Letter to Editor

Rules Of The Road: Blinking Traffic Lights


It is barely conceivable that the traffic light “cabinet” which is controlling the signals at Lincoln and Great Falls streets would take 4 or 5 months to replace or repair. Drivers here deserve a more informative explanation.

There will be accidents as a result of the inability to fix this signal.

Now that this signal is on the blink, it flashes red in all directions rendering this intersection a four way stop. How are drivers to deal with this situation

The rules are clear in this case, if not easily remembered or followed.

  1. Common sense – First come, first served.
  2. If you are sitting at a 4 way stop sign with other cars present, look to your right. If no one is there – you have right of way. If a car is there, then you must wait for it to go, and then you go.
  3. A question often arises about what the rule is if two cars arrive at the intersection at the same time.

If that happens, the driver on the left must yield. If no one is on the left (the cars are facing each other) then they can go simultaneously. If one of them is turning left, of course, he must yield to the oncoming car, but if both of them are turning, they can go simultaneously

Waving the other driver to ‘go ahead’ causes hesitation which is most often the cause of collisions.
I understand that a traffic signal control box contains a system of relays, switches, wires, and technology that is essential for the reliable, consistent operation of a set of traffic lights. I also get that supply chain issues could be causing delays in getting the needed repair parts. I’m really tired of that excuse, as are we all.

The public works department should have spare equipment in the event of a failure of one of these precious “cabinets” and their electrical components.

There are possible solutions.

Cooperation with other cities, counties, etc. for the purpose of sharing special equipment reserves.
There are hundreds of traffic signal in this part of the state. How can all of of those public works departments which maintain those signals not have a spare part/ parts to lend?

Can our city council and pubic works department please employ a greater imagination when it comes to public safety?

-Kevin March

Denied: Access to FDA Approved Alzheimer’s Treatments


My Dad died of Alzheimer’s 14 years ago, and, at that time, no treatments for this devastating disease were available. Today, we have two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments for those in the early stages of the disease. On January 6, 2023, the FDA approved lecanemab, now known as Leqembi, using the accelerated approval pathway. Based upon clinical trials, leading Alzheimer’s experts agree this treatment delays the progression of the disease for people in the early stages.

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) has denied Medicare coverage for Leqembi. As each day passes, 2500 people progress beyond the early stages of Alzheimer’s and they are no longer eligible to receive this treatment. Leqembi costs $24,000 annually, so only those with adequate financial resources can afford to pay for it out of pocket. As a result, denied access to Leqembi is inevitable for underserved/low income populations.

CMS has never before imposed such drastic barriers to access of FDA approved drugs, especially for people facing a fatal disease. We need Congress to demand that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra release Leqembi to all on Medicare who qualify for it.

Secretary Becerra testified in late March before several US House and Senate committees regarding the HHS FY2024 budget request. House and Senate members across all committees questioned Secretary Becerra about CMS’ disapproval of Leqembi for all and his responses were, at best, minimal and inadequate.

Please urge Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) to contact Secretary Becerra and demand that CMS release Leqembi and other FDA approved Alzheimer’s treatments to all. Rep. Beyer can be reached at beyer.house.gov/contact.

-Guy Mayer