Mayor Dan Horrigan’s plan to increase Akron’s income tax rate from 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent is in part meant to assist in repaving 43 miles of city roads, with 70 percent in residential areas. Some questions should be asked about the use of these dollars: If the increase is improved, will the infrastructure be more of the same or something different that will make the neighborhoods more livable, safe and pedestrian friendly?

Currently, we build roads with wide lanes that are built for cars. There is a massive 78-foot long pedestrian crossing near my house. Will the city continue to build more wide roads like this that disconnect neighbors? Or will the new spending be used to narrow 25-mph residential streets to 9 feet or less, something that has been proved to naturally slow down cars to the correct speed limits, instead of 12-foot wide roads that are appropriate for 65-mph highways? Will the city work to incorporate more green infrastructure to meet our sewer demands?

The city could add bioswales in the middle of roundabouts instead of having four-way stops in the neighborhoods. It could add green infrastructure to curb bump-outs and pedestrian islands to ease pedestrian crossings for all residents. The city could add better signage and “gateways” to the different neighborhoods to add to the character of the area.

There has been talk about adding “smart” roads with more technology, but why not use basic and proven solutions to make Akron a more livable city? The new administration has asked “Why not Akron?” Many cities across the U.S. and the world are making these simple, environmentally friendly and safer solutions to city infrastructure in their residential neighborhoods; why not Akron?

Max Bedell

Akron

Let’s discourage bad legislation

The Aug. 28 commentary “Why not punishment for voter suppression?” really hit the mark. If there was a real punishment, such as a cut in salary or removal from office, maybe terrible voter suppression laws would not be attempted. But why stop there? Voter suppression is certainly horrible, as is gerrymandering and stringent requirements. What about any law that ends up being called unconstitutional?

Isn’t it more offensive to be against the Constitution and deprive not one or two, but millions of people of their rights?

Surely, the threat of lost wages and eventually, political position, would make people at least vet these horrible laws a little better. Such penalties may slow down the passage of laws, but is that necessarily a bad thing, to slow down possible violations of the Constitution and people’s rights?

Richard J. Kunkel

Wadsworth

Don’t disrespect the flag

Regarding the NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem: There is no excuse for disrespecting the American flag. There are plenty of ways to express your opinion. Disrespecting the flag is not one of them.

I, for one, will not watch an NFL game this year. I could only wish the diehard fans who respect the flag would do the same. Try it. It may open new doors for you.

Jim Kraynak

Stow