higher education.

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Help telecommuters, encourage fuel conservation

Regarding the Aug. 18 article, "Congress to vote on drilling ban": Any comprehensive energy legislation Congress ultimately approves must include significant measures to promote telecommuting. These include meaningful tax incentives both for employees who telecommute and their employers, a standard home office deduction to ease the current complexity of taking the deduction, and the elimination of the telecommuter tax – the hefty penalty states may impose on nonresidents who telecommute to in-state employers from their out-of-state homes.

Because of the telecommuter tax, Americans may receive a double state tax bill simply because they telecommute across state lines. The punitive tax can cost employees even more to work from home sometimes than to drive every day – a significant barrier to fuel conservation.

If Congress is serious about adopting a comprehensive program to address our energy crisis, it must include in that program such pending bills as the Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act, which would abolish the telecommuter tax and pave the way for the nation to telecommute more.

Design roads to include fewer stops

Regarding the Aug. 25 article, "As more people cycle to work, some must relearn how to share the road": For a bicycle or a car to move most efficiently, it would move along at a relatively slow speed and make very few stops.

Why do we have so may stop signs? Car engineers have made cars safer and faster, so drivers drive them faster. Traffic engineers in the United States try to slow the cars down by making them stop a lot. The frequent stopping generates frustration in drivers and leads to the tendency of some drivers (cyclists included) to run stops.

In this time of awareness about fuel conservation, I am surprised that I have not heard this issue already discussed in the mainstream media.


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