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Streetcar questions offered

To the Editor:

Mayor Jack Hoffman had an opportunity to make a case for the streetcar ('Streetcar: A Question of Values') but chose only to pose questions, suggesting perhaps his own ambivalence about the project. I have a few questions myself.

What congestion would be alleviated? I have been making the commute down State/Macadam to Portland daily for 8 years and have encountered heavy rush hour congestion maybe a dozen times. The worst congestion is between McVey and A, a stretch that would not be served by the streetcar. In the morning most of that traffic turns west on A, heading to Lake Grove and Kruse Way. Why would we promote commuting to downtown Portland rather than to locations within our own city?

If we want to alleviate the perceived congestion on Macadam, why not pave the railroad right-of-way and make it an express motor vehicle route - northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening? Cars being produced now use much less (or no) gasoline, so the environmental impact of car commuting is diminishing. And even at $4 a gallon for gas, cars still remain the transportation of choice for 90 percent of commuters.

Where would streetcar commuters park? Are we going to remove a commercial property from the tax rolls to build a public garage? Won't the traffic in and out increase congestion?

If congestion is the problem, why not first try congestion pricing, as in London? Making drivers pay more to drive Macadam during rush hour would induce many to change their commuting schedule. And the revenue it would produce would go straight to the bottom line!

Greg Byrne

Lake Oswego

'Start working as a unit'

To The Editor:

It is disheartening to see the Lake Oswego City Council becoming more and more like what we have seen in recent years in West Linn politics.

Nitpicking and bickering. Personal attacks rather than reasoned and civil arguments regarding setting policy. I watched a recent meeting of the council on television and marveled at the calm demeanor of our mayor as he was assailed by newer members questioning his ethics.

Clearly their motives are suspect and they contribute nothing to the furthering of our community and its interests. Considering the limited rewards that go with serving the city in such a role as mayor, my admiration for Mayor (Jack) Hoffman has grown considerably.

I wouldn't want his job (part-time as it is) for anything. But I'm glad he does. To the others, I can only say, grow up and start working as a unit for the betterment of us all.

Ronald Talney

Lake Oswego

Could LO stop the Yellow Pages?

To the Editor:

Over the years, massive Yellow Pages books have not only become unneeded, due to online sources, but a nuisance.

The five or six that I receive yearly go from the curbside to the recycle bin without ever making it in the house. And, of course, they are a terrible waste of resources. Seattle has passed legislation to stop the waste. Perhaps Lake Oswego should consider a similar path.

Alan Elstad

Lake Oswego

Mayor's comments are upsetting

To the Editor:

To say that Mayor (Jack) Hoffman's citizen's view column 'Streetcar: A question of values' in the May 5th edition of the Lake Oswego Review left me uncomfortable is an understatement of significant magnitude.

In discussing the proposed streetcar, for him to cast the streetcar solely as a transit choice without pointing out the project's direct ties to the proposed redevelopment of the Foothills area, when the two together were discussed both at the public hearing on April 12 and the city council meeting of April 19, can only be termed totally dishonest!

Then, when referring to 'an informed vote' next spring, his statement re. 'reaching out to all our citizens,' followed by 'provide accurate information' adds insult to the proverbial injury. In fact, the mayor is deliberately failing to disclose the inextricable relationship of the streetcar to the Foothills redevelopment: His call for accurate information hails to mind Mr. Welch's admonition: Have you no shame whatsoever!

Truth is also a value. If the mayor believes that a majority of his fellow citizens will share his vision for the future, rather than fear they won't if a full and accurate picture of his plans is presented to them, then how about setting forth the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but!

Howard Franklin

Lake Oswego