Its more than recreation
I object to Mel Zucker's statement that bike trips are mainly 'recreational' (Why we bike - or don't, July 13).
I choose not to own a car - I bike for 95 percent of all my trips. I'm not the only one, either - Portlanders make 12,000 trips across the downtown bridges every day.
Can you imagine if we all did as Zucker suggests and switched to cars? The congestion would overwhelm the infrastructure!
My bike trips may be for transportation, not recreation, but riding a bike is fun and feels good, so maybe it's transpo-recreation after all.
Bike paths should be paid for by users
Ideally, I would like to see paved bike paths like they have along parkways on Long Island in New York.
However, these and other such amenities should be paid for by users. We need a way to tax bikes so that there can be more money to add new and better bike paths.
Cyclists who ride on sidewalks are selfish
Why is bicycle riding on sidewalks tolerated in Portland?
It's a hazard to senior citizens, the disabled and persons with small children. It seems to me that bike riders are very selfish when they use sidewalks as bike paths.
If they are so afraid of riding in the street, why not use TriMet - or is simple safety and courtesy too much to ask of these people?
Samuel R. Ganczaruk
For city, it's a long way to world-class
As for Portland being a world-class city … well, I think many of us believe Portland is a wonderful city but 'world-class'? Come on (Money comes for rail, but not roads, July 6)!
Portland is a wannabe. City officials are deluding themselves into the myth that if they plan the city into oblivion it will become world-class. But there's more to being world-class than having every breath you take planned out by bureaucrats.
Seattle is world-class with its skyline, awesome newspaper, reputation, dynamic businesses (Starbucks, Microsoft, Boeing, Nordstrom, ad infinitum), universities, etc.
When you go overseas, no one knows about Portland. Why? Because Portland government is too busy self-consciously trying to control everything.
New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow and, yes, Seattle … these are world-class cities.
Portland, as great as it is, is not world-class, despite the hopes and dreams of its many managers.
Street of Dreams is more like nightmare
The annual Street of Dreams opens to the public July 28.
In terms of conservation and environmental impact, the 7,000-square-foot houses on display make the event name 'Nightmare on Elm Street' more apropos. Because the Portland region prides itself on being 'green,' the Street of Dreams is an ostentatious contradiction.
For each of the past three years, Providence Health System has received proceeds from the sale of one of the huge houses, including last year's Charity House, which can be seen at www.streetofdreamspdx.com/community.php.
The funds benefit the Providence Child Center, a worthy cause for sure, but at what price?
The Street of Dreams idea is no longer a responsible one. In its place, there could be a highly publicized 'Street of Greens,' where builders compete to construct the most energy-efficient and attractive homes of moderate size.
It would be an event more in step with the times and would help address an issue of broad concern, as well as provide a benefit for both charities and the environment.