Letters: Lincoln street doesn't need PBOT 'fix'
Southeast Lincoln Street serves as a wide and welcome bridge between the Richmond and Mount Tabor neighborhoods.
In wet weather I drive it for local errands. In warm weather I bicycle along Lincoln on a daily basis. Now our beloved boulevard is a target of PBOT's (Portland Bureau of Transportation's) "Lincoln-Harrison Neighborhood Greenway."
PBOT wants to permanently divert me and my neighbors from this local street. They would force higher congestion on Southeast Division or Hawthorne streets, and send us in far circles to and from our destination and our own driveways.
PBOT's own published data shows "acceptable" traffic levels between Southeast 40th and 48th avenues, and reduced volume between 51st and 59th avenues. Through traffic on Southeast Lincoln already is blocked from the west.
There are five speed islands, 20 mph posted speeds, and three lighted intersections with green bicycle boxes.
Along Southeast Lincoln, pedestrians, runners, cyclists and motorists all coexist. But PBOT's self-interest says, "A little fixing is good; more fixing is even better." We all know that's not how life works.
I say to PBOT and the City Council: We already have a "neighborhood greenway." Enough. Less is more. Needless displays of bureaucratic top-down power harm all of us, and corrode our "Portland values." Civic leaders who desire to bring disparate groups together to find common ground don't behave this way, and they don't allow their employees to behave this way, either.
Do the right thing. Sit down with those of us who live here. Hear our recommendations for Southeast Lincoln. Hold us up as a model of neighborhood courtesy and cohesion.
Cleanup can't exclude public voices
Regarding the Nov. 14 editorial "Superfund cleanup must not be delayed": There is rightful concern that some potentially responsible polluters are attempting to commandeer the process of sampling current river conditions to bend the study to favor less responsibility.
Besides Oregon and the tribes, there is another important stakeholder in this process. The public. Any attempt to bypass or bend the publicly agreed upon final plan by polluters, Arkema, Evraz, Exxon-Mobil and companies behind the cowardly alias "Marine Group," is an attempt to exclude the public from a voice in the cleanup of a river that literally belongs to us.
If those companies choose to appeal to Trump and associate themselves with the ethical failures of his administration by showing little regard for truth and the democratic process, Superfund activists would like to offer a reminder that the cleanup is meant to be an inclusive process under EPA law.
Not only that, but:
1. The public owns the Willamette River and under public trust law, industrial users do not have the right to destroy it for other users
2. People have spoken through the final plan and have overwhelmingly required of EPA an effective cleanup that makes the river safe for all uses.
The cleanup absolutely should not be delayed any longer. However, moving forward quickly should not mean allowing the warping of studies for self-serving purposes. There needs to be full public disclosure of companies that try to drown out community voices with these tactics. Full transparency demands it.
The Portland public already has been charged $60 million for the study of the river over 16 years. That is enough. We should not be charged more to placate large, profitable companies who do not wish to do their fair share and would like a different outcome.
Definitely let the cleanup begin. But don't allow the undermining of public voices in the process.
Homegrown problem or not, need is there
In response to Lyndsey Hewitt's Oct. 26 article on the homeless population, she suggests this is a "homegrown crisis." Yet in the Point of Time Report only 770 out of 1,668, or 46.2 percent, are "homegrown."
If my math serves me correctly, more than half of the homeless are from out of state or out of county. It would seem to be very misleading to ignore this fact and imply it is homegrown when less than the majority are from here.
The need is still there, whether the homeless are local or not, but accurate interpretation of the situation would better serve the discussion on options and assistance.