Readers' Letters
by: L.E. Baskow, Bicyclists by the hundreds pedal each day through Riverview Cemetery in Southwest Portland. Letter writers respond to a Oct. 1 Portland Tribune story about the rude behavior of some bicyclists who use the cemetery route.

Having narrowly missed getting run off the road by bicyclists in River View Cemetery this weekend, your article caught my eye and I responded, 'Yes!' (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1). I am a strong supporter of bicyclists who truly share the road; I respect their rights. I have, however, experienced some difficulty maintaining the calm, meditative mood that allows me to visit my son's grave when bicyclists feel entitled to the point of aggression while at the cemetery.

Susan Morris

Northeast Portland

Cemetery is the only safe option

River View Cemetery is one of the only safe ways to ascend the West Hills in this area (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1). I have a funny feeling people would be complaining about bicyclists being 'in their way' if the cemetery were closed and we were forced onto surrounding roads like Taylors Ferry - which is too dangerous for all but the fastest cyclists.

I agree, nobody should be cursing, flipping off or otherwise harassing other visitors to the cemetery. But unless a reasonable alternative is offered, River View Cemetery is the only safe option for cyclists in my opinion. Cutting off access altogether is not a good solution.

Meghan Humphreys

Southeast Portland

Ban the bikes at River View

Bicycles should be banned from the cemetery (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1). If bicyclists cannot control themselves and their comrades, then they do not deserve to be there. It is unfortunate that the few disrespectful and childish bicyclists spoil things for everyone, but none of the proposed solutions short of a ban would work. Once the ban is in effect, then the cemetery owner should have the police cite or arrest violators.

As to the speed bumps, if a bicyclist cannot handle them then he doesn't belong on a bicycle.

Spencer M. Neal

Southwest Portland

Keep it open, but end the rudeness

I'm a cyclist and have been riding in the cemetery for over a dozen years (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1). I'd like to thank Mr. Nobles and the cemetery for allowing me to ride there. I definitely agree that rude actions by any group or individual on this property should not be tolerated. That said, I'd really appreciate it if the cemetery is left open to cyclists.

I also appreciate the city and BTA for stepping in to help address the problems.

Rob Burkhart

Southeast Portland

Ban bikes before the lawsuits hit

River View Cemetery should ban the bikes before the cyclists who are getting injured on the speed bumps from their own negligence attempt to shift blame to the private property owners and file personal injury lawsuits (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1). The conditions at the Lone Fir Cemetery are quite different as that land is very flat and the bicyclists can add more eyes to needed security issues in there.

Ann Friday

Southwest Portland

Bicyclists should pay to use road

Bicyclists barreling through funeral processions; yelling, cursing and flipping off visitors; and even riding over lawns and gravestones at the Riverview Cemetery is only the tip of the iceberg (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1). They arrogantly behave the same way on the streets of Portland. Moreover, that constant behavior is continually ignored by the city and law enforcement authorities - with the support of the mayor's office.

Bicyclists are treated like elitists with special privileges and immunities that allows them to continue acting like spoiled little children whom expect mommy and daddy - in this case, the taxpayers - to pay for the specialized infrastructure they clamor for and exclusively use.

The persona of today's bicyclists in Portland by other road users is one of irresponsible, freeloading deadbeats that egotistically, arrogantly and routinely refuse to follow even the simplest of traffic safety control devices and rules of the road.

Maybe if bicyclists were directly taxed to pay for what they use, they would show some respect to other people and other road users by being civil and following all traffic laws instead of considering themselves exempt.

Terry Parker

Northeast Portland

Show respect for the graves

First off, be disrespectful on your own families' graves, not my grandparents' and older brother's graves (Cemetery conflicts could bring bike ban, Oct. 1)! I picked up the paper and as soon as I saw 'bikes and cemetery' I knew right away it was the cemetery my family is buried in. Each time I go up there, I have had nothing but disrespect from the bicyclists. People visiting do not deserve what I have encountered. The bicyclists believe it's their road, and only their road.

I should not have to worry about my grandparents' and brother's grave being destroyed by rude people. If you want to use the roads there, fine. But do not disrespect the people that are resting there. Do not disrespect their family visiting.

Yes, the speed bumps are quite large, but they keep people from speeding in there. Bicyclists, do not go off the road trying to dodge the bumps. If you cannot safely make it over the bumps, don't use the cemetery as a cut through road to the bridge.

Christal Mathews

Southeast Portland

Washington will welcome movers

Please come and buy property here (Tax savings lure big names across river, Oct. 8). Southwest Washington is open for business!

Greg Owens

Washougal, Wash.

It's our duty to pay taxes

'Overall, Oregon is a low-tax state.' That's in the article 'Tax savings lure big names across river' (Oct. 8), and it's true. All the tax-hating ideologues need to repeat that over and over until they regain - or glimpse for the first time - some contact with the real world.

It's legitimate, and the duty of every citizen to pay attention to how tax money is spent and demand value and efficiency from government spending. But to just rant 'lower taxes' or 'no taxes' is just lazy and simpleminded.

Jim Gardner

Southwest Portland

Washington looks good from here

It's not just the wealthy who are fleeing. I know a number of Oregon state government employees in the lower management ranks who after accumulating pension benefits and retiring, relocate almost immediately to the state of Washington for the tax savings. If it weren't for family, I would have already moved to Washington myself.

If Vancouver were wise it would start promoting itself as a retirement location nationally.

Bob Clark

Southeast Portland

Oregon punishes the productive

It may be difficult to ascertain the number of people and amount of tax revenue lost due to Oregon's confiscatory personal income tax rates, but I know several very successful people not mentioned in this story who left Oregon because of the tax burden (Tax savings lure big names across river, Oct. 8).

And it is not just the money these people saved when they cashed in or sold some capital asset. They also saved the 9 percent on all future income, including investment income.

The Left never gets it and never will. Legal tax avoidance is as rational as any other business decision. And when it comes to some alleged 'moral' obligation to stay in Oregon when you hit the jackpot, that obligation is dampened in a person's mind when they know their fellow Oregonians think they have a right to soak the rich and punish the productive, and Oregon voters have sent that message several times.

Bill Sizemore

Klamath Falls

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