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Lunch is worth a walk

by: JIM CLARK, Harry Mossalman of Pasha restaurant in Old Town struggles with ongoing construction downtown on the transit mall, saying it scares away customers. One letter writer, however, says patrons shouldn’t fear a three-block stroll.

Perhaps the employees of the U.S. Bancorp Tower mentioned in the July 17 article Transit mall fixes leave some feeling clobbered" need a lecture on the importance of daily exercise.

What's the real reason for not walking the extra three blocks to go to lunch at the great Pasha restaurant?

It's three blocks, give me a break.

Marie Therese Budmiger

West Linn

We can help to set Mexico free

The July 6 article 'Teacher hits on the big issues,' about Bill Bigelow, only scratched the surface of the ongoing immigration issue.

The people of Mexico have been excluded from partaking in their own free and rich country for the past 100 years because corruption is accepted as a way of doing business.

But it's not the responsibility of legal Americans, who struggle on a daily basis, to support the children of -and social programs for -illegal immigrants.

By helping our southern neighbors to ignite their own economy (Mexico has minerals, oil, fishing, agriculture and a rich tourist industry to sustain itself), only then will the tide of immigrants subside and then Mexico can be truly independent from the North American states.

Greg Schifsky

Southwest Portland

Road, car obsession will fade with time

Automobiles provide freedom for most people - and they will fight to the bitter end to keep them, regardless of whether gas is $3 or $6 a gallon (Money comes for rail, but not roads, July 6).

I think a conspiracy is at work here. First, there was the gas crisis in the '70s, which eventually inspired everyone to buy Toyotas.

Then, larger American cars and SUVs weren't selling, so the general population was told they would die if they did not drive an SUV.

Then, 'Oh, no! How do we sell more cars?' Gas prices increase and everyone believes it's only going to get worse, so now the trend is smaller cars and building more light rail.

I do think light rail is a good idea because as time goes on, the average person will not be able to afford a car. But Portland has a one-track mind when it comes to spending money, and it's definitely not focused on our schools or creating new jobs.

Troy Holub

Southeast Portland

There's lots of room for improvement

Bravo to Portland for focusing on the habits of bicycle commuters ('Wanted: More butts on bikes,' July 13). However, there are some things that could encourage more bicyclists:

1. Give bicyclists the right of way at any signed four-way intersection.

2. Place bicycle-priority traffic-light pressure pads in bike lanes with enough distance before the stoplight to help bicyclists maintain momentum.

3. When roads are reconstructed (e.g., North Interstate Avenue for MAX) don't use storm sewer grates that cover three-quarters of the bike lane out from the curb. That was poor planning.

4. Sweep the bike lanes of glass and dirt that are a continual nuisance. Clean up debris from auto collisions promptly.

5. Place bump strips like the ones adjacent to the MAX tracks between bicycle and traffic lanes so cars do not trespass into the bike lanes.

6. Pass real laws that address the criminality of hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist with a motor vehicle. Outlaw cell phone use in any motor vehicle in motion.

7. Require registration of bicycles at a nominal fee, or some way of identifying the rider and/or bicycle.

8. Aggressively cite bike riders who ignore traffic rules: wrong way on a one-way, riding on the sidewalk with a bike lane adjacent, running red lights, etc.

9. Aggressively cite those who choose to ignore bike lanes by parking and driving in them.

I don't believe bike lanes need to be wider, or separated from traffic lanes by a curb.

I also believe excuses abound for not commuting on a bike. Get a clue: If you drive, you contribute to global warming, period; your butt is on the wrong seat.

I bicycle-commute 12 miles every workday. But I also take occasional trips by car. I recognize that I, too, am contributing to global warming.

They say that you're either part of the problem or part of the solution. Portlanders, what are you?

Marc J. LaPine

Southwest Portland